George Bush talked about two things: the War on Terror, and what the Congress needs to do to reelect him, in terms of giveaways, promotions, gimmicks and so forth — like that No Child Left Behind Thing that we're all so proud of.
He became solemn as he pictured that one poor kid who falls behind in his math, but, somehow, we're there for that child, and that child will learn his math, through testing and retesting and reretesting, because if that child doesn't make it, the school won't eithe — and there are economic penalties for failure and these will be reflected in local taxes.
Nobody wants to leave a child behind. As a sentiment, it's irresistible. But the NCLB Act has nothing to do with children or learning. It has to do with havoc which is currently wreaking its way through every school in America. Ask your local schools what they think.
Regarding the War on Terror, we have beaten back the Taliban, restored peace and harmony in Afghanistan, built schools, blew town. In Iraq, we found Saddam Hussein in a hole! We have occupied a sovereign state and overthrown their leader; we have earned the enmity of the majority of nations, but won the full support of a constellation of small, shuddering client states.
Somehow the morass in Iraq has become the "War on Terror." Yet the war on terror began with a different mission entirely: find the man who masterminded and sponsored the events of Sept. 11.
Somewhere, long forgotten, sits a man on the floor of a cave, wondering if he'll ever be found. His name is Osama bin Laden. He is so deep in hiding he didn't even make it into the speech!
George, FOCUS. Osama bin Laden is slipping away, not just from the military and CIA, but slipping away from the national psyche.
Meanwhile Bush has planted his priorities on reelection, cynically throwing rubber chickens into our pots — as if 9/11 were some municipal problem! Come on! This isn't the anthrax investigation, this is serious! This is a national security issue! Will you pay attention please?
Despite my resistance, I'm turning into a Demolican. I got tingles seeing Ted Kennedy rise from his slumber to shake his lavender head.
This fight isn't over. It's just getting good.