Monday, January 24, 2005

What's the Point? 

I call attention to Kevin Drum's piece on Bush's inaugural speech:
POLITICAL BUFFOONERY....George Bush's inaugural speech was fine as far as it went. We're all in favor of freedom and democracy, after all.

But I've now read — what? At least half a dozen stories trotting out Bush confidants and senior aides, both named and unnamed, to assure us that Bush was just talking smack. He didn't really mean anything he said, and friendly dictators around the world don't have a thing to worry about. Poppa Bush is the latest.

Even accepting that rhetorical BS is a politician's stock in trade, this is inexplicable. What's the point in giving a speech like this if you're going to spend the next week telling everyone to ignore it? This is political buffoonery of a high degree.

Well put. How can anyone-reporter, pundit or politician, go on a talk show, and tout this as a great speech, or one that will be remembered for years to come, if it doesn't really mean anything?!? I just don't get it. Sure, most political speeches have to be taken with a grain of salt, but why does it have to be that way? Will he be saying the word "Freedom", next time he stands next to Putin or Uzbek strongman Karimov? Absolutely not. As Chris Suellentrop says, "rather than criticizing Bush's speech, Democrats should nod vigorously and then hold him to it."


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