Monday, November 28, 2005

They need to stay at home

I think I need to clarify my last post about the Bushies’ new spin. With the backlash against the attempt to swift-boat (or michael-mooreize) Murtha, they’ve decided on this new tack of focusing on wishy-washy D’s like Biden, which is most of them, who won’t call for an immediate pull-out but would prefer not to occupy Iraq forever, and, instead of portraying them as defeatist cut & runners, paint them as unoriginal copycats, “adopting key portions of the administration’s plan for victory.” By pretending that there are no substantive policy differences (which in Biden’s case isn’t far from the truth, which is precisely why they chose him to stand in for all centrist Democrats), they can claim that any criticism must be partisan in nature. In other words, they are once again pretending to be uniters, not dividers.

Speaking of dividing, Bush talked about “securing the border” today in Arizona. He lauded something called “interior repatriation,” which means dumping illegal immigrants well inside Mexico. How exactly the United States has the power to put someone on a bus in a foreign country and keep them on that bus until it reaches its destination, I do not know. He said, “We want to make it clear that when people violate immigration laws, they’re going to be sent home, and they need to stay at home.” And it’s no television for you either, young man!

In the rest of the speech, he talked about streamlining deportations, increasing the size of the border patrol and giving it lots of fancy toys, a temporary worker program not leading to permanent residence or citizenship, and so forth. He talked of immigrants as illegal workers, murderers, child molesters, gang members, etc, but his speech was carefully written to avoid conferring upon them even the humanity of the singular personal pronoun; that is, he never calls them “he” or “she,” they are always part of a depersonalized horde. Or possibly a depersonalized school, as in fish, since he also derides the current “catch and release” policy.

I like how the Indy puts it: “Six years after Grozny was blasted to smithereens on the orders of Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, it was claimed that the separatist-minded people of Chechnya now support the man who commanded the almost total destruction of their capital.” “President” Alu Alkhanov described the elections as “democratic, honest and transparent,” speaking, the Indy points out, amid the ruins of the city: “A bombed out Soviet-style apartment block seemed like an unlikely prop for feel-good propaganda but the authorities obviously had no choice.” The caption to this AP photo is “Chechen police guard the Finance ministry during a news conference of Chechya's president, Alu Alkhanov in the Chechen capital of Grozny, Monday, Nov. 28, 2005.”

Putin is pretending this is some sort of purple-finger moment, claiming, for fuck’s sake, that the Chechen people “have shown that no one can scare them.”

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