ANOTHER NO-SHOW. George Bush makes a habit of not making it a habit of speaking at NAACP conventions. Apparently, there is an opening in his schedule this week, and Chairman Julian Bond and President Bruce Gordon still hope Bush will drop by, since the meetings are in D.C.

What�s frustrating is how facile the coverage of the conference has been. This AP piece leads with this: �Black Americans should end �victim-like thinking� and seize opportunities to help close gaps between the nation's rich and poor, NAACP president Bruce S. Gordon said Monday.� Sure, the piece later notes that Gordon�s comments (which are not online yet) echo the more muscular, less comfortable comments made by Bond. Here�s a more quote-worthy passage from Bond�s address to the members the day before:

You should know as we begin our week in Washington that a different language is spoken here, a sort of Orwellian code�

"Spreading peace" means "pre-emptive war." "Staying the course" means "to relentlessly pursue a disastrous policy regardless of the consequences." "Compassionate conservatism" translates into "tax cuts for the rich." "Endangered species in need of government protection" are "the rich people's families who inherit mega estates."

"Activist judges" are "jurists who do not belong to the Federalist Society."
"Non-partisan judicial appointees" are "jurists who do belong to the Federalist Society." "Faith-based initiative" means "passing out money and saying 'trust me'".

"Moral values" equate to "keeping homosexual illegal immigrants from burning flags." And "racial discrimination", of course, is "a problem of the past which no longer exists."

This quote is more likely to get picked up by the conservative radio and bloggers (if it hasn�t already) and used to discredit Bond as a shrill Bush-hater than to be reported by mainstream press. It�s a nice summary of Bush�s rhetorical-policy disconnect and, if the President reads it, he�s not likely to show again this year.

--Tom Schaller