By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Bush post-mortem

I fell asleep right after President Bush’s second recitation of the 800 number, although I did read the transcript this morning. The media buzz seems to be that he met the low expectations that had been set for him, but that this was no New York bullhorn moment.

Josh Marshall, who’s obsessing (I mean that in a good way) over Bush’s choice of Karl Rove to oversee the reconstruction, says this:

MARSHALL: Then there’s the president’s great line from the speech: “It is now clear that a challenge on this scale requires greater federal authority and a broader role for the armed forces.”

No, it’s not. Actually, every actual fact that’s surfaced in the last two weeks points to just the opposite conclusion. There was no lack of federal authority to handle the situation. There was faulty organization, poor coordination and incompetence.

Show me the instance where the federal government was prevented from doing anything that needed to be done because it lacked the requisite authority….

This is how repressive governments operate – mixing inefficiency with authoritarian tendencies.

You don’t repair disorganized or incompetent government by granting it more power. You fix it by making it more organized and more competent. If conservatism can’t grasp that point, what is it good for?

That sounds about right to me.

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God almighty


Severin watch


  1. Anonymous

    Note to all future Presidents: get in trouble,find yourself a lovely blue church, to sit smartly over your right shoulder. It alludes to you being in God’s good graces and is better than that grim, serious, fateful Oval office.

  2. Kaka

    As I watching (volume muted) Bush’s speech last night I was reminded of something that happened a couple of years ago. I was visiting my sister and her family. My sister and her husband are very Republican and I am a Democrat, so for sake of peace we don’t discuss politics. Anyway, I remember getting a glass of milk and looking at the pictures on sister’s fridge. She had a beautiful picture of Christ with his arms stretched out and a man standing in front of him. Both were facing front and so to me it was meant to look like Christ was ‘guiding’ man. I looked closer at the picture and realized that the man was Bush. George W. I couldn’t believe it. I gave my head a shake and looked again but sure enough it was Bush. I was stunned. My sister walked into the kitchen and noticed that I was looking at the picture and said ‘We just love our President’. I couldnt speak. And then last night, there he was again. Not with the military, not with any aides or advisors. Nope he goes straight for the big guns, a House of God. I am amazingly offended! I didn’t think I could be more offended by George Bush until last night, and I wasn’t even listening to what he had to say (I have since read the transcripts). I lived in New Orleans for 10 years during the ’90’s and I am broken hearted at the way he (he claims responsibility) has handled this disaster!

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