Saturday, September 16, 2006

Talking Texan

I'm still stunned by your "press conference" yesterday, Bush. A whole hour of unadulterated blather, most of it repeated several times over in answer to completely different questions. You couldn't even come up with a few gracious, authentic, spontaneous words about Ann Richards--as a former alcoholic, you'd surely have a word to say about her courageous, and very public battle with that disease. The only thing that sounded theleast bit true was your joking reference to her noted ability to "Talk Texan." For Ann Richards, that implied a certain tough-minded, unsparing and impromptu wit.

For you, Bush, it amounts to nothing more than bluster.

I can think of no better word to describe your performance yesterday. Blustering, as I understand it, is talking Texan when you have nothing to say--or so little that you need to repeat it over and over, just a little bit louder and more indignantly each time. I'm talking about empty utterances like these: "My job is to protect the people of this country," "It's a dangerous world," and "We've got to give our professionals the tools they need... to win the war on terror."

Also gems like this one, (uttered in tones of withering pity for the ignorance of your questioner): "Pakistan is a sovereign nation. You can't go sending thousands of troops into a sovereign nation without being invited." Really? Though I suppose this rule doesn't apply when we're dealing with sovereign nations whose leaders we happen to despise--or when it's a matter of nations harder to defeat than was Iraq.

Or this: "The Islamic terrorists... want to impose their ideology throughout the Middle East." Oh? And what's your current rationale for being there? Or this: "We'll continue to work with allies, building a vast coalition..." A vast coalition? I mean, Bush, I don't wish to sound trite, but what planet are you living on, there in your White House? Has it escaped your notice that most of the nations of the world oppose your policies, and some of them with venom?

Then there were the usual political asides. "The Democrats," you asserted, after modestly disclaiming any partisan intention, "would raise taxes on the working people." I suppose there are those who would believe this kind of nonsense, but where do you get this stuff from, Bush? Not from the Democrats, for sure. And while proclaiming loudly your repudiation of any and all attacks on the patriotism of those who dare to criticize your policies and strategies (though please let's not forget John Kerry and the Swift Boaters), you impugn their character or their common sense instead. They are "confused." Or "partisan." Or "dead wrong."

I watched in open-mouthed amazement as you managed to bluster your way through a whole hour of reasonable questions while the media--give them a little credit--did their best to probe and keep you on the subject. To no avail. You blustered on without losing a stride. Texas talk, I guess.

By the way, you got short shrift from the BBC News last night. They led with Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmandinejad taunting you delightedly from Fidel Castro's Cuba, at the Non-Aligned Nations' summit meeting. Then came the Pope and his insult to Islam. Political protests in the Ivory Coast. The business report, with the troubles at Ford--and the thousands more jobs lost at that former giant of American industry. Then twenty seconds of the Bush press conference, before moving on to people trafficking in the Canary Islands and wind farms off the coast of Norway. Even Katie over at CBS relegated you to third place, Bush, after E.coli and Ford.

Is it possible people aren't taking Texas talk seriously any more?


GringoWithoutBorders said...


I did a little counting yesterday. The Non-Aligned Movement(NAM) from my addition accounts to 3.3 Billion of the 6.5 Billion people on Earth.

Bush wants democracy, well NAM accounts for 1/2 the people on Earth and has declared SUPPORT for Iranian nuclear technology. Lets talk democracy now. (this excludes Russia & China who we know support Iran and would bring the world to 74% in favor of Iran).

Democracy? Right. Fair treatment in the Middle East? Right. USA is a joke.

den said...

Peter. By "good intentioned, whining", I was mocking the effectiveness of the Repub-retards, not buying into them. You might have a knee-jerk argument going there.

Paraphrasing them, because this is all about mass perceptions. The fact is, their weapons against Democrats work. That Dems are whiners is the perception enough voters have for Repubs to hold a lot of seats.

I missed, but Lee didn't, Hart on Stewart. Do you know John Stewart's audience? It's not the mass of people I am talking about. I will stick to what I said, the perception persists, and not enough is being done about it. It has to get out beyond Stewarts show, Maher's show, and page 8 of the paper.

As I get Democratic Party emails everyday, I am amazed at how they are trying to build enthusiasm ALL ON IMPLIED info, as if it is understood by the masses, what they would do to better things. I am certain at this point the Dems are hoping to ride in on discontent with Iraq, while they try to avoid making any mistakes.

I know you like the Democrats. Unfortunately, I think they are part of the general decline of the nation, indeed, even part of the reason Bushtypes enjoy such a close margin. If we can't say anything against Democrats, things are worse than bad.

This isn't going to be about the rightness of old values or even health care. This is going to be about perceptions of fear, strength, adversity, how strong we are, because those are the people who vote. This is going to have more to do with people becoming tired of Bush, than the Dems setting out great goals for the people to believe in and show up to vote as never before.

Bush may be out of the boat, but will the boat still be adrift? As I said, the verdict is well established, Let's get on with what the future looks like.

Let's tie our rants to what urgently needs doing.

den said...

Of course, if Roger Moore ties the release of his film about health care with the elections, health care could figure in. But can it swing seats in all those places where they see health care as a government free ride?

No, I believe bigger vision is needed.