Thursday, September 01, 2005

Who You Gonna Blame?

I'm thinking about that moment after the 9/11 attacks, Bush, when you stood atop the ruins of the World Trade Center and castigated those responsible, vowing to avenge the country and mete out dire punishment. It was a stirring moment, and one that you have used--some would say shamelessly--as political capital to undergird virtually all your subsequent actions. Now you have to go down there to the Gulf Coast and stand up among the ruins and say... well, something. No one to blame this time, really--unless you feel like laying into the US Congress for recently cutting the funds that were needed to reinforce the levies. Not a good political option, maybe. Or cussing out past officials, for failing to heed a slew of warnings about the evisceration, for commerical purposes, of the protective wetlands in the coastal region. Not really a stirring rallying cry, either. And of course, railing against Mother Nature herself would sound pretty stupid.

How about a "war on global warming," though? Nice idea? If climatologists are correct in assessing some share of the blame for the recently ever more destructive hurricane seasons to a proven change in global climate, maybe this would be just the ticket. Another war for the "war president." Somehow, though, I don't see this as quite fitting in with your agenda. Good luck with that speech tomorrow, anyway. And try to avoid the repetition of those empty phrases that we talked about this morning. (Take a look at the lead editorial in today's New York Times: "one of the worst speeches" of your life! Ouch!) Your speechwriters have to know that those platitudes just won't work this time around.

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