Monday, April 24, 2006

1000 American nights

Time magazine has a profile up on the new White House wunderkind, Josh Bolten. Now that Bolten has reassigned the seating, he's looking forward to the bigger challenge of restoring Bush's respectability in the public's eye. Good luck with that, but he does have a five point plan to make it happen. Shorter version:

1. GUNS AND BADGES: Pander to the raging hate-based thugs in the base who want to shoot illegals on sight and put more government patrols on the Mexican border. Bolten envisions some fine photo-ops with our prez surrounded by ATVs and uniformed types waving their weapons.

2. MAKE WALL STREET HAPPY: More tax breaks for the wealthy and seed the talking head shows with fat happy investors singing the praises of our robust economy.

3. BRAG MORE: Gotta quote here. "With gas prices a heavy drain on Bush's popularity, his aides want to trumpet the lofty stock market and stable inflation and interest rates. They also plan to highlight any glimmer of success in Iraq..." Yep, that ought to encourage all the folks that are pawning their family heirlooms to fill their gas tanks. Surely they'll be immensely cheered by the news that investors are making a killing in a market they can't afford to join.

4. RECLAIM SECURITY CREDIBILITY: This is the scary one. They think rattling their sabers against Iran will somehow breed amnesia in the public about Iraq. Who knows, maybe they're right. Folks have forgotten about Afghanistan and we're still fighting there. Nonetheless it's a risky strategy since a recent poll found, "54% of respondents did not trust Bush to 'make the right decision about whether we should go to war with Iran.'" But that's just the political risk to Bush. The geopolitical risk to the American people and the world at large will keep me reaching for the Ativan for the next 1000 days.

5. COURT THE PRESS: This one feels like a bit of pipe dream to me. The gaggle is too jaded from five years of evasion to be bought with flowery phrases -- I hope. Unless the White House intends to woo the media by being more forthcoming about its practices and policies I don't see what changing the face on the pinanta is going to accomplish.

The good news is I think yesterday was the 1000 day mark so we only have to survive another 999 at worst. Hey if Scheherazade could do it, so can we.
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