WASHINGTON — President Bush came to the steps of the Capitol on Tuesday for a Second Inaugural do-over. Here is the text of his revised speech:
On this day, when we celebrate the durable wisdom of our Constitution, we must remember: Constitutions don't work for everyone. It's not a one-size-fits-all type deal.
We are led, by recent events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the repression of liberty in other lands.
Once I thought my daddy was a wimp for cuddlin' up real close with dictators, tradin' stability for freedom. But now I gotta admit, that's a darn fair trade. As I told Mushy last night on that cool, high-tech videophone I got in the Sit Room, the best hope for expanding peace is expanding dictators.
In America's ideal of freedom, we are ennobled by a heart for the weak. But we must also have a heart for the strongmen.
Sometimes when the soul of a nation speaks, we must listen. But if that soul is housed in a bunch of trial lawyers wearing identical dark suits and calling my man Mushy a "dog," I say, bring on the batons. Police tear-gassing lawyers is really just a foreign version of tort reform, which I support.
Those lawyers should be in jail. Mushy told me they were reckonin' to represent Osama when General-General catches him. Which will be any day now. He's a man of his word.
I don't blame Mushy for dissolving that disloyal Supreme Court. When I needed to subvert the democratic process during the 2000 recount, my Supreme Court was totally supportive.
House arrest for that fired chief justice sounds very relaxin', especially if he's got a feather pillow.
I think Mushy should put Benazir Bhutto under house arrest in Karachi. They call her "a kleptocrat in an Hermes scarf." I call her a chaos magnet.
She's slippery. One minute she's overlooking Mushy's flaws, the next she's appalled by them. I'm not even sure what nickname to use. Her friends called her Pinky at Harvard and Bibi later. I think I like Pinky. From the day of our foundin', we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave.
But I looked into Mushy's eyes and saw a master, a man committed to helping us fight terror. And sometimes we must fight terror with tyranny. He promised me he'd be a more low-key autocrat, stop wearing that scary uniform — at least when he's playing tennis.
From now on, it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of tyrannical movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending democracy in our world so liberty can thrive.
We will persistently clarify the moral choice before every ruler and nation: Choose oppression, which can work, as we see with our Arab allies, or freedom, which — OK, I admit it this once — we can't make work in Iraq.
America's influence is not unlimited. And unfortunately for the oppressed, Mushy's open defiance is helping to further undermine America's influence. But we will use what influence we have left to pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains and that human beings aspire to live at the mercy of bullies.
I'm gonna have to sweet-talk Laura on coming around on Burma. I might even have to kiss her hand, like Sarko.
Condi was very worried about Mushy suspending the constitution, but Vice says constitutions are for sissies. He doesn't see anything wrong with Mushy's press blackout. He thinks we can learn a few lessons from him.
Vice says if we had someone decisive like Mushy in Iraq instead of those floppy Iranian puppets we put in power, we'd be a lot better off.
All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will ignore your oppression and excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will not stand with you.
The leaders of governments with long habits of control need to know: To serve your people you must learn to mistrust them. Stop your journey of progress and justice, and America will not only walk at your side, we'll give you billions of dollars and lots of big-ticket stuff, like F-16s — no strings attached. And we'll take you at your word that you have no intention of using them against India.
In the long run, there is justice without freedom, and there can be human rights once the human rights activists have been thrown in the pokey.
Three years ago, I believed that the most important question history would ask us was: Did our generation advance the cause of freedom?
But now I am older and wiser. I know that the most important question history will ask us is: What's a little martial law between friends?
c.2007 New York Times News Service