The world will not long remember what President Bush said yesterday, at the dedication of the Victims of Communism Memorial, but at least he didn't let an Albanian steal his wristwatch, so the White House is calling it a win.
It wasn't exactly soaring oratory, but he did manage to get from 100 million victims of totalitarianism to 9/11 in less than nine paragraphs, and -- while not even a personal best -- that's still pretty good.
(Performance wise, it wasn't so hot. He kinda phoned it in. As a performance, it was less like Lincoln at Gettysburg and more like Adam West at a car show.)
Now, there are some people who might think Bush cheapens everything he touches, and that using Stalin and Mao's dead millions as a way to plug the occupation of Iraq is sort of loathsome, but they're missing the point. It's the only speech Bush gives. You know that when you book him.
If you go to a Kinks concert, you're going to hear "Lola." If you go to a George Bush show, you're going to hear about the time he let 19 guys fly four planes into three buildings and a field.
And how, since then, to put an end to murder, we've killed and killed and killed and killed.
The 9/11 part of Bush's speech yesterday is such boilerplate that he can actually use it for any occasion. And you can too. Just fill in the blanks. Here:
It's important that we recall these lessons because the evil and hatred that inspired (  ) is still at work in the world. We saw its face on September the 11th, 2001. Like (  ), the terrorists and radicals who attacked our nation are followers of a murderous ideology that despises freedom, crushes all dissent, has expansionist ambitions and pursues totalitarian aims.
Like (  ), our new enemies believe the innocent can be murdered to serve a radical vision. Like (  ), our new enemies are dismissive of free peoples, claiming that those of us who live in liberty are weak and lack the resolve to defend our free way of life. And like (  ), the followers of violent Islamic radicalism are doomed to fail. (Applause.)
How many speeches is Bush going to have to give between now and 2008? He can just use this one, and fill in the blank with:
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald
Cut and run Democrats
Loners on shooting sprees
Abortion on demand
Canadian prescription drugs
The Sioux at Little Big Horn
The Boston Red Sox
A $29 dollar DVD player from Target
My mother Barbara
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Which just goes to show what people can do, when they work together, for the common good, without money as a motive.