The Bad Guy

President Bush At The Coast Guard Academy (5/23/07)

Why do I put myself through such things? I went to the C-SPAN website and clicked the link to view President Bush’s commencement address at the Coast Guard Academy. I looked at the run time and said to myself, “It’s only 33 minutes. I’ll watch this and write a quick entry on it, no problem!” Was I ever wrong. Time slowed as I watched the President give one of his most boring speeches ever. What took 33 minutes to watch seemed like over twice that, but I persevered. Below I offer highlights so none have to waste the time watching the whole thing like I did.

– Bush did start strong. He whooped up the (captive) audience of graduates by asking them, essentially, if New London, CT knew how to party. “What is the Coast Guard?” He asked. The response was roaring, thunderous, and thanks to the shitty C-SPAN mics, unintelligible. Since I needed to find out, I found a transcript, and now know what the answer was. The cadets all replied “Mr. President, the Coast Guard is the hard nucleus about which the Navy forms in times of war, sir!” After that call and response would have been the perfect time for a high-pitched screech of “I can’t hear you!” But I don’t ever get that lucky.

-From there the President morphed into a comedian at a corporate retreat. He drew a few giggles by dropping inside jokes about cadets earning demerits from being messy or sneaking out to party at Connecticut College. He paused for a moment and then said “However you got bagged, help has arrived.” At this moment you are now free to insert your own catty, sarcastic response.  I couldn’t think of one original enough. Most were along the lines of “Oh dear God, NO!!!!” Or, “He’s going to liberate Connecticut? There’s no oil there.” So I’ll just leave that one blank and be surprised when I watch the Daily Show. Anyway, his point in bringing up the demerits was to carry on the tradition of excusing all minor conduct offenses on graduation day…With one minor caveat: “I’ll leave up to Admiral Burhoe to decide exactly what ‘minor’ means.” I’m kinda hoping that “minor” extends to drunk driving, going AWOL or snorting rails off a hooker’s ass, because that would be genuinely awesome of him.

-More “inside joke” comedic stylings worthy of a corporate retreat.

-Could someone tell me what “Eat hamsters with your eyes in the boat” means?

-Then the President got serious and praised the Coast Guard’s role in defending the country. Of course this is absolutely appropriate and I’ve got no flippant remarks about that. It’s when he started speaking to the greater audience out in TV land that he lost me and time slowed to a crawl.

-Bush: “In January of last year, Osama bin Laden warned the American people: “Operations are under preparation and you will see them on your own ground once they are finished.” Seven months later, British authorities broke up the most ambitious known Al-Qaeda threat to the homeland since the 9/11 attacks: a plot to blow up passenger airplanes flying to America. Our intelligence community believes that this plot was just two or three weeks away from execution. If it had been carried out, it could have rivaled 9/11 in death and destruction.” Not to put too fine a point on it, but Bin-Laden warned about attacks on OUR ground, not in the air over the Atlantic. Sure a plot was foiled, but it wasn’t the one Osama was speaking of.

-Bush: “To help stop new attacks on our country, we have undertaken the most sweeping reorganization of the federal government since the start of the Cold War. We created the new Department of Homeland Security, merging 22 different government organizations, including the Coast Guard, into a single Department with a clear mission: to protect America from future attacks.” That worked out great, didn’t it? Great job!

-Bush: “In Iraq, we removed a cruel dictator who harbored terrorists, paid the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, invaded his neighbors, defied the United Nations Security Council, pursued and used weapons of mass destruction. Iraq, the United States and the world are better off without Saddam Hussein in power. (Applause.) And today the Iraqi people are building a young democracy on the rubble of Saddam Hussein‘s tyranny. In December 2005, nearly 12 million Iraqis demonstrated their desire to be free, going to the polls and choosing a new government under the most progressive, democratic constitution in the Arab world.” OK, Now I’m going to say something that will make a lot of people mad and earn me some hate comments. Perhaps our country took the wrong course in executing the Iraq War. Perhaps a better way to go would have been to depose Hussein and make a deal with the remnants of the original government to be our allies. Trade restrictions could have been lifted and we might have made a new, SECULAR, “friend” in the “War On Terror.” Yes, my idea can be seen as simplistic, infuriating and idiotic, but could it have worked out any worse than the situation we have now? Of course there’s that familiar cry of “But those Baathists murdered and tortured the people of Iraq!” And now we’re carrying on that fine tradition…Isn’t it funny how things turn out?

-Bush: “Now, many critics compare the battle in Iraq to the situation we faced in Vietnam. There are many differences between the two conflicts, but one stands out above all:” Bush couldn’t be bothered to have anything to do with Vietnam? No, I’m wrong again. “The enemy in Vietnam had neither the intent nor the capability to strike our homeland.” I still like my answer better.

Really, the rest of the address was the same “Fight them over there” crap we’ve been hearing for years. Even those new revelations of declassified intel were so lame as to not warrant repeating here. It’s always the same stuff over, and over, and over and I’m getting fatigued by it. So I’ll now conclude by wishing the Coast Guard Academy graduates hearty congratulations and success in life. You earned this day and I hope you made the most of it.


May 23, 2007 - Posted by | Al-Qaeda, C-Span, George W Bush, Iraq, News and politics, TV


  1. Regarding the above picture – “Looks like someone just got back from the Ronnie James Dio concert!”

    Comment by Myrtle | May 24, 2007 | Reply

  2. Funny you should mention that. Black Sabbath with Dio played DC last night.

    Comment by thebadguy | May 24, 2007 | Reply

  3. Regarding the above picture its called, “Hook’em Horns”, as in the University of Texas – Austin.

    Comment by Lance | July 14, 2007 | Reply

  4. …Which is why the President and CGA graduate pictured were giving them at the CGA GRADUATION! Yeah, makes perfect sense to me. Honestly, I’m not implying anything nefarious, I’m just not buying your explanation.

    Comment by thebadguy | July 16, 2007 | Reply

  5. Eating hamster with your eyes in the boat:
    hamsters= nasty lunch food where chicken is baked in bread and chease (think a huge wendys chicken nugget that was sheese filled too)
    Eyes in the boat: is bracing up, all swabs have to do this thier freshman year

    Comment by frank | April 24, 2008 | Reply

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