Wednesday, February 01, 2006

C-Span Becomes the Sci-Fi Channel, and Other Great Moments in Dumbitude
Clearly, the big "what the hell did he just say?" moment from the State of the Union speech last night was the bit asking Congress to pass legislation banning "human-animal hybrids." I missed it completely when perusing the transcript this morning, but a friend called it to my attention. P.Z. Myers explains that yes, there is something happening in the reality-based community that could be construed as creating human-animal hybrids, although you'd have to be an ignorant hysteric to see it as evil. It's actually being done in hopes of finding a cure for Down's Syndrome.

Gosh, nobody wants to see that happen.

Myers also takes Quote of the Day for explaining why this reference was in the speech to begin with. I guessed it was probably wingnut code of some kind, like the reference to the Dred Scott decision during one of the debates with Kerry. But Myers says that actually, "It's pure political calculus. He throws away the mad scientist and pig-man vote, and wins the religious ignoramus vote . . . and we know which one has the majority here."

(By the way, Echidne of the Snakes thinks she's found the actual wingnut code in last night's speech.)

So now that the big speech is over, the post-speech campaign swing is underway. He was in Nashville this afternoon, where he gave another version of the speech that sparked this humorous headline from the AP: "Bush Urges Confidence in His Leadership." Tell you what, sir--I'll start having confidence in you when you stop saying manifestly ignorant things like our economy is "roaring." Or that we're going to cut oil imports by 75 percent, which you quite clearly said, but your flacks rolled that back with amazing speed. It's astounding to me that the single point from the speech most swiftly revealed as bullshit--by the White House itself--was the big, headline-grabbing point released before the speech last night. (It would be even more astounding if Bush hadn't already raised the bar for bullshit that astounds.)

"Human-animal hybrids." Christ. I'd love to live in a country where that's a big threat. I'd gladly trade our pending economic and environmental disasters for it. And he wants us to have confidence in his leadeship. There's something pathetic about that. A real leader, someone who's capable and who knows he's capable, doesn't have to ask people to have confidence in him. For Bush to urge people to have confidence in his leadership is a little like me going to the Super Bowl and urging people to have confidence in my ability to quarterback the Steelers. And it's going to turn out about as well.

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