Sunday, September 04, 2005

Bush Finally Gets Serious

The New York Times reports that anxiety is growing in the White House - not anxiety for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, but anxiety for the political crisis it wrought. What's a frat boy to do when people disapprove of his behavior? He stops joking around and tries to look serious:

"In a sign of the mounting anxiety at the White House, Mr. Bush made a rare Saturday appearance in the Rose Garden before live television cameras to announce that he was dispatching additional active-duty troops to the Gulf Coast. He struck a more somber tone than he had at times on Friday during a daylong tour of the disaster region, when he had joked at the airport in New Orleans about the fun he had had in his younger days in Houston. His demeanor on Saturday was similar to that of his most somber speeches after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks."
I assume this somber tone was similar to the one he displayed after jublilantly pumping his fist in the air before he appeared on camera to announce the invasion of Iraq (a practiced look, not genuine caring and concern).
"Where our response is not working, we'll make it right," Mr. Bush said, as Mr. Bartlett, with a script in his hand, followed closely.
Kind of doesn't matter to the people who died waiting for help.

The president rearranged his schedule so he could give more attention to the crisis in New Orleans:
The last-minute overhaul of the president's plans reflected what analysts and some Republicans said was a long-term threat to Mr. Bush's presidency created by the perception that the White House had failed to respond to the crisis. Several said the political fallout over the hurricane could complicate a second-term agenda that includes major changes to Social Security, the tax code and the immigration system.
Oh, isn't that cute. He's going to pretend to be concerned about the unfortunate victims of the storm so he can take their social security benefits away from them. There is also concern that Bush's program, "Leave no rich person behind" would be undermined:
Representative Roy Blunt of Missouri, the Republican whip, said it would be a mistake to abandon efforts to reduce the estate tax, arguing that was precisely what the economy needed to grow. But he said he thought the White House might reconsider what it wanted this fall.
Meanwhile, many victims of the storm and the floods have lost everything they own, but will be saddled with their debts which can no longer be discharged through bankruptcy. Welcome to the America of the 21st Century.