Reading the Unsteady State

Unsteady StateThere’s still no way to get online access to archives of The New Yorker’s rich bounty of essays, articles, reviews and humor — not even if you’re a subscriber, nor even if you want to pay for it — so you’d better hurry over there and read Hendrik Hertzberg’s contribution to this week’s Talk of the Town section before it’s no longer available. The piece is called “Unsteady State,” and it nicely wraps up President Bush’s troubled first few weeks of 2004, bookended by his weak and disingenuous attempt at re-igniting the space race and the partisan polticking of his State of the Union speech.

The space exploration gambit, in spite of its superficial quality as a virtuous attempt to advance the human race, is not only based on bogus funding math but it’s also proven to be an unqualified bellyflop with the American public (just try to find a link or any mention of it on the White House’s Policies and Initiatives page). And his appearance before Congress was riddled with convenient oversights on the Iraq issue and yet another attempt at fully institutionalizing his administration’s tax entitlements for the rich and super-rich. It’s a powerful summary, and it makes me believe more than ever that Bush-Cheney can be defeated in November.

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