Monday, April 24, 2006

In other words, there’s the line for people

Condi Rice again praises Iraqi PM-designate Maliki: “He comes to this as the strongest political figure really ever ... since the liberation of Iraq”. Oh good, because “strong” political figures have never been any sort of a, ya know, problem for Iraq in the past. “He comes with both the imprimatur of the Iraqi people and ... the mandate to form a unified national unity government.” Yes, he has the sort of imprimatur and mandate that can only come from more than four months of back-room negotiation.

Update: when I first posted, I meant to make fun of “unified national unity government,” but I forgot.

Bush was in Irvine to tell a crowd of Orange County businesspeople that “the war on terror [is] not over.”
There is still an enemy that wants to do us harm. And the most important job of the President of the United States is to protect the American people from that harm. That’s -- and I think about it all the time.
Adding, “There, I thought about it just then. And then. And then. No, that was gas.”

Keywords of the day: “safe haven.” He uses it 7 times to describe the thing that terrorists want to have in Iraq and shouldn’t be allowed to have. They must have run some focus groups.

“You know, it’s really important for people to be able to connect the concept of freedom to our security. And it’s hard. It’s hard, particularly in a day and age when every act of violence is put in your living room.” Yeah, it’s getting really hard to keep the carpet clean.

He defended his conduct of the Iraq war once again by claiming that he didn’t conduct the Iraq war, but left it up to Tommy Franks to tell him what to do and what was needed to do it. “One the lessons of Vietnam, it seemed like to me -- still does -- is that people tried to make decisions on behalf of the military, which I think is a terrible precedent to make if you’re the Commander-in-Chief.” So the one thing a commander-in-chief shouldn’t do is command. What happened to “I’m the decider”?

Most of the speech was about immigration, in that county named after an agricultural product picked almost exclusively by immigrants. And we got more focus-grouped language designed to make an anti-immigration policy sound friendly to the people actually trying to immigrate: “One of the things that Congress has done, it’s done a good job of providing additional money for bed space and money to make sure that we can send people back home.” We’re giving them bed space, not putting them in detention centers surrounded by armed guards and barbed wire. And then we’re sending them “home.” Isn’t that nice of us? Although even he acknowledges, “They’re going broke at home”. Also, we’re saving them, he mentions in every speech on immigration, from coyotes. The Border Patrol and INS are really doing rescue work, if you think about it.

The guest-workers will be given – and here’s another focus-grouped phrase that he repeats like a gazillion times – “tamper-proof cards.” “All of a sudden, we’ve kind of taken this smuggling industry and dismantled it through rational policy. All of a sudden, we recognized that we want to treat people with respect.”

Then he started talking about lines, how illegal immigrants should get to the back of the line, how Congress could decide on the lengths of different lines for different nationalities. “In other words, there’s the line for people.” I think he was just feeling nostalgic for lines of coke.

In the Q&A, someone asked if he knew any illegal immigrants, say in Texas, who might give him their perspective. No, he doesn’t.

And now for a game of Find the Racist:
I was talking to a congressman from -- I don’t want to -- they’ll start trying to find the guy, so I’m not going to give him any hints, but -- (laughter.) It’s a guy. Anyway, but he said, my town was like a small number of minorities, and now it’s 50 percent Latino, and we don’t know what to do.
My guess: Dan Lungren.

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