Q Mr. President, I emigrated from Cuba when I was about nine years old -- legally, I might add.
THE PRESIDENT: Pedro Pan? Were you Pedro Pan?
THE PRESIDENT: No? Okay.
That was Dubya, just the other day in Orange County, CA, fielding questions from the audience. In the scripted portion of his remarks, he did his best Dennis Quaid impersonation:
I got a lot on my mind these days; I want to share two thoughts with you. First, I want to talk about the war on terror. I wish I could report to you that the war on terror was over. It's not. There is still an enemy that wants to do us harm. And the most important job of the President of the United States is to protect the American people from that harm. That's -- and I think about it all the time.
He's got a lot on his mind, y'know. But anyway, he keeps repeating this thing about his most important job being to protect the American people. I don't think there's an official job description for president, but the Oath of Office says:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States....so his most important job, judging from the fact that acknowledging it with hand on Bible makes the "elect" vanish from "president-elect," is the bit about the Constitution. If he were getting an employee evaluation, how would he rate on that?
Not only is there a lot on his mind, lately he's trying to string thoughts together sequentially. He used the term "secondly" 10 times in his speech. Well, OK, we might well think, at least he's getting from A to B. The thing is, 3 or 4 of those times, there wasn't any "firstly." I don't mean he wasn't consistent in his rhetorical construction -- I mean he said "secondly" as if he had just made point #1 and was now gonna lay point #2 on us, but there wasn't any point #1. At least that's the way it looks to me. It's hard to tell. His speech, as usual, isn't exactly a model of clarity. Except for this:
The problem is, as you know full well, but others may not, is that when a child gets to high school, our math and science skills, relative to other countries in the world, is abysmal.
Yeahhhh, math and science skills "is" the problem. Graduated Yale, he did. Prepped at Andover.On the other hand, he knew the invasion plan for Iraq was A-OK because ... Gen. Franks went to the same high school as Dubya's wife:
I was comforted by the fact that Tommy and I were raised in the same part of the world. He went to Midland Lee High School with Laura, by the way. I felt like -- I felt like that there was kind of a kinship to begin with, and I'm confident, sir, that Tommy told me exactly what was on his mind. I believe that. And so, therefore, the troop level that he suggested was the troop level necessary to do the job. And I support it strongly.Wonder how Midland Lee High's math and science departments "is"?
And finally, the money quote:
And I can look you in the eye and tell you I feel I've tried to solve the problem diplomatically to the max, and would have committed troops both in Afghanistan and Iraq knowing what I know today.
As in, "Bushmeister, you tapped that keg to the max!" I guess he thought he was in the Valley instead of the O.C. Like, totally!
It's the last phrase that is the truly frightening one -- "what I know today." It is difficult to sleep soundly at night while trying to imagine what that man -- the president of the most powerful country on Earth -- knows today.