Tuesday, May 16, 2006

In this episode of Bush'd!...

First off, let me go on the record and declare that interrupting prime time broadcast during May sweeps is downright anti-American. There, I said it. I mean, don't we have two C-Spans for a reason, so Bush doesn't get in Jack Bauer's way? And can the networks decide on whether they're going to push their schedules back or just preempt their shit? As it was, the season finale of How I Met Your Mother cut into the laughably convoluted but inexplicably satisfying 2-hour finale of Grey's Anatomy. That's just fucking wrong.

Off topic: did anyone else get chills when the instrumentals for Bloc Party's "This Modern Love" kicked in at the end of How I Met Your Mother? Just say yes so I don't look like a total wuss.

That said, last night's prime time speech was a surprise on many levels.

For one, I agree with him on more points than I'd like to admit. I've always argued for a more comprehensive guest worker policy. A limited amnesty (and let's call it what it is, amnesty) for illegal immigrants, I also support (though how many illegals can meet the criteria, I don't know). Though national guards protecting borders? Not against, but I have my reservations.

And Bush trying to find a middle ground was a pleasant surprise after 5 years of divisive rhetoric. A day late and a dollar short, sure, but a welcome change nonetheless.

Still, do we expect any of the measures to go through? This administration has not had a single coherent policy, content to play politics instead, and this isn't any different. His ratings are in the tank so he has to appeal to the mainstream, but this being midterm election year and all, he also has to reach out to the conservative base. So we get Bush playing the moderate conservative, talking tough on immigration (a nice hot button issue when you have nothing else to run on) and throwing out some reasonable ideas out there.

Of course, they're reasonable ideas that are going to die before we see them implemented. The right wingers are going to shit their pants over the amnesty and guest workers. And using National Guards to do police work? Besides the logistical difficulties, where is the money coming from? And aren't we still fighting a two-front war and suffering a sever shortage of kids who are willing to die? And to what effect? We're talking about some shitty ROI here.

But hey, here's the important thing - Bush actually did a decent job of looking like he knows what he's doing, while helping his party convince the public that, right or wrong, illegal immigration is the single most important issue affecting our country right now. Because it's not whether we actually solve the problem; it's whether a guy can get elected promising to solve something that may or may not be a huge problem.

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