Friday, January 16, 2009

Presidenting for Idiots: Bush's Farewell Speech

Presidenting For Idiots:
8 Years of Ineptitude Condensed to 15 Minutes!

Gallup Poll:

Bush had been averaging a 29% approval rating for the last quarter of his presidency up to now -- identical to his average approval ratings for each of the previous two quarters. Individual Gallup approval readings on Bush exceeded that figure several times in the past year, including a 33% reading in September. However, the current 34% approval score is Bush's highest since January 2008, and a sharp improvement from the 25% recorded right before the November elections.
Question: Why the INCREASE in approval ratings?
Answer: Americans have always been kind to failures when they're going out the door. Also: Americans justifiably agreed that stains on a dress were not as detrimental as stains on the conduct of an administration or bloodstains on a wall at Guantanamo. (Note: Clinton's approval ratings were at 66% when he left - the highest in the last fifty years.)

So, dismal approval ratings, empty seats at his last press conference (but happily filled by White House interns), a telling video of Bush being shunned at the G20 Summit, and now a farewell speech that was, at best, bland and self-patronizing.

As usual, Georgie's 15-minute oration was remarkable by what it DIDN'T say. It didn't address any of his OTHER "tough decisions": torture, warrantless wiretapping, refusal to testify before the 9/11 Commission, appointments of unqualified officials, abuse of executive privilege, etc.

He chose to quote Thomas Jefferson, a move which probably angered half of his Christian Right base. He told us that our air and water are cleaner, but didn't state that both are still substandard. He introduced past heroes of Katrina and Iraq, using them as distractions to the public's questions of incompetency. He lumped together entire populations as a "small band of fanatics". He extolled the sins of big business and padded them with warnings about isolationism.

"Above all, I thank the American people for the trust you have given me"

If any trust was given, it was blind trust in a president who was exceptionally secretive and who never paid attention to what the public was telling him - through polls, the media and public protests.

C-Span had people call in with their responses and to keep it "fair" the callers had to tell their party affiliation (Republican, Democrat, Independent). Some of those responses:

"I loved his reference to 'Good and Evil'"

"He lied"

"[He] Supported American ideals"

"Bad state of denial... should get some therapy."

"He doesn't really know what he's talking about"

"A fool and a liar - hides behind Presidential privilege"

"Believe he was anointed by God."

"Good Riddance to George Bush"

Below is a Wordle created out of George Bush's speech. This consists of the top 150 words repeated, with the most repeated put in the largest print. "America" would be obvious, but the software (NOT me), chose to place it outside the group of words entirely. When you click on the wordle, you'll see a large, readable rendition of it. The "America" looks as if it were expelled from the rest of the group. This is only right and proper: Bush always expelled the American people from the room of world politics. And notice how bland the words seem. Take them out of context and you realize the words for what they are: buzz words. Hollow buzz words.

Just a thought.