So I’m still reeling from all the sunshine and roses Bush laid on us last night. I’ve read the press reviews and I’ve heard the radio interviews with all kinds of people. And I’m wondering (again) if, as a nation, we’re as stupid as the Bush administration thinks we are? I generalize this to the administration, because I don’t think Bush is bright enough to realize that he’s spewing crap. I think he really believes the only serious problems left to solve are improving people’s math skills and constitutionally protecting marriage from homosexuals. And he was clearly getting off on the applause – I’d be surprised if he didn’t call his mom afterwards and exclaim, “They liked me!!” But clearly those surrounding him know that last night’s testosterone laden political blather was just that.

Now in fairness, it was masterfully done. If you just set back and let the words and the undercurrent of emotion wash over you like a re-run of Friends, you had to admit it felt good. It was kind of like that locker room speech the coach gave at halftime that made you wanna go give your all despite having your all handed back to you in a bucket in the 1st half.

But if people really allowed themselves to just feel good about the speech without applying any critical analysis to the message, what does that say about them? Have we become a nation of malleable masses whereby the message is indistinguishable from the marketing? Do we really put Hanes on our butts because we like Mike?

Ironically, Bush is claiming many of us aren’t bright enough to find jobs in his new economy. We need better math and science skills. Does he realize that those skills go hand in hand with critical reasoning skills? Does he know that the cornerstone of those disciplines isaemotional analysis? If he’s successful in this endeavor, he will be creating the very people who will no longer buy the feel-good rhetoric which is the foundation of his popularity.

Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen in time to stop him getting another term in office. We probably are as stupid as they think. We can’t resist that feel-good high. Perhaps what scares me most is that the administration’s behavior in the first term was outrageous and they knew they were going to face an election. Will there be any gating factors once they are on a 4-year lame duck run?

They scare me.

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