Monday, January 28, 2008

One More Guy Liveblogging the SOTU

Did I see Jean Schmidt get W's autograph as he walked in? Maybe she is a Bush Republican after all.

I'm reminded how much I dislike Wolf Blitzer; especially his refusal to allow five seconds to lapse without treating us to the sound of his voice. I switch from CNN to NBC.

And we're off. Approximately seven second in for the first smirk.

18 seconds in for the first slouch.

Seven years in for the first indication that he knows what bipartisanship means.

52 straight months as a record? Really? Of course he only broke even a quarter or so before the 2004 election, so maybe I'm thinking net instead of trend.

Did I mention bipartisanship? Nope. We're shoving the tax cuts in the Dems faces again. Oh, a veto threat for a new tax bill. That's a bold stand.

He's had seven years to cut the budget and now he's found 150 programs to cut or eliminate. Nice to know he's been on the job.

We've been running this theme of trusting people to make there own decisions. It kind of runs aground when we get to the test-happy NCLB.

Interesting that Ted Kennedy and Obama didn't respond to the NCLB applause line.

Do we really want a trade agreement with Columbia? The best argument for trade agreements is that they build a middle class, and therefore export markets, in other countries. But the experience in Mexico suggests that the economy and political system need to be open for that to happen. Columbia is far more corrupt and oligarchic than Mexico could dream of being.

An agreement to limit greenhouse gasses? Sounds bold. Sounds like a departure. Oop. Wait a minute. There's the escape hatch. The agreement must include all major economies. So if China and India won't play, he'll put it off on them.

All human life must be treated as sacred. Except the human lives in Guantanamo.

We're in immigration now. His applause line for a guest worker program is the most tepid of the night so far.

Foreign policy. "We've seen stirring moments in the history of liberty." Yes, stirring moments among really awful years and months.

Listening to Bush talk about "principles of hope and decency" is like listening to Britney Spears talk about personal responsibility.

The Iraq piece is entirely insulting. It's now all about Al Qaeda. Jesus God, Al Qaeda in Iraq is a small part of the story. Most of the Sunni insurgents have nothing to do with them and the evidence of real links between AQ in Iraq and AQ proper are dubious. Last year the surge was supposed to give space to the political process. This is all cowboy stuff. Hee haw, we got the terrists on the run. Never mind that most of the success is predicated on Iran-friendly Al Sadr standing down.

I count three sentences about the political process. Oh, yeah, reconciliation and all, but that's boring. Did I mention we got the terrists on the run? Hee ha!

The Iran piece is nice and vague.

Uh oh. Here comes FISA. He calls for renewal, but he did not reiterate his threat to veto a thirty-day extension.

Hey, I just realized. He didn't say "The state of the union is . . ."

Suddenly he's throwing an awful lot of money around. $30 billion for AIDS in Africa, more for veterans. An hour ago he said his budget puts us on a glide path to a balanced budget. by 2012.

And done. Nothing bold. Some warmed-over Republican talking points. The major piece was what the NBC guys are calling "a full-throated defense of his Iraq policy." Yes, but not a defense that is in any way defensible. The very last thing we need is a return of Bush's Wild Bunch rhetorical style.


Anonymous said...

I mentioned to my son that I thought it was wierd to see congressmen and women, Republicans and Democrats, Regula included, lining up to get W's autograph as he left the hall.

Jason Haas said...

The state of our union remains strong.

Think he fit that in right before that weak "let's get to the people's business" line. Seriously, this is his final of 8 SOTU's and he ends with a rhetorical flourish of "hey, get busy!".