With George Bush fighting to recover from low approval ratings, he needed to do something bold that would inspire strong support from his base, but without increasing criticism from the Democrats. He needed a speech with enough bipartisan appeal to take the heat off just long enough for him to look the slightest bit presidential. And it had to have some fear in it!
His bold slogan this time: “Protecting America’s Borders” – a topic that has been thrown around for a while by both Republicans and Democrats. In keeping with Bush’s minimal counting ability, he came out with a three-part plan (which I paraphrase):
1. Return all illegal immigrants, including ending the practice of “catch and release” (rumor has it that Cheney is still lobbying for the use of barbed hooks, however!)
2. Reform Immigration Laws (to weed out the murderers, rapists and child molesters that our current laws welcome with open arms!)
3. Stop people from crossing the borders in the first place - adding new agents, technology and building walls (Hey, it’s easier than keeping out water!)
But will this be like Bush’s previous efforts to salvage his image, where his short attention span will likely result in nothing actually being done? Remember his strident march, all alone, under phony lighting, to the center of Jackson Square to boldly declare his plans to fight the war on Hurricane Katrina victims? Oh wait, it was to help Hurricane Katrina victims. Right? I didn’t think you remembered!
All in all, I think he picked the wrong issue yet again. I mean - how much bipartisan fear is there regarding our borders anyway? Everyone knows that Canadians are too smart to come across, so that really just leaves Mexicans to worry about. But most Americans are more afraid of having their lawns get out of control, their toilets fill with bacteria, or of running out of grapes for their wine, than they are of Mexicans! Besides, nearly everyone likes Mexican food! And those piñatas are really fun for the kids’ birthday parties!
Bush would have been better off if he had recognized that the U.S. border is over two thirds water, with much of that water containing sharks! He could have capitalized on overwhelmingly widespread bipartisan fear of sharks to declare a broad war on "sharkism!" Fight them in the oceans, so we don’t have to fight them on our streets! Now that would have been a truly bold move worthy of our current President!