Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Uncertainty and understanding...

Yahoo news covers the presidents speech given at the Grand Ole Opry (GOO) House. In this speech the president acknowledges the unease of the nation with this quote:
"People are uncertain, in spite of our strong union, because of war, and I understand that,"
The only thing he said in that statement that rings true is that people are uncertain.

The people are not uncertain because of the war however. We are somewhat divided over the war, but increasing numbers are coming to understand that the whole affair was poorly conceived, poorly executed, and not worth the cost in blood and treasure. Much the same as the people understand that the planning for the slow motion disaster that was Hurricane Katrina was poorly conceived, executed and not cost effective whilst costing lives. It seems the only thing this administration has been good at is rebounding pinball like from one policy disaster to the next. So yes, the people are uncertain.

The people are uncertain about this president.

To assert as he has for two days running now that our union is strong is frankly to ignore the facts. The union is divided. The union as represented by the elected members of congress last night clearly could not be more divided. Time and again during his speech to congress the right side of the union would stand and cheer at some poofuffery given by the president while the left side of the union sat in stony silence. The one notable exception when the left was able to stand and cheer as the right remained motionless was when the president admitted defeat with last years social security debacle. I suppose the case is there that the union between this administration and the republican yes men running congress is strong.

The final part of the quote above is also manifestly not the case. George Bush wants the people to believe that he understands their uncertainty? He is enveloped with yes people, only taken before friendly audiences, not approachable with bad news, and on a wide range of issues clearly does not get it. I believe this 'understand' line is the president reaching for that Clintonesque "I feel your pain" moment. But no matter how many pre screened, loyalty oath swearing, adoring crowds hear this stump speech, the president is still cocooned. He only understands what he wants to understand, and he is not the type of president who understands when the people question his leadership.

Here is something the president would truly be well served to understand. The measure of his leadership will not be improved by going to campaign mode and bombarding us with the same stump speech until the mid terms. The standard by which this administration will be judged is upon their decisions and deeds as they govern, not the amount of speechifying to the wingnut choir.

I am quite certain the president will never reach this understanding.

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