Bush’s ego stroking is rather ridiculous.

“The world’s safer…. Libya’s no longer a threat. Pakistan is an ally in the war on terror,” Bush said in an exclusive interview on CNN’s “Larry King Live.”

The world’s safer? There are more terrorists now than there were in 2001, but the world’s safer? A country that was never a threat except to India has joined the loose coalition and that’s a sign of security?

“There are 50 million people that once lived in tyranny now living in societies which are heading toward democracies,” he said.

“…heading toward democracies” being the key phrase here. I assume Bush’s definition of “heading toward democracies” is pretty wide.

“The economy is growing. We’ve overcome a recession and corporate scandals, a stock market decline and an attack,” he said. “And yet we’ve recovered and our economy is getting better. The education system is getting better because of the No Child Left Behind Act. The Medicare law has been strengthened so seniors will have prescription drug coverage starting in 2006.”

(*) The economy is growing very slowly, and still at a net loss. The oft-trumpeted fact that Bush will be the first president since Hoover (read: Great Depression) to preside over net increase of zero jobs.

(*) The FY 2004 funding failure is $1.4 billion below what would be required to maintain 2003 purchasing power next year. Bush’s FY 2003 budget proposal was little better, falling $7.2 billion short of funding approved for FY 2003 in the original legislation. [Office of Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, 6/9/03; National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 2/03; CongressDaily, 2/3/03; National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), 2/5/03; New York Times, 2/5/03; Washington Post, 4/1/03]

(*) “New government estimates suggest that employers will reduce or eliminate prescription drug benefits for 3.8 million retirees when Medicare offers such coverage in 2006. That represents one-third of all the retirees with employer-sponsored drug coverage, according to documents from the Department of Health and Human Services.”

“I will argue that Saddam Hussein out of power has made the world a better place and a safer place,” he said. “We thought we’d find stockpiles. The whole world thought we’d find stockpiles…. But what we do know is Saddam Hussein had the capability of making weapons of mass destruction, and after September 11th, a risk we could not take was that he would share that capability with our enemies.”

Fine. Now make it a pressing issue to remove every other cruel dictator in the world, like the president of Uzbekistan, which is, oddly enough, part of the coalition of the willing. Oh, and the entire world did not think we’d find stockpiles. If that were true, why did Hans Blix ask for more time to search for weapons? Given that the WMDs were our “primary” reason for going to war, wouldn’t it have been prudent to spend the time to make sure they exist?

“Senator Kerry is justifiably proud of his record in Vietnam and should be. It’s noble service,” Bush said. “The question is who can best lead the country in a time of war. That’s really what the debate ought to be about. And I think it’s me, because I understand the stakes.”

This is mind-bogglingly stupid. While I will be the first to admit that having been a soldier does not immediately qualify one as the most apt to run a war, to assert that a mediocre businessman turned president (having, I believe, no other experience as a public servant) is better suited to lead a very political war than a 20-year senator and decorated war veteran is simply asinine.

“I think there may be handfuls of people that are very emotional, but I think by far the vast majority of Americans are wanting to know whether they’re going to be able to work and whether or not the government’s doing its job of protecting the country,” he said. “I don’t have a sense there’s a lot of anger.”


§382 · August 13, 2004 · ·

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