I can’t watch Bush’s speech tonight. (I’m going to tape it so I can watch it later and fast forward through the stuff that makes me cringe, like a bad movie; at that rate, it might be the shortest speech on record.) Seriously, I can never listen to the man for more than a few seconds before turning him off. First there’s what he says, or what he tries to say. That’s bad enough because it usually has nothing to do with reality and is all about pulling the wool over our eyes. Second, there’s the way he says it, like he’s still a spoiled little boy talking to his servants, who in reality know a hell of a lot more than he does but because he’s the boss, he thinks he’s superior. He’s an arrogant twit, and I wish someone would wipe that silly smirk off his face. Hard.
Congressman Bob Goodlatte, a Republican who represents (hah!) my district, said recently at a town hall in our area that it would be unconscionable for the U.S. to withdraw from Iraq now. This is, frankly, fascist bullshit. It was unconscionable to invade in the first place, on the basis of lies and fabrications, in violation of international law and in the face of world opposition. It is unconscionable how we have treated prisoners of war. It is unconscionable that Dubya points, gleefully, to the fact that more than 30,000 Iraqis have been killed since the start of the invasion and occupation as evidence that the U.S. is “winning” the war. It is unconscionable that the Bush regime has used unconstitutional measures to expand its domestic surveillance program and continues to hide behind a security smokescreen that ignores the procedures that exist within the law for this very purpose. It is unconscionable that Bush panders to the fascists and Christian-extremists, leading the country down a very dark, slippery road. It is unconscionable that millions of Americans live in poverty, without adequate wages, health care, or a voice, because of the greedy corrupt conservatism that has this country in its grip. It is unconscionable that America continues to murder its citizens through the liberal application of the death penalty, when most of the civilized world has learned that revenge is not worth the price.
And if Bush or any other leader in this country wanted to make some promises that would take us in the right direction, he or she should find away to bridge the gap between us that the Republicans have deepened over the past 6 years; he or she should work to improve our relations with the rest of the world, to find a genuine consensus in the struggle against terrorism; instead of trying to kill all our enemies, which only succeds in making new enemies, our leaders ought to be trying to understand why we have enemies in the first place–that isn’t appeasement, or negotiation, it is education. Instead of mortgaging our future, and the future of the next generation by running the massive deficits that Bush has used to finance his outrageous fascist folly, our leaders need to return to Clinton’s methods of fiscal responsibility. And our leaders need to move our people out of poverty, not through cutting the taxes of the wealthy, but by creating jobs, and opportunities, by ensuring that all people are treated fairly and without discrimination.
The response to Bush will be delivered tonight by Tim Kaine, governor of my state of Virginia. Now he might be worth listening to.