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Master of Low Expectations: George W. Bush's Most Memorable Quotes of 2003
The prevailing wisdom in Washington decrees that George W. Bush slyly hides his superior intellect behind the exterior of a common man. But from what I know of Bush, he’s the doofus born in the end zone who thinks he scored a touchdown; the drunken frat boy who barely maintains a C average, the coke-snorting Air Force pilot absent without leave.

“This is historic times,” said Bush on October 8, 2003.

And this are a unique president.

I've strained my eyes looking for that camouflaged intelligence and insight that Bush’s followers celebrate. I must be blind. Some folks say Bush is a managerial wizard. I figure that if your Dad is president of the world's only superpower and his rich friends prop you up for a ride in the Big Game, you have to be a wizard of a completely different kind to screw up.

Wizardry aside, it’s with the spoken word that Bush’s true character reveals itself. For proof, look no further then June 4 of this year when he faced the world and declared, “I'm the master of low expectations.” I couldn't agree more.

In a parallel universe, Bush would earn his living repairing home appliances. On this planet, however, he’s the leader of the free world — a job description that, on occasion, requires him to communicate verbally. As 2003 comes to a close, it’s time to review the Commander-in-Chief's wordy wisdom.

“I mentioned early on that I recognize there are hurdles, and we're going to achieve those hurdles,” Bush said on January 22.

Achieving hurdles is essential. It’s one of the first things a successful person learns. A good education is also essential and Bush has, if not an education, then at least a degree. This may be why he seems to care about schooling. As Bush said, “No child in America should be left behind in this country.”

Or anywhere else for that matter . . . in this country.

Our President is, if nothing else, a man of action. On January 8, he reminded us that "One year ago today, the time for excuse-making has come to an end.”

And tomorrow we look forward to what we once accomplished.

In these troubled times, Bush, we are told, has his finger on the pulse of America. In other words, he’s the type of guy who can communicate with the lowest common denominator. “I'm sure there's a lot of people frightened,” he said on November 7. “Biotechnology is a long word and it sounds — they may say, well, I don't know if I'm smart enough to be in biotechnology, or it sounds too sophisticated to be in biotechnology.”

It certainly does. Which brings us to the matter of war . . . in Iraq, they may say, which isn’t such a long word.

I was always under the impression that the United States developed Weapons of Mass Destruction (or "nukular weapons" as Bush would say) somewhere near the end of World War II. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, we were the first Weapons of Mass Destructioners. And yet on October 3, Bush told us that "Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction."

Huh? Given our nation’s history, I’m not exactly sure what he’s trying to say. America, give or take a few civil rights, is still reasonably free… and full of WMDs. But maybe our president is setting us up for something big. Who knows?

One of the most profound statements that Bush made this year occurred on January 29. “The war on terror involves Saddam Hussein,”Bush said “because of the nature of Saddam Hussein, the history of Saddam Hussein and his willingness to terrorize himself.”

No doubt about it. Saddam is not beneath self-inflicted terror. In fact, Iraq is not only a threat to the United States and its allies, but a threat to threats themselves. On January 3, Bush made that clear. “The Iraqi regime is a threat to any American and to threats who are friends of America,” he said.

With threats to threats around every corner of every corner, it’s reassuring to know that our President has a far reaching plan for national security. As he said on July 25, “Security is the essential roadblock to achieving the road map to peace.”

Once that security is blocking the road and our President has achieved the road map, he can take time to consider his political future.

“We're laying the groundwork for a national campaign,” he said on June 30 — “a national campaign that I believe will result in a great victory in November 2002.”

Amen to that. I sincerely hope with all my being (and part of my brain) that a great victory is in store for Bush in November 2002. As for the coming year, I’ve made a New Year’s resolution which may not make Mr. Bush very happy: ELECT A NEW PRESIDENT — ONE WHO CAN SPEAK MY LANGUAGE.

I’m also encouraging all my friends and neighbors to do the same. It's time to move on and cast those low expectations aside. It's time to unseat George W. Bush and replace him with an articulate human being.

As Bush said on July 18, “By making the right choices, we can make the right choice for our future.”

— Nathan Callahan, December 30, 2003


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