Thursday, January 15, 2009

Shorter Bush Farewell Speech: Smirk

For the last time tonight, a man with nothing to say addressed a nation that doesn’t care what he has to say and a posterity that won’t be looking to his words for inspiration. So it wasn’t Washington’s farewell speech, is what I’m saying.

It was primarily about justifying the past (i.e., praising himself) rather than looking forward to the future, and as such you’ve heard most of it before. He got to his first mention of 9/11 with unseemly speed. He seems to have said that the reason there hasn’t been another terrorist attack is because we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.

He didn’t use his old messianic language of generational ideological crusades, and he didn’t bring up The War Against Terror (TWAT), which already seems like a quaint concept of a bygone era, but he did continue to push the view that the US is a benevolent spreader of liberty throughout the world. Evidently, “If America does not lead the cause of freedom, that cause will not be lead.” He has such a truly impoverished concept of freedom.

He compared “two dramatically different systems.” In one a small band of fanatics demands total obedience to an oppressive ideology (for those keeping track at home, that’s the other side), while the other is based on the conviction that freedom is the universal gift of Almighty God. He gave no options for a system not centered on a belief in God and an attribution of ideological preferences to Him. I’ll leave it to someone else to count up the total number of religious references in this speech.

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