This morning at breakfast I saw the NY Times headline, "Bush Proposes Goals on New Greenhouse Emissions," and I said to my wife: "You know, I bet this is fake." I figured that it must actually be an attempt to take some of the heat off Bush on his foot-dragging regarding global warming, while at the same time actually doing more deliberate foot-dragging.
It turns out that I was right, not that I feel I should get much credit for insight here; it was pretty obvious. Bush is actually calling for a new round of meetings, to make sure nothing can get done yet, in pursuit of "aspirational goals," i.e., no actual adoption of any policies that would have any effect.
It's a strange thing, and people who have read my past words on Bush will simply have to take this on faith, but I was actually hoping I was wrong about Bush this time. I still get this atavistic impulse occasionally - indeed, frequently - where I find myself wishing for a moment that just this one time he'll surprise me positively. But the rule remains - everything he does is bad, and everything he does is in bad faith. I can't think of any other U.S. President of whom this was more than, say, 50 to 60 percent true, but for him it's verging on 100 percent.
One exception, actually - whatever one thinks in the end about his immigration policy, it doesn't seem entirely to fit the simple formula. But I am at a loss to think of any other exception.