Friday, September 02, 2005

The Presidential Tour 

From an AP story about Pres. Bush heading down to Alabama:
"It's as if the entire Gulf Coast were obliterated by the worst kind of weapon you can imagine," the president said.

Dude, that's exactly what happened. Threats to Homeland Security are not all driven by human action. And nature provides a heckuva destructive weapon at times.

Further from the article:
"The results are not acceptable," said Bush, who rarely admits failure.

Well, he hasn't actually admitted failure, or even responsibility for the failure:

Standing with the governors in an airplane hangar, Bush said, "We have a responsibility to clean up this mess."

"What is not working right, we're going to make it right," Bush said. Referring to rampant looting and crime in New Orleans, Bush said, "We are going to restore order in the city of New Orleans."

"The people of this country expect there to be law and order, and we're going to work hard to get it," the president said. "In order to make sure there's less violence, we've got to get food to people."

"We'll get on top of this situation," Bush said, "and we're going to help the people that need help."


He managed to phrase it such that while acknowledging that there are major problems, he at no point associates his administration with the failures and issues to this point. He only associates the administration with promised solutions.

"The results are not acceptable." Not that the White House's response is unacceptable. The results are unacceptable.

"We have a responsibility to clean up this mess." So things just became a mess, and now Pres. Bush is going to ride in on his horse and clean it up. This makes him the good guy, not part of the problem.

"What is not working right, we're going to make right." Again, dissociation from the problem, connection with the solution. Everything to this point is not his fault, but anything good that happens from this point forward is because of his doing.

"The people of this country expect there to be law and order, and we're going to work hard to get it... In order to make sure there's less violence, we've got to get food to people." Well-played! An appeal to law and order, while also isolating the chaos from "the people of this country." Guess what? The looters, gangs and other people behind the unlawful activity ARE the people of this country. And he's going to get food to people in order to lessen the violence. If he (and we, the people) focused more on the larger issues of hunger and poverty in this country, the scene might not have been set for the violent response. Have you noticed how he's always emphasizing how hard he's working? I'd feel better if he showed us through his actions and results, rather than just expecting us to believe him.

"We'll get on top of this situation..." Not "we've seen what works and what doesn't work, and we're adjusting our approach." Not "we're fixing the problems we've been having." Just that "we" are going to get in there and fix this mess that unnamed parties have left for the federal government to go in, work hard and resolve.

Speak true, Mr. President. Drop the spin and we might start believing you.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:17 PM