I dimly remember that sometime during the Clinton Administration, pre-Monica, the righties trotted out a “Clinton is irrelevant” talking point to bring him down. I don’t recall why they said he was irrelevant, and I can’t remember any point in his presidency in which Clinton was, in fact, irrelevant, but I do remember the television talking heads droning on about how Clinton was irrelevant.
Well, guess who’s irrelevant now? Dan Froomkin writes,
Is anyone paying attention to the president anymore?
Consider today and tomorrow a test of presidential relevance, as the White House tries to get the nation to turn its attention to the topic of health savings accounts.
At a White House meeting this morning, and then in a so-called “panel on health savings accounts” in Connecticut tomorrow afternoon, President Bush is trumpeting the accounts as a free-market antidote to the nation’s health care crisis.
But with war raging in Iraq and pandemonium breaking out in Congress, Bush is having a harder time than usual making himself heard. And in this particular case, even if people do pay attention, it doesn’t mean they’ll buy his argument. Much like Bush’s failed attempt to restructure Social Security, the argument for health savings accounts is, on its face, problematic.
I’m not up to discussing health care right now; Froomkin wrote about HSAs here.
Given that even the blogosphere mostly ignored Bush’s recent, much-ballyhooed series of Iraq speeches, if the HSA effort goes down like the lead balloon it is, it’ll be official — Bush is irrelevant.
Bush is to public discourse as Three Card Monte is to card game. …
…Bush doesn’t really talk to us. When it’s advantageous or required, he’ll go through the motions of talking to us; but that’s all. What it â€œmeansâ€ is that he either has to do it, like the State of the Union speech; or he wants something from us, like votes; or he’s tossing out a string of words calculated to endear him to some fraction of the citizenry, like â€œmanned missions to Marsâ€ or â€œConstitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage.â€ He doesn’t care what he’s saying, and afterward he doesn’t consider himself bound by what he’s said.