So Tuesday night was the State of the Union. I didn’t get to pay too much attention to the speech as it was being given since I was over at my dad’s house helping him install some computer hardware, but when bits and pieces I overheard certainly didn’t inspire me. The recaps I caught on the news and courtesy of The Daily Show and Tough Crowd reaffirmed that as well. Now with a transcript in hand, it’s time to pull this bit o’ political fluff limb from limb:
War is my business, and business is good
Bush led off with his recap of all the fighting being done in the name of Old Glory and he praised the armed forces up and down, left and right. Then he went on a scare tangent:
Twenty-eight months have passed since September 11th, 2001 Ã³ over two years without an attack on American soil. And it is tempting to believe that the danger is behind us. That hope is understandable, comforting Ã³ and false.
A nice lead in to ask people to re-up the “Patriot” Act, don’t you think?
Big bucks, no whammies and…STOP!
Bush continued on, giving us the Iraqi State of the Union, tooting his horn over the tax cut program and the general state of the economy itself and how it’s on the rebound. Then he delivers this gem:
In two weeks, I will send you a budget that funds the war, protects the homeland, and meets important domestic needs, while limiting the growth in discretionary spending to less than 4 percent. (Applause.) This will require that Congress focus on priorities, cut wasteful spending, and be wise with the people’s money. By doing so, we can cut the deficit in half over the next five years. (Applause.)
Cut it in half? You do realize that if you had never issued that tax cut and handed out $300 checks as a bribe for winning the presidency we might never have had a deficit in the first place? The 9/11 attacks and all their associated costs included.
The immigration two-step
In a move that seems to smell of election year pandering to the latino community, George proposed reforming out immigration laws to make many of the illegal aliens in the country somewhat more legal in their visit.
One wonders wether the current administration hasn’t considered just annexing mexico as a solution to the immigration problem? Maybe such things should not be spoken as someone at the White House might just think it’s a good idea.
Um, excuse me, but your faith is showing
One thing G.W. seems to have no issue with is flaunting his ideology about for all the world to see. The noise level from the president over his faith-based charities funding has stayed constant throughout his term, I will give him that. Of course, something about that sits uneasy with me. It’s not the programs or the religions themselves, as I know they’re providing a useful service to the community at large. It’s the fact that church is being sanctioned by state, a big no-no as far as the principals this country was founded on if I remember my history lessons correctly. In my opinion, religious groups should get federal funding only if they assure that there will me no ministering on the government’s dime.
But that’s not even the point I’m trying to make. Catch this paragraph from the later part of the speech (I’ve added the emphasis myself):
My fellow citizens, we now move forward, with confidence and faith. Our nation is strong and steadfast. The cause we serve is right, because it is the cause of all mankind. The momentum of freedom in our world is unmistakable Ã³ and it is not carried forward by our power alone. We can trust in that greater power who guides the unfolding of the years. And in all that is to come, we can know that His purposes are just and true.
Sounds like he’s pimping the Judea/Christian ideology to me, and from anyone but a government official that’s fine and dandy. Once you take up public office however, you should be as blind to religion as you are to color. Bush can’t seem to separate the two and that has always given me somewhat of an uneasy feeling because that just one step away from government imparting moral legislation on the people. Oh wait…we’re already there.
Mariage is as marriage does
Yup, Bush had to give time in the state of the union to the protection of the institution of marriage. What the fuck is it in danger from? Why the fuck is the federal government spending precious time and money trying to legislate this part of our lives? I say if two people love each other and wish to make a life long and legally binding commitment to show that, then they should be allowed to do so regardless of sex. Call it marriage, give then rights equal to those of heterosexual couples and stop wasting my bandwidth over it. Why can’t he see it that way? Well, maybe religion has something to do with it:
The same moral tradition that defines marriage also teaches that each individual has dignity and value in God’s sight. (Applause.)
I’ve always loved having morality legislated to me.
An entirely different kind of school test
Now as for the war on drugs:
Drug testing in our schools has proven to be an effective part of this effort. So tonight I proposed an additional $23 million for schools that want to use drug testing as a tool to save children’s lives. The aim here is not to punish children, but to send them this message: We love you, and we don’t want to lose you. (Applause.)
I can see the logic in this, but for entirely different reasons. I have nothing against those who use, and I have been known to experiment from time to time, but I think education is key to helping kids make the right choices later in life. Test if you must, but I would say education works a lot better. Get the kids through high school as best you can with a good head on their shoulders about and facts about drugs (facts mind you, not moral browbeating disguised as facts). From then on they should be much better suited to make responsible choices.
Hell, they may even become President some day, right George?
Beyond that nothing really grabbed my attention in the speech. He talked about medicare and how steroids have to be cleaned from pro sports among other things, and for the most part it all seemed very dull, flat and matter-of-fact. No wild promises, no sweeping visions for the future. To me it felt more like sweeping up his presidency so he can be ready to leave come next January. Oh how I hope I’m right about that last part.