Sweet Nothings

Brian Cook

The following was posted by ITT intern extraordinaire, Kevin Friedl The most revealing moment of President Bush???s performance during last night???s debate took place during his closing remarks. ???We???ve been through a lot together during the last 3 3/4 years,??? he told America, ???We???ve come through a recession, a stock market decline, an attack on our country.??? His sweet-talk voice and body language reminded me of nothing so much as an abusive husband begging his wife to take him back. Bush used all the classic tricks of the abuser, continually beginning his sentences with ???we???, bringing up good times from the past (???We reformed our school system???), and making vaguely-threatening promises for the future (???Over the next four years, we'll continue to rally the armies of compassion???). Abusive individuals may at times genuinely regret the injury they inflict, but as any social worker will tell you, a repeat offender is unlikely to stop, no matter how much they promise to change their ways. The President has already established a pattern of abusive behavior towards America, repealing or ignoring environmental initiatives in place for decades, making the rich richer through targeted tax cuts, and essentially stomping on the Constitutional rights of anyone in his way. Bush, I can only hope, knows his record during the past four year; last night was his attempt to convince us to take him back. When Bush delivered his final plea, ???I???m asking for your vote,??? he might as well have been promising ???Baby, I can change, I swear.??? Please, America. Walk away. --Kevin Friedl

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Brian Cook was an editor at In These Times from 2003 to 2009. He now works on the editorial staff of Playboy magazine.
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