Am I the only one who suspects Bush's coming address to the NAACP is going to be yet another PR disaster?
Bush will be speaking to the Coloured People just one day after Bill Clinton and Barak Obama give speeches. And he is going to try to spin the "good news" fantasy rather than focus on the grim realities of life in today's USA:
Tony Snow, the president's press secretary, said Bush is unlikely to invoke poverty when he addresses the national convention of the NAACP today, and instead will focus on opportunities available to everyone. "After all, the goal is prosperity," Snow said...Hey, what's he got to worry about?
"Does he often talk about poverty? No," Snow said. "There hasn't been a direct discussion of poverty, but he is focused on eliminating the barriers that stand in the way of people making progress."
Bush has used the bully pulpit of the presidency not to marshal a new national consensus for fighting poverty but to make the case for cutting taxes along with domestic programs. He has never publicly discussed the growing crisis of young, uneducated black men, whose plight has worsened in the past decade even as the economy has generally flourished, according to a recent spate of academic studies.Via WaPo.
Meanwhile, his Office of Management and Budget has sketched scenarios that envision deep funding cuts in an array of programs that aid the poor, including housing assistance, food stamps, Medicaid, community development grants and energy assistance...
The number of Americans living in poverty has risen each year Bush has been president, increasing to 37 million in 2004 from 31.6 million in 2000. Overall, 12.7 percent of the nation's population lives in poverty, which for a family of four means an income less than $20,000 a year.
The increases in poverty come after years of decline in the 1990s...
UPDATE: Well, it could have been worse:
Mr Bush got... a murmur of dissent when he said he came from a family that supported civil rights, and outright boos when he talked about charter schools.
He tried to link his support for religious organisations to the groups that fought for civil rights and was met with stony silence.