Dubya makes another speech

I just finished watching George Bush make yet another bizarre speech, this time directed at the hurricane victims. Much of it was devoted to a long and complicated litany of the procedures to apply for relief -- the kind you expect from some undersecretary or cabinet department spokesperson. Conspicuous in its absence was the vaulting rhetoric that Bush is best known for, replaced this time with the serious earnestness of a bureaucrat. When he dutifully recited the FEMA 1-800 number -- along with a web address -- for what seemed to be the umpteenth time, I just had to laugh.

That most of the evacuees in at least the large shelters don't have access to any media -- leave alone a television -- made it all the funnier. It reminded me of Donald Rumsfeld who served up a radio address to the Iraqi people two months after the invasion at a time when at least half the country didn't have electricity.

What remains unchanged, however, is the posturing to shore up his base. Toward the end, Bush replaced his usual closing spiel about defeating 'evildoers' with a mini-sermon about the importance of prayer. Yup, he's declared Friday Remembrance and Prayer day (or something to that effect).

To be frank, I really do hope that Bush works overtime to help the evacuees -- even if it is for all the wrong reasons. If he can be shamed into offering at least these poor people the assistance that is long overdue and they fully deserve, it will be the only silver lining to this immense tragedy.

(I'll add links to the transcript when it becomes available.)

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