Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Bush talked about making ethanol “not just from corn but from wood chips and stalks or switch grass.” Does that mean we’ll all be required to spend our vacations clearing brush?
Some people have pointed out the dissonance of a former oil man (and indeed an alcohol addict) talking about an addiction to oil. But then he’s also a politician who claims to despise politics. You’ll notice his expressed distaste for every role he’s ever fulfilled never seems to diminish his own unearned self-regard. The closest he comes is when he discusses his role as husband, where all his talk about “marrying up” suggests a sense of inferiority to the LauraBot. But to get back to the point I was making before my digression into the shallows of the Bush psyche, the dissonance is less than it appears because his approach to energy is to claim that the answers are entirely scientific rather than economic. The day before the SOTU, Exxon announced a $36 billion profit for 2005, the highest profit for any corporation ever, but there was never any question of that being mentioned in the speech. Capitalism is great, huge corporations are great, science is great. As Arthur C. Clarke didn’t say but should have, to a sufficiently stupid person, any science more complex than the wheel is indistinguishable from magic. And Bush does mean magical science rather than mere technology, dismissing fuel efficiency thusly, “We use a lot of foreign oil in our automobiles, and we drive a lot, and people say, well, CAFE this and CAFE that.” I’m convinced he thinks someone will come up with a magic bean that can run an automobile forever.
That line was given today, when Bush followed up the SOTU speech with a recapitulation in the Grand Ole Opry, as is required under the Constitution. After five long (oh god so long) years in the job, he still doesn’t know what words to use for that job: “I like my buddies from West Texas. I liked them when I was young, I liked them then I was middle-age, I liked them before I was President, and I like them during President and I like them after President.” He describes Bill Frist’s job in the Senate as “herding cats.” Brrr. But then he describes his own job as “educator-in-chief.”
Of what else does his job consist? Well, “As a matter of fact, every day, every day of my presidency I think about this war. That’s what you’ve got to understand.” But enough about his masturbatory practices. “And I clearly see the threats to America. My job is to worry about those threats. That’s not your job. We got a lot of people in government worrying about those threats on your behalf, so you can go about your life.” Insert Brownie-heckuva-job reference here.
Once again he magnanimously concedes the right of people in a free society to engage in impotent debate: “I welcome the debate. But as I said last night to Congress, whether you agree or not agree with the decision, this country has one option, and that’s victory in Iraq.”