Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Swing and a Miss, for President Bush

President Bush interrupted ABC's broadcast of The Path to 9/11 last night. Despite what sounded like some phrases by Peggy Noonan (words like "cherish"), and what a friend of mine pointed out were self-conscious imitations of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address ("rededicate"), Bush had nothing new to say. He couldn't name the enemy America is fighting. He couldn't explain the link between Iraq and Bin Laden (Hint: if UBL could get away with 9/11, why wouldn't Saddam try something, too?). He was wrong on the "clash of civilizations" argument--what's the point of dissing Samuel Huntington when you clearly don't have anything better to offer. His "war for civilization" didn't tell us who was fighting on which side. How can Americans recognize those fighting "against civilization"?

Lest this seem nitpicking, I'll note that the overall context served to make Bush's speech look like a scene in The Path to 9/11, so that when the final grades from the 9/11 commission appeared in the end titles--giving the Bush administration several D's and an F--they also read like Bush's grade card for the President's Address to the Nation....