Bush Address: The Worst Came Last

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President Bush saved the worst for last.

He was fully aware that a majority in the House chamber and an even stronger majority watching him on television are opposed to his latest "surge" in Iraq. He doesn't seem to care.

It was more of the same without the usual swagger. A more somber Bush still talked about "victory" and the dire "consequences of failure" in that civil war so far away.

The president refuses to believe his new strategy amounts to more troops in harm's way. He issued an unusual plea to "give it a chance." How many chances does he get?

Bush extended a bit of an olive branch to the majority Democrats by paying a nice tribute to Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She was sitting next to an unpopular Vice President Cheney, a big partner in Bush's war.

The president's domestic agenda was fairly limited but built around a balanced budget. It will take a magician's wand to attain a true balanced budget with all the money pouring into Iraq and Afghanistan.

Again, he talked about democracy for Iraq. Any form of democracy in what's left of that shattered country will not be recognized by any true democracy. Bush appealed to Congress to spend money wisely, even though he hasn't done so.

Bush mentioned the 9/11 catastrophe several times in his continual attempt to link it tightly to the war on terrorism. In the Democratic response, freshman Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia made it clear they were separate entities. And Webb has a Marine son in the long battle.

It was almost fitting that on the same day, in a courtroom a few blocks away, an attorney for Cheney's former top aide told a criminal jury about the chaos in Bush's White House. That's the defense for Scooter Libby.

The chaos will go on for two more years if this latest surge is allowed to continue.