Wednesday, January 24, 2007

My thoughts on the SOTU

This will definitely be a post for the records. For once, I'm not going to bash the President.

Yep, you heard me correctly.

Don't get me wrong: I think that his State of the Union address last night was complete and utter garbage (so much for my not bashing Bush). I also maintain that this speech (along with the fifteen or so that I've actually watched since following politics) is a clear and televised reminder that there is no such thing as "bipartisanship". But I must admit that Bush was brilliant in his delivery. Normally, you would never hear me say "Bush" and "brilliant" in the same sentence (unless of course I was saying "Bush is soooo not brilliant"), but I have to concede. The 2007 SOTU was...well...brilliant. Now let's be clear on something: when I say that, I'm not implying that it was brilliant in the sense that the speech's highlights were lucid, well thought out, and feasible. Rather, I mean brilliant as in clever. The president was clever in his attempts to continue pushing his destructive agenda; at the expense of taking smaller losses in other areas.

For starters, consider that he faced a situation completely foreign to him. For the first time during his presidency (or, as I like to see it, his reign), he was pitching his SOTU ideas to a Democrat-controlled Congress. He and his folks were no longer the home team. But despite all of that, he was able to stick to his guns on the most important issues to him and remained unrattled doins so. Stubborn and pig-headed? Yes. Brave? Yes. Stupid? Not really.

However, despite remaining true to his position on Iraq (I'll be writing on this soon), he willingly gave the Democrats some appeasement when he addressed liberally-based issues. He started by giving a shout-out to Nancy Pelosi in a pretty classy and dignified way. Then he addressed issues like immigration reform, health care reform (though he didn't present solutions. He basically said that tax cuts would help make prescription meds more affordable. Now that was a pretty stupid thing to say.) and "global climate change" (he didn't say "global warming", but we get the point). Hell. He even mentioned Darfur. Though he painted an inaccurate picture of the economy and didn't even touch Katrina, stem-cell research, or gay marriage; he was quick to deliver many issues to the Dems on a silver platter. Openly discussing and "reaching across the aisle" to address Democratic agendas was a pretty calculated move to get more people to subscribe to his nonsensical viewpoints about the war, connections between Iraqis, the Taliban and (interestingly) Hezebollah, along with the escalation of troops. Apparently, it worked. I mean, did you notice when he got a standing ovation when he equated increasing military presence in Iraq to "supporting the troops"? Even if he pissed off some of his already defecting buddies in the GOP, he at least bought more time and less opposition from the Dems.

The fact is: Bush cut some of his minor losses to acheive his ultimate goal: pushing forward with his foreign relations agenda in Iraq (or lack thereof) and gaining support for doing it. Basically he told his Democrat-controlled Congress that "I'll give you these things (all the issues I mentioned earlier) and I'll take this thing (Iraq). Support, in this case, doesn't necessarily mean agreeing with him or even standing by him. Instead, support in this case means 'no real opposition of'.

That's why Bush's speech was brilliant. Thank you.

*Pause for standing ovation*

- ACL

6 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

Cynthia said...

SOTU addresses are so funny to me b/c a clearly divided Congress tries to act all dignified and courteous to one another. But as soon as something comes up that one party agrees with more than the other, they'll stand and applaud. It's almost as if they're saying "Take that!"

Gotta love our Congress.

The H.C. said...

Hey Dre,
great post! I didn't watch or listen to G.W.. I never listen to any of them. Hard to believe for a political junkie such as meself. It's just that I always know what they're going to say and none of what they promise ever comes true. The Reps stand and clap while the Dems sit on their hands unless it's something they HAVE to acknowledge like praising the troops. Pomp and circumstance. I noticed that he mentioned Global Warming but didn't mention Katrina. I've been trying to get an answer from anyone and maybe some of your people can help me. Isn't it a juxtaposition to believe in Global Warming and that the sea level is going to rise up to 20 ft., and then demand that we spend all these billions rebuilding New Orleans??? Who's fault is it going to be when all those people get killed next time? I believe the world IS getting warmer, the glaciers ARE melting, the oceans ARE rising and we should be using this opportunity to move people the hell out of there. Anything else is madness and makes no sense to me whatsoever. Anyone want to take a shot at explaining this one?

Andre said...

@ Cyn: I agree. Those morons all put on their polite smiles, shake hands, and say wonderful things about each other. But right afterwards (hell, even DURING the address) the division couldn't be made any more clear.

Hypocrites.

@ HC: I read that the slight raise in temperature in the Gulf of Mexico (around 3 or 4 degrees) was enough to produce a Cat. 5 like Katrina. But its hard to make that clear to Bush and his God-fearing pals (you know, the cats who don't believe that the "Big Bang" COULD be analogous to "Let there be light", believe the entire universe as we know it was created in a week, and that Global warming is "silly science"). As I maintain, I think that Bush cited global warming in his speech to appease the Dems so that they won't be so hard about him with Iraq. This thing is political when it shouldn't be.

I mean, prior to the recent snow and cold fronts we've been having, this season has been freakishly warm. Even analysts have touted this winter the hottest on record (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/01/09/national/main2342950.shtml).

There's something to this.

Dean said...

Andre,

I found your blog by browsing through others. I've had a chance to read some of your more frequent stuff and I have browsed through a few of your archived posts. Please allow me to say that I've thoroughly enjoyed your page. You seem to have a good firm grasp on a lot of different things. I especially love how you can take what you would call opinions and argue them so well. Unlike many pundits who only toss around soundbytes, you actually have substance.

Keep up the good work, brotha.

Dean said...

Andre,

I found your blog by browsing through others. I've had a chance to read some of your more frequent stuff and I have browsed through a few of your archived posts. Please allow me to say that I've thoroughly enjoyed your page. You seem to have a good firm grasp on a lot of different things. I especially love how you can take what you would call opinions and argue them so well. Unlike many pundits who only toss around soundbytes, you actually have substance.

Keep up the good work, brotha.

Andre said...

@ Dean: Thank you for your kind comments. Thanks for reinforcing that by...uh...posting twice.

*Joke*

Welcome to my head. As I tell other folks, it might get bumpy in here every now and then. But enjoy the flight.