Even though I think that BushCo is continuing to make great progress on his real agenda and that all the talk about the public Agenda is mostly PR nonsense, I'm having a good time making fun of the popular corporate media meme that BushCo is obsessed with rescuing his Second-Term Agenda from the dustbin of history now that polls reflect the rotten job he's been doing for five years. Along those lines, it's important to note that the Official Second-Term Agenda has changed. Up until yesterday we were operating on this version, announced during his victory lap press conference on Nov. 4 of last year:
And it's one of the wonderful -- it's like earning capital. You asked, do I feel free. Let me put it to you this way: I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style. That's what happened in the -- after the 2000 election, I earned some capital. I've earned capital in this election -- and I'm going to spend it for what I told the people I'd spend it on, which is -- you've heard the agenda: Social Security and tax reform, moving this economy forward, education, fighting and winning the war on terror.
We have an obligation in this country to continue to work with nations to help alleve poverty and disease. We will continue to press forward on the HIV/AIDS initiative, the Millennium Challenge Account. We will continue to do our duty to help feed the hungry. And I'm looking forward to it, I really am.
Good times. I included the foreign policy part because I wanted to prove to myself that even though it seems like the consuming force that drives him now, we weren't hearing anything about an FTAA before this week. Anyway, it looks like all that may have been rendered inoperative because now we have a new outline to work from, announced this week during the Summit of the Americas:
""My obligation is to set an agenda and I've done that. And the agenda's fighting and winning the war on terror and keeping the economic vitality and growth alive, dealing with the energy problem, nominating people to the Supreme Court that adhere to the philosophy that I can depend on."" (the pro-war WaPo initially reported that as "the philosophy that I campaigned on.")
Ending terror? Check.
Vital economy? Check.
Energy? What now?
Philosophical Supreme Court packing? Huh?
Social Security? Gone. (but not forgotten)
Tax Reform? Not so much.
Alleviating poverty and disease? Are you kidding? That's so Chavez.
Later, in an attempt to dodge a question from Ms. Bumiller about polls that show that most of America thinks he's a liar, BushCo expanded on the new Agenda:
Well, no, I understand there is a preoccupation by polls and by some. I think this may be -- I think we've got -- this is maybe the fourth or fifth consecutive semi-press conference -- press conference or semi-press conference that I've been asked about polls. The way you earn credibility with the American people is to declare an agenda that everybody can understand, an agenda that relates to their lives, and get the job done. And the agenda that I'm working on now is one that is important to the American people.
First of all, it's to protect our country; it's to understand that we're at war with a radical ideology that wants to inflict harm on America and, at the same time, use that harm they inflict to achieve territorial ambition. I've talked a lot recently about the Zawahiri letter to Zarqawi, which is a clear statement of purpose by these terrorists. It should be viewed for what it is: an open warning to the free world that this is a very vital war and we need to win it. So I spend a lot of time talking about that -- and more than talking about it, acting on it.
Secondly, you know, our economy has shown amazing resilience in the face of natural disaster, as well as rising energy prices. But we've got to have policies in place that make it possible for the economy to continue to grow. You know, we're down here talking about trade -- it's hard to trade with somebody if they're broke. And I've told our partners that we've got good economic growth now.
I'm sorry, I have to interrupt Dear Leader - what in the hell is he talking about??? Who's worried that we're broke? Are we broke? Is China making noise?
He rambled on:
But what we need to do is to work with Congress to make sure that we deal with the energy crisis -- what can we do to deal with the energy crisis? Well, we can expand refinery capacity in the United States. I mean, it should be apparent to the members of Congress that when the Katrina hit there was massive disruptions of our own capacity to make gasoline, which put us in a precarious position for the consumers -- which would affect the economy, by the way.
And so we'll be talking to Congress about a further energy initiative to make sure we've got economic growth. We've obviously got work to do with Katrina and Rita, the damage from those hurricanes.
And I mentioned the Supreme Court. This is a very vital issue for the United States Senate and for the country. Sam Alito, Jr., is an incredibly intelligent, well qualified person who should be on the Court. I told the leadership I thought it would be best to have the hearings before Christmas. They didn't feel like they could get the job done. I talked to Chairman Specter, and the reason why, at least he explained to me, that he couldn't get the hearings done before Christmas is because Alito had written so many opinions and he wanted to make sure he had time to read them. And they made that decision. Fortunately, there is a firm date and we look forward to working on that date.
And, finally, an issue that is of concern to the American people is the border, is border security. I signed an appropriations bill for border security and during that signature ceremony talked about our strategy to use technology and border patrol and wise policies to do our job, which is to prevent people from illegally -- not only people, but, by the way, contraband, guns and drugs -- from coming into our country illegally. And so that's the agenda before us, and that's the agenda that I will continue to work on.
Ah, border security, of course. But they don't read polls in this White House.
I'll be interested to see if the corporate media, so obsessed with The Agenda, which isn't really an agenda at all but more of one big campaign ad, picks up on the fact that we have a brand new one to talk about and why that may be the case.