Does Bush Need Glasses or a Brain Transplant?

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President Bush this last week states Social Security Privatization must come to pass. He also said he sees progress in the war on terrorism. And for all his criticism of activist judges, he pledges to Congress to consult with them on judicial nominees but litmus tests will remain in his selections. So, is he going blind or is it brain atrophy in need of a transplant?

Social Security:
Practically speaking, Pres. Bush has all but guaranteed by his refusal to take privatization of Social Security off the table, that Soc. Sec. reform will not happen on his watch. When all is said and done, that will likely be a good thing. As long as privatization remains on the table, Congress will lack sufficient votes to pass reform prior to next years Congressional elections.

After the 2006 elections, the GOP must focus on keeping the Whitehouse 2 years later and the Soc. Sec. third rail will be electrified again; preventing any GOP sponsored reform which includes privatization, from disenchanting the American voters.

The fact is, America has issues that are more pressing. These include the escalating military budget and its mismanagement, as well as the national debt and rising interest rates, which combined with spiraling Medicare/Medicaid health costs and the looming pension crisis, could create the fiscal 'Perfect Storm". Social Security privatization, as polls show, is not a winning ticket item with the American people, which begs the question of whether the President needs glasses to see that America does not stand with him on this issue. The AARP reports:

The AARP poll of 1,500 adults age 30 and older finds a majority of Americans-66 percent-favor keeping Social Security "as close to the present system as possible." That figure rises to 79 percent among people 60 and older. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center in Washington echoed that finding: 54 percent of respondents support the idea of private accounts. But only 29 percent think it's more important to allow workers to have private accounts than it is to preserve Social Security's guaranteed benefit.
Perhaps it is just a lame brain for a lame duck, which would preclude this President having to don spectacles to see the American People don't want his SS privatizing plan.

War On Terrorism:
The War on Terror through the President's eyes, however, is a real quandary. Eyes or brain? One or the other is in a serious state of malfunction when the President says he sees real progress. LBJ and Nixon touted that warn threadbare phrase "we are making real progress" year in and year out as the death toll continued to mount and the costs of the Viet Nam War derailed the Great Society programs and underpinned the economic woes of the Nixon and Ford years.

In raw numbers of US losses, Iraq is no Viet Nam. CNN.com reports:

There have been 1,848 coalition troop deaths, 1,664 Americans, 89 Britons, 10 Bulgarians, one Dane, two Dutch, two Estonians, one Hungarian, 25 Italians, one Kazakh, one Latvian, 17 Poles, one Salvadoran, three Slovaks, 11 Spaniards, two Thai and 18 Ukrainians in the war in Iraq as of June 1, 2005.

When Bush gave his dramatic Mission Accomplished speech aboard the carrier in May of 2003, fewer than 150 Americans were killed in the Iraq war. Since then, American losses have increased one thousand one hundred percent and Pres. Bush calls this progress. The official military count on American wounded is now 12,762 and many agree this number is greatly under reported. If the number of American dead and maimed is the measure of success, then, yes, Bush is right, we are making progress.

Acts of terrorism and their death toll continue to increase around the globe. P. Parameswaran of the Middle East Times reports on US official figures released this year:

The US National Counterterrorism Center, an arm of the Central Intelligence Agency, said in a report there were 651 terrorist attacks across the globe last year with 1,907 people killed.

This compares with 208 attacks involving 625 fatalities in 2003, according to State Department figures released last year.

A total of 6,704 people were wounded in terrorist strikes last year, according to the center, compared to the 3,646 reported for 2003. Another 710 people were taken hostage in 2004, the new report said.

Just in the last week, a number of suicide bombing stories appeared and another article reports a resurgence of terrorism here in the US in this story entitled: Burning crosses signal return of Ku Klux Klan. Fox News reported on May 11 of a new study showing:

that the number of reported bias crimes and civil rights violations against Muslims in the United States soared to its highest level last year since the period immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
And the President sees real progress? Perhaps he just misspoke, again, and was referring to the terrorists making real progress.


Judicial Nominees:
The President announced he would consult with Congress on future judicial nominees. He didn't say which Congresspersons he would consult with. Nor did he say he would listen to anything they have to say regarding potential nominees. It may be that Pres. Bush defines consultation as a memo of announcement of his upcoming nominees 24 hours before the nomination. We don't know yet. However, it is clear from this ABC report that Pres. Bush will not relinquish his litmus test for nominees. The article states:

President Bush is promising to consult with senators on a Supreme Court nominee, although he says he'll also hold fast to his determination to "find people of a certain temperament" to serve on the bench.

What is so telling is Bush's odd use of the word 'temperament' which one online dictionary depicts as an interval used in tuning instruments, a person's usual mood, or "excessive emotionalism or irritability and excitability (especially when displayed openly)". Since it is obvious his use of the word in this context of judicial nominees is meaningless, its use was not meant to inform, but, to hide.

But why hide what was obvious? Isn't it obvious the President will continue to nominate ultra-conservative persons who will reflect the President's commitment to overturning Roe V. Wade, dismantling affirmative action, and safeguarding corporations and businesses from consumers and their advocacy group efforts? Perhaps this lame duck's lame brain just misspoke, yet again. Perhaps he has never understood what the word means and didn't know to ask the speechwriter if they knew what it meant. Or, perhaps, the President did know what that word would mean to millions of other Americans who don't know what the word means. Somehow, I think the latter explanation is the most likely. Glasses or brain transplant? Perhaps both.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on June 2, 2005 2:47 PM.

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