Democratic Underground

When Presidents Think You Are as Dumb as They Are
October 8, 2001
by Morris Smith

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Itís amazing the things you can hear on the radio...

I was driving along, minding my own business, when I heard a radio report about Army General Henry H. Shelton retiring. There was all of the fanfare, pomp and circumstance that usually follow these events, and I was close to changing the channel. Then I heard it.

Shelton said that the Usurper-in-Chief had told America's military to get ready to respond to the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Shelton said in response, "I am proud to report, America's military is ready."

Whoa! I almost ran off the road!

And it gets worse. Straight from the chimp's mouth, as it were. "We will win the war, and there will be costs," Bush said during a meeting with top Pentagon brass. He continued, saying that America's military "is ready to defend freedom at any cost."

Maybe itís just me, but I hate it when our leaders think we're stupid. Can he possibly think our memories are that short? To remind you all, here are Bush's words from a little over a year ago:

"Our military is low on parts, pay and morale. If called on by the commander-in-chief today, two entire divisions of the Army would have to report... Not ready for duty, sir."

So what are we to believe? The military hasn't substantially changed in a year. There has been no, read ZERO, new money appropriated by Bush since he uttered that statement. He hasnít even addressed the problem yet. He's been too busy passing his tax cut for the rich.

But perhaps we're being short sighted. After all, I can hear the Right's comeback now. "Oh, there is so much higher morale in the military now. Now they know there is somebody in the White House who is on their side."

Let us leave behind the obvious evidence of Bush's pusillanimous nature back when he had the chance to serve his country in uniform. If indeed the military has been able to rebound just because of a change at the top, then the next question is obvious: Why do they need more money?

Republicans are masters of telling the rest of us that throwing money is not the solution to a problem, that some problems are deeper and more systemic; that attitude plays a role; etc, etc. Now, on the eve of their greatest triumph, they falter! They could turn around and wag their fingers in our collective faces and say "Look! We turned around this pathetic, stumblebum, Keystone Kops military that Clinton left us and got them ready for the threat ahead, and all without spending a dime! We told you all along!" And we would have no choice but to say, "OK, you're right... I don't know what we were thinking... you win."

There can only be one reason that they don't take advantage of this situation... Back in last August, when Bush delivered his assessment of the military... HE WAS LYING!

This should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed Bush to any degree. If there is one thing this man has taught us, it's that character matters. Its obvious that when Bush was saying that he didnít mind losing and that he would happily go back to Crawford and his ranch, that was a lie. He and his lieutenants pulled every dirty trick in the book to get him in power last year.

"America understands that a guy doesn't know the name of every single foreign leader." This was Bush's lame excuse back when he flunked the foreign policy pop quiz given to him by a Boston Globe reporter. Another weak fabrication on his part. Now the Pakistani leader Bush once knew only as "General" has become his new best friend.

And back at the Republican National Convention, Bush knew that the military was nowhere near the dire straits he said it was. But how was he to know that he would need the military so soon? How was he to know that he would have to eat those rash words of last year?

How was he to know that lies have consequences and people have memories?