Bush and the Unspoken Message

Random Lengths News | February 2, 2006
George W. Bush is not “a great communicator,” this is quite obvious. In fact most of the time when he’s not scripted, unlike in this week’s State of the Union address, his words come out so twisted you wonder if he puts his words in an Osterizer before pouring them out of his mouth– scrambled would be far too polite. So just what is the state of the union?

According to Bush, the future is bright economically and politically. We are in control of our destiny, even though we are a nation at war, threatened by terrorists, deeply in debt and “addicted to oil.” In the end he says, “I am optimistic in America and faithful to its cause.” One has to wonder if he’s not taking happy pills and wearing rose-colored glasses? All in all he was interrupted some 59 times with applause showing approval, one assumes, but distinctly there were times when only half the house (the Republican side) were clapping. What goes without saying is that Congress is a house divided. What needs to be said now, more than ever, is that Bush and his increasingly conservative agenda is what’s dividing this House, this nation and the world at large! But the Democrats just don’t seem to get it.

Does the Democratic leadership get that this President is hell bent on turning back the clock on almost every single reform since the New Deal? Not to mention others dating back to the Progressive Era and before. Their response seemed measured, tempered and even quite rational considering the circumstances, but where’s the outrage? Where’s the disgust, the distrust and the courage to fight back against what for all appearances is the fundamentalist rightwing attack on the very freedoms that we are supposedly defending abroad?

Even though Bush defended his domestic spying operation saying that he was granted these powers by Constitution and by statute, a lie as big as the weapons of mass destruction rues used to invade Iraq, his actions are less defensible than are his twisted words. What our “esteemed” leader forgot to mention in his 50 minute oratory on patriotism and faith is just how unqualified he is. Not only can he not bridge the divisive gap between right and left in this country because he has created it, he champions it at every turn of the screw. He also failed to address the ongoing abuse and torture of prisoners at the hand of our CIA and military under orders from Rumsfeld’s reorganized Pentagon.

When he talks about supporting democracies overseas, he fails to give even the briefest mention of the failure of our democracy at home or the growing successes of left wing leaders in Venezuela, Peru, Brazil and Chile, all elected by the people, to steer their countries clear of American economic dominance and global free trade. What stands out in this context and which wasn’t seen last night on the coverage of this speech was that anti-war activist, Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a fallen soldier in Iraq who has made her place in current politics by protesting outside of Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, was arrested after taking her seat for his speech. Arrested for “disturbing the peace”– she was wearing a T-shirt announcing the number of American soldiers killed in Iraq – 2242 to date. This was just one more part of “America’s bright future” that Bush glossed over, I suppose. As was most of his speech, which was a litany of lies and subterfuge aimed at covering up his mistakes, corruptions and misdirecting our attention from the truth.

It is surely the saddest of symbolic contrasts when one mother of a fallen soldier is honored by the President in his speech and another, more outspoken mother, is arrested all within the same hour. One can surmise that free speech has now been summarily banned by executive order even inside of our nation’s most recognized symbol of democracy at a time when the State of our Union needs more than ever to be discussed.

Failing impeachment by next January, I recommend that all Democrats and others opposed to this misguided war show their contempt to Bush by not applauding, not standing and by simply wearing T-shirts of their own.

There is one point with which I agree with Bush –it is time for democracy to stand up to tyranny– I just disagree with who he sees as being the real tyrant.

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