State of the Union -- random thoughts
I think we are almost through the speech, President Bush is into his Social Security sales pitch. You can find better "liveblogs" on other sites like VodkaPundit, PatrickRuffini and Powerline.
But I had to pop on here to make a comment about political discourse in our nation. I'm really disappointed in the way that the Democrats treated Bush when he got to the Social Security section. They bordered on booing him. Is this what the Democratic leaders have sunk to -- being characatures of Michael Moore and the anti-war protestors?
The outburst reminded me of how the opposition party treats the British Prime Minister during the Question and Answer session.
Social Security -- I don't know enough about this issue yet to pontificate. (Not that it has stopped me before, right?) But see when it comes to math issues, my mind turns to jelly. VikingPundit is the resident expert on Soc Security Reform.... I'm following his lead!
Gay marriage -- well, I'm disappointed he had to "go there" with the Constitutional amendment on gay marriage. I was hoping it wasn't necessary. I'm disappointed, I guess some bones had to be thrown to the religious conservatives. Although I have always been against a Constitutional amendment on marriage, I am quite opposed to subverting the legislative process in the states that triggered this whole debate prematurely last year.
UPDATE: Captain Ed puts gay marriage reference in perspective:
8:31 - He spent ten minutes, by my watch, on Social Security. He spent thirty seconds on the Federal Marriage Amendment. Anyone need an explanation? He's spending more time on the protection of human life. I like that set of priorities.
Judicial nominees -- nice jab at Senate Democrats on urging an up or down vote on all nominees. Sounded like the biggest applause of the night to me!
HIV/AIDS -- Bush called for reauthorization of Ryan White Act. Let me remind our faithful readers that President Bill Clinton slashed the AIDS budget in 7 of his 8 years. That funding had to be restored by the post-1994 Republican controlled Congress. I'm not even sure Bill Clinton ever mentioned the Ryan White Act at all in any of his SOTU speeches. That funding restoration was led, each time, by then Congressman, now US Senator Tom Coburn. Interesting that he also said we have to focus on African-American and women. Really flies in the face of conventional wisdom about this President, huh?
War on Terror -- Bush bucks up the country on the war on terror. "We will stay on the offensive against them until the fight is won." Thanking Congress for providing military for the "tools of victory." Now did John Kerry wonder if he was for or against that??
Now he is reinforcing the contrasts between terrorism and democracy/freedom. "The advance of freedom will lead to peace."
Middle East peace -- Now who would have thought a couple years ago that Bush's strategy to wait for Arafat The King of Terrorists to die would actually be paying off?
PatriotPooch is getting bored.... he's fidgeting on the couch and staring at me. I've decided he's right... these speeches go on too long....
IRAN -- Now this was the biggest surprise to me. Bush looked right in the camera and told the Iranian people -- "as you stand for your own liberty, America will stand with you." I guess his veiled references in the Inaugural address weren't so veiled.
IRAQ -- Bush is commenting on the marvelous sight of the blooming Iraqi democracy from last Sunday. "Americans recognize that spirit of liberty -- because we share it." "Voting is a civic responsibility, but for many Iraqis it was a test of personal courage, and they have earned the respect of us all." AMEN!
He is honoring a female Iraqi voter in the audience who had earlier said "Saddam was the real occupier, thank you to the soldiers who helped free my country." Now SHE got the biggest applause!
Bush is quoting Iraqi PM Allawi when he spoke to Congress last year. Um, didn't Kerry basically call him a puppet at the time? *grin*
"Freedom in Iraq will make America safer for generations to come." Huh. I wonder if we have overcome an important psychological hurdle with the elections. I'm betting the "anti-war" folks are going to fade away soon and only show up when the World Bank meets in DC again.
Oh, now maybe we know why he didn't specifically mention Iraq in his Inaugural. He was dealing with larger themes then
Bush is giving a nice tribute to our Armed Forces. A Marine who died in Fallujah is being honored; his family sitting up in the gallery. Semper Fi!
I think Bush is getting choked up. That's what I admire about this man. He is real. He doesn't use his emotions when needed politically. He just emotes, like normal people.
"The attack on freedom in our country has reinforced the promise of freedom in the world." Great line.
"The road to Providence is uneven and unpredictable.....but we know where it leads. It leads to freedom." You got it!
Speech over. PatriotPooch walking time!