Preposterous Universe

Sunday, January 23, 2005
It would be funny if it weren't

If it weren't, you know, important. So, the Second Inaugural Address was the "freedom speech," in which the President harped on the theme of spreading freedom throughout the world. (Some transcripts, in the hands of trained readers, came out differently.) Much tough talk about democracy being good, tyranny being bad, stuff like that.

Of course, the educated blog-reading public understands that it's all hypocritical nonsense. The President is supposed to say things like that; what's he going to say, that our support for repressive dictatorships will be strictly limited to those cases when it seems to serve our immediate interests? But apparently some nervous folks in faraway lands actually thought he might be serious about cracking down on tyranny. Hysterical, no? So an aide was trotted out (anonymously, of course -- this isn't a gig you want on your resume) to explain to the innocent foreigners that the speech didn't actually represent a policy of the United States -- at least, not in the sense that the actual words in the speech were to be taken at face value. It was just business as usual, a little pep talk for the brave 51% that gave our President his mandate. Next thing you know, someone will actually think that tax cuts are the best way to eliminate the budget deficit.

Update: Apparently Giblets made the same mistake. We have to watch what we say, people.

Ideas on culture, science, politics.
Sean Carroll

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