Greetings, America, and welcome to your Bush Has A Few Last Things To Tell America Tonight, For Some Reason, Farewell Address liveblog. Sorry Kath and Kim, you, like Scooter Libby, are officially a casualty in out Global War On Terror. I have no idea what tonight's address is supposed to be about. But that's only because I have not availed myself of any information that might offer up insight in that regard. Maybe he will do something useful, for America, like recap the last season of Battlestar Galactica for us, in advance of tomorrow's season premiere. Or maybe he'll do something bad, like reveal the identity of the final Cylon. (SPOILER ALERT: It is Dick Cheney, obviously.) Anyway, let's see what he has to say about his glorious eight year term as King of Fallujah.
Hello, it's Brian Williams, easing us in to tonight's festivities. David Gregory says that it is a "remarkable sight." What? It's the East Room. It's a podium. It's a room full of cronies. Yes, David, this is BREATHTAKING.
Bush says that it's been a great eight years, and he has a thankful heart, so he's giving us this address. In five days, we will experience the "vitality of democracy" because the next President will not be seated by the fiat of a Supreme Court majority.
Dick Cheney is there! And so is Laura. And the Doles!
DRINK! First mention of September 11. You didn't think we'd get through an address without that getting mentioned, did you? It's a wonder he's not moving to 911 Septembereleventh Place, Dallas TX, 911911. Anyway, it was one of his best lines. Straight up defeated John Kerry with little more than the words "September 11" and promise to buy us some wood.
Anyway, he remembers standing in the rubble of 9-11, with rescue workers, where he made a firm promise to himself: "I'm not doing this if it ever happens in New Orleans."
OMG! WATCH OUT PRESIDENT BUSH! THERE'S A HIDEOUS GHOUL OF SOME KIND - oh, never mind, it's just Michael Chertoff. He will hopefully claim the One True Ring from Frodo tonight.
Afghanistan is a "young democracy" that is "encouraging girls to go to school." Iraq is now an "Arab democracy and a friend of the United States." I need so many scare quotes for that sentence! Iraqis are cobbling together their life savings to buy those shoes that guy threw at the President.
Bush described the terrorist system as "a small band of fanatics that demands total obedience to an oppressive ideology, condemns women to subservience and marks unbelievers for murder." I guess it's that last part that separates them from the Bush White House.
Anyway, America is bringing "dying patients back to life" and students are studying and seniors are living and addicts are getting methadone and our air and water are cleaner and John Roberts and Sam Alito are straight up grantin' mad certs at the Supreme Court. The economy...well...it's seen better days.
"There are things I'd do differently, if I had the chance." None of these will be elucidated to the people, ever.
Shorter Bush, "You may not have always agreed with my decisions, but you must agree that I made them."
"Our nation is safer than it was seven years ago," he says, adding that we are in terrible danger of another terrorist attack, that will plunge the country into more danger, followed by safety. And then danger again.
There's Condoleezza Rice, juxtaposed on the screen as Bush says the words "confidence and clear purpose." This is called "visual irony."
We must reject isolationism, and protectionism, and rejectionism, and antidisestablishmenterianism. Solipsism, however, clearly is allowed.
"I've often spoken to you about good and evil, and between the two, there can be no compromise." I think he means us to be pro-good, or something.
Thomas Jefferson is quoted, because Rod Blagojevich stole all the good poems. "I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past." And yet, Jefferson's history stacks up a lot better than certain points in the future, doesn't it?
America is constantly growing, renewing, exploring its body, with lotions.
Now Bush is introducing some people who accomplished great things. Like a principal from New Orleans and a doctor who's son gave his life in valiant service to the nation. I think Bush is probably right to deflect attention onto other people in the room.
Anyway, more platitudes: we will never falter or fail, there have been good days and "tough days." "And I will carry with me a title that means more to me than any other: Citizen of the United States of America." I don't think anyone objects to his return to that title.
"And so, for the final time, goodnight." And thus endeth this address.
Now, David Gregory is on, giving "analysis" with Brian Williams, on fifteen minutes worth of platitudes. Brian Williams is trying to draw an equivalence to today's airplane water landing in the Hudson with 9/11. TWO MOMENTS IN TIME. Anyway, Chelsey Sullenberger is the awesome pilot who landed that plane and got everyone off safely, and he should be on teevee for fifteen minutes, because he is terrific.
Anyway, that's it for that. This, indeed, was a momentous address, fraught with fraughtiness. This moment calls to mind the words of a great man, named Black Francis, which fit this moment perfectly: "If man is 5,
then the devil is 6, then god is 7. This monkey's gone to heaven." Good night, and now, please enjoy The Office, and 30 Rock.