Best Speech Ever!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I intend to analyze why the President's speech on Tuesday had a rate of secondary-applause-per-minute that was only 44.5% of what it was in 2002. I submit to you, that the reason is his audience's inability to recognize oratorial genius. For Bush to present himself as a strong, reasonable and decisive leader in 2002, in light of the September 11th attacks and his invasion of Afghanistan was simple enough, but for him to manage to do the same thing this week after four years of utter ineptitude required a display of semantic gymnastics the likes of which have never before been seen on this earth.

Even before the speech began, Bush's minions were at work. W. had invited Cindy Sheehan, a pro-peace activist who lost her son in Iraq, to attend the speech. Not surprisingly, she wore a t-shirt listing the number of US soldiers who had died so far. She was arrested. Obviously the charges were dropped immediately after the speech, because well, there's no law against wearing a t-shirt with a number on it. This might seem ethically questionable, however, Bush's goons also arrested the wife of a congressman who was wearing a tshirt which said "Support our Troops" at the same time. As a result, they made the intentions behind the arrests so complicated and inexplicable that they were difficult to criticize because of their sheer incomprehensibility. This would be the theme of Bush's speech.

In the opening lines of this State of the Union address, President Bush created, in my eyes, perhaps the greatest-ever euphemism for cataclysmic disaster, when he described his time in office as "one of the most consequential periods of our history." Unfortunately, congress did not recognize the brilliance of this obfuscatorial feat and failed to applaud. Considering that Bush has presided over the quagmire that is Iraq, the collapse of the Auto Industry, Hurricane Katrina and the proliferation of nuclear weapons in Iran, to proudly take credit for the consequences of his actions in this manner takes an amount of chutzpah not possessed by all the Jewish grandsons in New York City. And just to show us that this was no idle slip of the tongue, he concluded his speech with the phrase "Fellow citizens, we've been called to leadership in a period of consequence."

When Bush declared that "On September the 11th, 2001, we found that problems originating in a failed and oppressive state 7,000 miles away could bring murder and destruction to our country," congress once again failed to applaud. Perhaps this is because the members of congress are at least partially-educated and took him to be referring to Afghanistan. The brilliance that they failed to see is this: Bush knows full well that half the American people still believe Saddam Hussein was responsible for the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11th and he certainly does not want to dissuade them of this idea. However, he also recognizes that anyone with a functional brain knows this is a lie and so, he makes this ingeniously vague statement. Look at it. It's not even clear what country he's referring to! Certainly Iraq and Afghanistan are about the right distance away, and they're both pretty thoroughly failed and oppressive. But considering that 15 of the 19 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia and considering the imprecision of the word 'failed,' he could easily be referring to Saudi Arabia as well. So this one sentence is both a heinous perpetuation of America's ignorance AND the most refreshingly candid thing Bush has ever said about his family's long-time allies in the oil cartel.

At other times, he took responsibility for achievements that clearly were not his.
"In recent years, America has become a more hopeful nation. Violent crime rates have fallen to their lowest levels since the 1970s. Welfare cases have dropped by more than half over the past decade. Drug use among youth is down 19 percent since 2001. There are fewer abortions in America than at any point in the last three decades." This statement is particularly awesome for a pro-life president to make following the release of Freakonomics which proved statistically that the leading cause in the recent drop in crime was the legalization of abortion in the 70's.

On a number of occasions Bush simply stated the exact opposite of the truth with such certainty and confidence as to be convincing --

"Our government has a responsibility to provide health care for the poor and the elderly, and we are meeting that responsibility." I guess if he means the legislated responsibilities of the state which he hasn't yet unlegislated, then yes, the government is meeting these responsibilities.

Or twisted the truth, with clever little adjectives like "non-security" --

"Every year of my presidency, we've reduced the growth of non-security discretionary spending, and last year you passed bills that cut this spending." The balls that it takes to present himself as somehow fiscally responsible when the budget deficit has reached a new record during EVERY SINGLE YEAR of his presidency is astounding. Congress should have applauded like a thousand missile-strikes on Pakistani villages.

Bush's bold-faced lies were not restricted to factual matters where he might hope that his listeners were uninformed, indeed he made abstract claims of such a profoundly illogical nature that their veracity could be disproved with nothing but a dictionary and common sense --

"There is no peace in retreat." As far as I understand peace, at least one warring party HAS TO retreat or surrender. The idea that one could somehow achieve peace by pressing ever-forward into war is a spectacular feat of absurdity unequaled even by Beckett or Ionesco. Applause!

"Freedom is on the march." A march is a military walk, a lock-step precision which binds a group of people to a single rhythm contrary to their desires or personal idiosyncracies. I'm pretty sure that freedom gambols or at the very least traipses. It certainly never marches.

I, Matteus Von Mustard, declare the most recent State of the Union address to be THE greatest speech of all time, because Bush has taken Orwellian double-speak out of the pages of our greatest fiction and into the Oval Office with a panache and gusto that many would have considered impossible.


You may remember my analysis of the last State of the Union Address in which I stated that Bush had lost all sense of the meaning of the word freedom and that the speech made more sense if one replaced instances of that term with the word America. For extra credit, please consider the following excerpts in light of that theory:

"No one can deny the success of freedom, but some men rage and fight against it."
"We're continuing reconstruction efforts, and helping the Iraqi government to fight corruption and build a modern economy, so all Iraqis can experience the benefits of freedom."
"Freedom is on the march."


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