Wednesday, June 07, 2006

There he is

Sometimes over the past few years I had forgotten why I voted for George W. Bush. Watching the Late Show with David Letterman too many times may give you the impression that everything George says is a meaningless diatribe and a stuttering mess.

Yesterday I turned the news on just in time to catch Bush giving a mini-press conference in Laredo, TX. I have always liked the Bush approach to public events. The man is a straight-shooter, always telling it like it is. He also gives this protracted obnoxious grin that liberals hate. When he does this it is usually when he makes a point he thinks is so obvious you would have to be an idiot not to understand. I also like this because the no-nonsense method is useful when the messages against the man are usually laced with lies. Here are some excerpts from yesterday:

THE PRESIDENT: Nedra, have you got a question?
Q Yes, sir. Can you respond to Iran's initial reaction to the incentives package today?
THE PRESIDENT: Why don't you tell me what it was?
Q Well, the top negotiator said --

Ha! Reaction to the incentives? What kind of a world does this reporter live in? Bush's response was more than to the point "Why don't you tell me what it was?"

What I want is people who have been here for a while to be able to have the choice -- if they pay a fine; if they learn the English language; if they've proven they worked; to be able to get in the citizenship -- in the potential citizenship line -- but at the back of it. See, they don't get to be in the front. The people who have been here legally are in the front of the line. They get to wait in line. And if Congress wants to shorten the line, they increase the number of green cards.

A great line. Although I don't necessarily agree with Bush's stance on immigration, it's funny to see him use the "line" analogy, and then explain that if the "line" is to be shorter it's not up to him.

What else is progress is a common understanding, one, we've got to enforce the border; two, that people need to be treated with respect; three, that there needs to be assimilation; four, that we need to hold employers who break the law to account; five, there needs to be some way to deal with people who are here to work on a temporary basis; and, six, ultimately, we're going to have to do something about people who've been here for a long period of time. In other words, people understand those are the principles that we've got to work on.

Boom, boom, boom. One through six - if you heard him say this live, you know he didn't stumble through these six points - he rattled them off like he had said them a dozen times before.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, ma'am. Where are you from?
Q ABC News.
THE PRESIDENT: ABC News? I suggest getting a little sun screen.

A.K.A. - "You've never left DC, have you?

THE PRESIDENT: Look, if you're one of these types of people that basically say, you know, throw them out -- then you just use the word "amnesty," just toss it around. You know, amnesty is something nobody is for in America. I'm not for it. But in order to frighten people, you just say the word "amnesty."


So my attitude is on that, if a person wants to apply for a citizenship they've got to pay a fine first -- they have broken the laws of the United States and they need to pay a fine. Then they've got to prove they've got a clean criminal record, paid there taxes and work. And then they can apply for citizenship, but they're at the back of the line. See, there's a line of people waiting to become a citizen, and they need to get at the back of the line, not at the front of the line. And that's how I think we can have an orderly system. That's not amnesty.

Amnesty is: okay, everybody who is here, you're a citizen. That's amnesty. And I'm not for that.

Did you catch that? At the end of that phrase is when Bush gave his smile/sneer. That means what he just said he considers very obvious.

Those people ought to be given a temporary worker card for a limited period of time. And when the time is up, they need to go home. That's what a temporary worker is -- it's not a permanent worker card, it's a temporary worker card.

Same smile here. Did you get that?

This speech is one of my favorite straight-shooter speeches that is rivaled only by (and I apologize for not finding the link) one of his Social Security speeches. Bush said something like this:

"The problem with Social Security is that it is going bankrupt. People think that what Social Security is is that you give the government part of your pay check, they hold onto it for you, and when you retire you get it back. That's not what Social Security is."

Same smile here. I'll be sure to try to catch more of Bush's impromptu speeches in the future.

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