What Bush was thinking

At the end of his CNN interview before the State of the Union address, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was asked a no-trick question: “What is the state of the union?” And he gave a no-duck answer: “I think it’s troubled — to say anything else would be dishonest.”

At the end of his State of the Union speech, which could have been titled “No President Left Behind,” President Bush declared that “…so long as we continue to trust the people, our nation will prosper, our liberty will be secure and the state of our Union will remain strong.”

So our job now is to revisit Bush’s State of the Union address and figure out what he really thinks the state of the United States is.

To do this, we start with one basic assumption: The president is smart enough to know the whole truth, including those truths he thinks about but is too smart to actually say. So, if he won’t say them, we will.

Bush said: “As we meet tonight, our economy is undergoing a period of uncertainty. America has added jobs for a record 52 straight months, but jobs are now growing at a slower pace. Wages are up, but so are prices for food and gas. Exports are rising, but the housing market has declined. At kitchen tables across our country, there is a concern about our economic future . … On housing, we must trust Americans with the responsibility of homeownership and empower them to weather turbulent times in the housing market …”

Bush thought: Why couldn’t the economy have held on for one more year? This sub-prime-mortgage disaster was absolutely the last thing I needed — but at least I wasn’t stupid enough to mention it in this speech. Why get all the critics yammering that I should have seen it coming, said something and done something way earlier? Well, I would have, if anybody had told me to. How was I to know? Even Cheney didn’t know.

Bush said: “Next week, I’ll send you a budget that terminates or substantially reduces 151 wasteful or bloated programs, totaling more than $18 billion.”

Bush thought: Why the heck didn’t my budget guys tell me I had to cut those programs years ago — instead of listening to our Republican pals who ran Congress and wanted to protect their pet projects?

Bush said: “The budget that I will submit will keep America on track for a surplus in 2012. American families have to balance their budgets; so should their government.”

Bush thought: With the economy in slo-mo, the deficit will only get worse. And critics will say my surplus by 2012 can’t happen because our budget won’t include the real long-term cost of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Only in the second half of his address did Bush get around to mentioning Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bush said: “Ladies and gentlemen, some may deny the surge is working, but among the terrorists there is no doubt. Al Qaeda is on the run in Iraq, and this enemy will be defeated.”

Bush thought: The Democrats are the best thing I have going — they keep saying the surge didn’t work when America knows the numbers show it did. What they don’t know is that even I don’t know why it worked. Part was our surge — but part was the Sunni insurgents who stopped killing our guys and began fighting Iraqi al Qaeda; also Muqtaqda al Sadr stopped fighting us. I still don’t know all the reasons why they all did that, but thank God and Allah they did.

Bush said: “In Afghanistan, America, our 25 NATO allies and 15 partner nations are helping the Afghan people defend their freedom and rebuild their country … a nation that was once a safe haven for al Qaeda is now a young democracy … These successes must continue, so we’re adding 3,200 Marines to our forces in Afghanistan …”

Bush thought: The Taliban is coming back strong. Afghanistan is going to hell and NATO is bugging out. The Democrats don’t get it yet, but they won’t be stupid forever. Al Qaeda is recruiting big-time all over the Pakistani tribal lands. And even if Iraq works out, our 9/11 attackers may be back in business at the same old store, ready to do it again by the time my chopper lifts off from the South Lawn for the last time. Talk about lousy legacies! It’d be a real nightmare, except, of course, nothing stops me from sleepin’ like a baby. But that reminds me. Note to self: Call Karl. We need to do some more legacy stuff.

(Martin Schram writes political analysis for Scripps Howard News Service. E-mail him at martin.schram(at)gmail.com.)


  1. adb8917


    You wrote this assuming that Bush actually has some kind of inner dialogue with himself. What a charming idea, but so thoroughly discredited over the last seven years.

    I did find it interesting that for all of the GOP’s Jack-in-the-box hooting and hollering on Monday, Bush has gone from being their Holy Grail to that of a Third Rail; and wouldn’t it be grand if he actually inserted himself into the Presidential race?

    I wonder what Karl Rove thinks of his Thousand Year Reich now?


  2. Carl Nemo

    “so long as [we continue to trust the people], our nation will prosper, our liberty will be secure and the state of our Union will remain strong.”…extract from speech, my brackets.

    Say what…?!

    Is there some reason for them to ever distrust us; ie., we the groundlings, we their prey, they the predators…?!

    Is he referring to “we the people” while he and his cabal of untrustworthy, traitorous thieves have raided the U.S. Treasury, indebting us to the 12th of never and is responsible for the engineered “murder” of almost 4,000 of our servicepeople and countless Iraqi’s and other non-combatants, that he and his PNAC, Vulcan gang is now both trusting and depending upon us to save their, evil, corrupt asses from summary accountability…?!

    They have no solid ideas when it comes to turning things around because they are morally, spiritually and intellectually bankrupt! As the countdown for their exit from DC comes everso near, they are all sneaky and furtive like thieves hoping to pull off the greatest heist in the history of the world; ie., eight years of a calculated, engineered ripoff of the U.S. Treasury via an engineered war based on cooked intelligence, courtesy of the Wolfowitz-Feith-Cheney rogue intelligence pipeline.

    Cheney’s been on Halliburton’s payroll the whole time he’s held office. His annual wages held in trust also with a supertanker load of plump stock options all deep in the money waiting for him. Bush’s money managers have no doubt been placing his financial interests heavily in Carlyle Group stocks and anything else that’s linked with the MIC and the oil patch. No doubt there’s a host of camp-following Congressmen and women that have followed suit concerning “smart” investments in these times…no?! Yep, everyone is smiling ear-to-ear in their camp, while “we the people” are now both sobbing and bled white upon the sands of time and quite possibly soon to fail as a nation financially speaking.

    Their bogus emergency aid plan is even now indebting us further to ourselves, our children, grandchildren and endless generations to come. The 10 trillion in public debt can never be repaid due to the compound interest effect. It’s our debt-money they are pitching out to keep the heat from their collective butts. They knew damn well what was coming down since this entire cheap money, housing debacle was engineered too in order to enrich their corrupt banking buddies on Wall Street. Unregulated, unscrupulous loan companies multiplied like rats in a grain elevator, only now the FBI is investigating them…say what?!

    Clinton gave us the “tech bubble” only to crash and Bush gave us the “housing bubble” only to crash too, both the result of lack of regulation and oversight on the part of our Congressional committees and agencies with the responsibility to do so. We are the victims of laissez’ faire pirate capitalism at it’s worst!

    Don’t blame Republicans nor Democrats because there are no such animals, now both one party; ie., “republicrats” and all traitors to “we the people”, the Republic and the Constitution for which it stands. Our Congress is nothing but a fawning, disgusting politburo loaded to the gunnels with apparatchiks; ie., overpaid, nation-destroying parasites…!

    Although many think not, but impeachment is imperative in these times because whoever wins in November either Hillary or McCain will just continue this ongoing criminial enterprise seemingly with no end in sight until we fail as a nation or they decide to turn on us, declare martial law and convert America into their AmeriKa…!

    In these times…”trust no one”…!

    Wake up America…

    The duty links:

    Carl Nemo **==