To use those sports cliches that pundits like to deploy when talking about politics, President George W. Bush needed to hit a home run in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night to save his sagging, corrupt Presidency.
Instead, he fouled out.
Offering nothing but pathetic political platitudes, Bush fell back on his tired, overused con game of “trust me, I’m your President.” Problem is, America no longer trusts this man who has lied, abused the Constitution and misused the power of the Presidency to further his tarnished political goals.
In another sports analogy, Bush looked like a tired fighter, worn out, against the ropes, flailing wildly but seldom connecting.
The con man is out of cons. He has gone to that well once too often and no one is buying his snake oil.
“I thought that speech was tired,” said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, an Illinois Democrat. “I thought that speech said, ‘if you liked the last six years, we’re going to give you two more years of that.’”
While you’d expect a Democrat to find fault with Bush’s speech, the truth is the President looked, acted and sounded tired, like a runner out of breath, unable to muster enough strength to cross the finish line. While the Republican party leadership offered its usual collection of worn-out clichés to try and support the President’s speech, Americans across the country – Republican and Democrat – expressed doubt, dismay and disbelief at what they heard.
In New Orleans, a 75-year-old Republican and Korean War veteran watched the State of the Union Speech and shook his head.
“Did I miss something? That’s all he had to offer? I think that’s a crying shame,” he said.
In interviews with Americans who watched the speech, reporters found skepticism and disappointment that crossed party lines and revealed an angry nation fed up with its President and his many failures.
They know the state of the union is bad and the nation is in trouble. They no longer buy the lies from the man responsible.
Bush offered another lame attempt to justify his illegal orders allowing the National Security Agency to spy on Americans, a claim that virtually every legal scholar – Republicans included – call phony and an outright violation of the Constitution.
He served up his tired rhetoric that anyone who dares oppose his policies is aiding and abetting the enemy and repeated the often-discounted argument that his dictatorial policies have made America safer in this age of international terrorism.
In a dramatic, pitiful example of how repressive America has become under Bush, antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan was led from the House gallery in handcuffs because she committed the horrific crime of wearing a T-shirt protesting the Iraq war.
Sheehan’s t-shirt read: “2,245 Dead. How many more?” — a reference to the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq.” Accounts differ on what happened. Capitol Police spokesmen claimed they ordered her to cover it up and she refused. Sheehan says she was never told to cover the t-shirt but was simply arrested in an obvious violation of free speech. But free speech does not exist in George W. Bush’s America and Capitol police held her incommunicado for four hours so the TV cameras could never focus on her or her anti-Bush message.
In St. Louis, Republican Diane Jenkins, joined friends in a downtown bar to watch Bush and said she felt like getting drunk after the speech.
“The man is a crook,” she said. “He belongs in jail, not the White House.”