Monday, January 22, 2007

My legacy will be written long after I’m president

In an interview with USA Today, Bush says that in the State of the Union Address he’ll scold Congress about earmarks. Well how about this? The Bushies have decided to let a student loan company called Nelnet (say that six times in a row and you turn into Jerry Lewis)(not a one of you said that six times in a row, did you?)(if you’re reading this at work, say it six times in a row in a loud clear voice and they’ll probably give you the rest of the day off) keep $278 million in federal money they weren’t entitled to (I don’t really understand the scheme, but the bottom line is that the Education Dept believes the subsidies were improper but isn’t asking for them back). Nelnet, one finds out in the 17th paragraph but suspected in the first, is a major donor to Republicans.

USA Today asked Bush whether he supported Schwarzenegger’s mandatory health insurance plan. He seems rather to have avoided answering, but did say that it was “interesting” that Arnie, Jeb, and Mitt worked on plans to “meet the needs of their particular states,” which suggests that some states don’t need to have children’s health insured.

Bush more or less admitted that the “surge” plan has convinced no one. In fact, he’s still using the “People want to know whether or not we’ve got a plan to succeed” line. Fortunately, “people” are entirely irrelevant: “the best way to convince them that this makes sense is to implement it and show them that it works”. Hmm, I wonder if there’s a more appropriate way of presenting that sentiment?

But just when will all this convincing take place? Will we, for example, be out of Iraq by 2009? “That’s a timetable; I just told you we don’t put out timetables.” So I ask again, when will we know that “it works”? Here’s a hint from elsewhere in the interview: informed that historian Eric Foner has declared him the worst president ever, he says, “My legacy will be written long after I’m president.” Oh, man, that was the sort of straight line that gives me an ice cream headache.

How about LBJ and Vietnam, they asked, any, you know, lessons from that? “Yes, win. Win, when you’re in a battle for the security … if it has to do with the security of your country, you win.” Really, it’s so simple, I don’t know why Johnson didn’t think of it.

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