Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Geaghan: "Professing virtues he does not respect..."

At the risk of immodesty, I note that I long ago ventured a prediction that George Bush would discover global warming toward the end of his term and propose some very mild "solutions" that would allow him to claim that he was on top of this issue, if not downright prophetic. Of course these "solutions" would have little political or budgetary effect on him, since their effects (even if adopted) would be delayed until after his successor takes office.

Tonight, in the State of the Union address, Bush may finally be coming out of the closet as a crypto-environmentalist, with his staff suggesting that his proposals on energy and fuel economy will "knock your socks off."

Bush's model for this political strategy has been clear for some time in Iraq:
"One credible forecast is that Bush is intent on delaying any withdrawal in Iraq until the next president takes office. Leslie Gelb, a former State Department official in the Carter administration, said: 'The worst challenge the next president will inherit will be to figure out how to lose in Iraq without the appearance of losing. Then there's huge problems at either end of Asia - Iran and North Korea. The next president is heading into the biggest, most dangerous set of problems we've faced since the Cuban missile crisis.'" Sunday Herald (Scotland), January 23, 2007.
And so it is across the board, from global warming to budget and trade deficits.

As for the Bush transformation on global warming, the great Ambrose Bierce so nicely put it:
HYPOCRITE, n. One who, professing virtues that he does not respect, secures the advantage of seeming to be what he despises. The Devil's Dictionary (1906)
GRAPHIC: U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

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