NEW YORK — President Mushmouth made a fool of him­self on the world’s stage yet again, this time by address­ing the UN General Assembly as though he felt his opin­ions were rel­e­vant, or spoke either for a major­ity of Americans or, indeed, the rest of the world.

He began by going after Myanmar, con­ve­niently over­look­ing the fact that his ill-​​advised sally into Iraq has (sigh) made it impos­si­ble for the US to offer mil­i­tary or human­i­tar­ian aid to those caught in the mid­dle of its two-​​decade conflict.

From there he con­tin­ued his weak jus­ti­fi­ca­tions of Iraq, segue­ing into the fail­ing health of Castro and utter­ing words of such stu­pid­ity that Felipe Perez Roque, Cuba’s for­eign min­is­ter, walked out in protest.

But the high­light of inanity came when Bush had this to say about global poverty and health crises.

When mil­lions of chil­dren starve to death or per­ish from a mos­quito bite, we’re not doing our duty in the world. When whole soci­eties are cut off from the pros­per­ity of the global econ­omy, we’re all worse off. […] This great insti­tu­tion must work for great pur­poses: to free peo­ple from tyranny and vio­lence, hunger and dis­eases, illit­er­acy and igno­rance and poverty and despair.

Okay. Just to put things in con­text, this comes from the nom­i­nal leader of an admin­is­tra­tion which has seen a mas­sive eco­nomic implo­sion in the wake of an unprece­dented period of pros­per­ity and growth; this is an admin­is­tra­tion which has sin­gle­hand­edly undone every advance the US made on the world stage over the last five or so decades.

This admin­is­tra­tion has so deval­ued envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tions that other nations, fol­low­ing US “lead­er­ship”, are behav­ing in an identically-​​wasteful, bisopherically-​​stupid fash­ion, to the detri­ment of dozens of species, mil­lions of humans and — of a surety — mul­ti­ple gen­er­a­tions to come.

This is the same admin­is­tra­tion whose ruinous “No Child Left Behind” pol­icy has done more, in five years, to under­mine American pub­lic edu­ca­tion than the efforts of all pre­vi­ous admin­is­tra­tions, Republican and Democrat alike — while at the same time plac­ing restric­tions on nec­es­sary sci­en­tific research and advo­cat­ing the teach­ing of reli­gious super­sti­tion as fact in school sci­ence curricula.

This is the same man who is threat­en­ing to veto con­gres­sional leg­is­la­tion which would extend CHIP health cov­er­age to mil­lions of dis­ad­van­taged American children.

Atop the shoddy pol­i­tics, lousy pol­icy and out­right lies of the Bush admin­is­tra­tion, we’re watch­ing our national her­itage of intel­lec­tu­al­ism and lib­er­al­ism dis­in­te­grate. The resur­gence of troglodytes putting nooses in trees as a “joke” is just the most recent indi­ca­tion of a major back­slide in decades of hard-​​fought and hard-​​won social progress.

We have Bush to thank for all of this, and we’d do well to cau­tion him to leave the motes in other nations’ eyes alone until our own beams have been cleared.

George, sit down, and shut up. The adults are talk­ing now.


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