Thursday, October 26, 2006

bush, obama

In 1980 we elected Reagan. In 2000, we got the monkey.

It always amazes me how Bush has never learned to disguise his frustration with penetrating questions. This happens at every press conference: a hectoring, angry tone creeps in, and peaks at a nasalness bordering on a whine.

Listening to Bush's press conference Wednesday morning, it's clear he believes that creating a fresh set of cliches will bring up his rock-bottom rating. The "new" direction he's taking is just a different wrapper on the same actions. After being mocked so badly for the "cut and run" broken record, he's fortunately finally succumbed to creating a timetable for withdrawal. He claims that this is a different action from the timetable for withdrawal the Democrats have been demanding for years, but is incapable of explaining the difference. But we will still have to remain in position until the Iraqis "step forward." So far the US has supplied the Iraqis equipment but hasn't trained them how to use or maintain it. This is not military equipment, but infrastructure: power generators, communications equipment, etc. How are they going to be able to run a country when none of them knows how to get the lights on again?

I can't wait for 2008.

Barack Obama has finally suggested he might run for the presidency. After watching him on Charlie Rose the other night, I would be happy to vote for him. He's articulate, thoughtful, and speaks intelligently. He has clear ideas about the role of politics and has a meta-view of it. He's the first person I've seen who doesn't seem to use ‘politics' as a dirty word. It would be damn nice to have someone who assumes the American people are capable of thinking in more than cliches.

Funny how Bush's role as cheerleader back in Yale hasn't really changed much. "Fight! Fight! Fight! We won't cut and run! Go team go! Stay the course! Rah!" This is how one directs mob energy. He'd be surprised to learn the US is not a mob of beer-soaked males in war paint.

I really can't wait for 2008.

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