Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Heckling the State of the Union

This post might be a little longer than most. Bush gave his "State of the Union" address last night. It might have been easier to watch if I'd been drinking. Or if he had.

You know, the "State of the Union" address is actually a requirement from the Constitution. To be exact, Article II, section 3: "The President shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."

That's it. That's the requirement. "From time to time." And here, by the way, is where I'm supposed to say something snarky like, "Well, gee. We've found a part of the Constitution that Bush isn't willing to despoil. Yet."

On the other hand, I could just say nasty things about his speech. That might be fun. So let's see what we've got here. He starts by talking about Coretta Scott King, who died yesterday. Nice touch. So he covered that. Let's move along.
In a system of two parties, two chambers, and two elected branches, there will always be differences and debate.
Yeah. It wouldn't be nearly as humorous for him to say that, if it wasn't the same day that Samuel Alito was confirmed to the Supreme Court. Meaning that ONE party now controls all three branches of the government.

Not that I'm bitter...
But even tough debates can be conducted in a civil tone, and our differences cannot be allowed to harden into anger.
Is it my imagination, or is this statement coming from the single most partisan president in the history of the United States?
Tonight the state of our Union is strong
Well, yeah. Sadly, it's strongly opposed to you. But let's not get into that...
The only way to protect our people, the only way to secure the peace, the only way to control our destiny is by our leadership -- so the United States of America will continue to lead.
Where are we going, and what are we doing in this handbasket?
On September the 11th, 2001, we found that problems originating in a failed and oppressive state 7,000 miles away could bring murder and destruction to our country.
Whoa. Not even a minute into it, and he's already brought up 9/11, and used it to justify attacking Iraq. Gotta say, I'm impressed.
In 1945, there were about two dozen lonely democracies in the world. Today, there are 122. And we're writing a new chapter in the story of self-government -- with women lining up to vote in Afghanistan, and millions of Iraqis marking their liberty with purple ink...
Yup. Awesome job. The Palestinians just voted for Hamas, a known terrorist organization, the Iraqi's voted for closer ties with Iran (the second leg of the "Axis of Evil")... oh, let's just stop it there. The Middle East is a powder keg. 'Nuff said, right?

Well, you'd think. But Bush doesn't shut up about it for another couple of minutes.
We remain on the offensive against terror networks. We have killed or captured many of their leaders...
That's true. We've captured the Number Three man in al Qaeda about seventy-two times, haven’t we?
The road of victory is the road that will take our troops home. As we make progress on the ground, and Iraqi forces increasingly take the lead, we should be able to further decrease our troop levels -- but those decisions will be made by our military commanders, not by politicians in Washington, D.C.
See, it's simple. We'll pull out of Iraq, just like the Democrats want. But we'll do it slowly and carefully, just like the Democrats want... No, wait, that's not it...
In the coming year, I will continue to reach out and seek your good advice.
He probably won't listen, but at least he's seeking it, right?
Hindsight alone is not wisdom, and second-guessing is not a strategy.
Translation: ignore what I've done before now, and pretend that I know what I'm doing.
With so much in the balance, those of us in public office have a duty to speak with candor.
As long as what you say agrees with what I want. Otherwise, you're "aiding the terrorists."
A sudden withdrawal of our forces from Iraq would abandon our Iraqi allies to death and prison...
As opposed to all those other Iraqi's we've abandoned to death and prison...
...would put men like bin Laden and Zarqawi in charge of a strategic country...
Wait a minute. Are those two even in Iraq? Yeah, I didn't think so. And just how strategic is Iraq, anyway?
Our men and women in uniform are making sacrifices...
Hang on. You're talking about the people who actually joined the military, right? Not the ones who used the National Guard to avoid combat, right? And maybe didn’t even show up when they were supposed to. Of course, that was back when the National Guard wasn't sent overseas to Iraq, too.
They know what it's like... to wear heavy gear in the desert heat...
Well, some of them do. The ones who actually have armor.
So the United States of America supports democratic reform across the broader Middle East.
Until they elect Hamas, anyway.
The same is true of Iran, a nation now held hostage by a small clerical elite that is isolating and repressing its people.
What? They've got Focus on the Family there, too?
The Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions, and the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons.
Oh, gawd. Please don't say "weapons of mass destruction." Please don't say "weapons of mass destruction." Please don't say "weapons of mass destruction."...
We show compassion abroad because Americans believe in the God-given dignity and worth of a villager with HIV/AIDS...
Which he probably caught because we refuse to send condoms to Africa. But that's OK. It's God's will, right?

But enough about those foreigners. Let's talk about how we can strip more civil rights from Americans, OK?
It is said that prior to the attacks of September the 11th, our government failed to connect the dots of the conspiracy.
That's correct. Like on August 6, 2001, when our government failed to connect with a Presidential Daily Briefing entitled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike In US."
...I have authorized a terrorist surveillance program to aggressively pursue the international communications of suspected al Qaeda operatives and affiliates to and from America.
See, we're calling it "terrorist surveillance" now. That whole "domestic spying" thing didn't go over too well.

This is getting boring. He's gonna try to justify spying on Americans for a while. Let's skip a little.
American leaders -- from Roosevelt to Truman to Kennedy to Reagan...
Huh, three Democrats and a Republican. Oh, wait. He probably meant Teddy Roosevelt, didn't he?
Together, let us protect our country, support the men and women who defend us, and lead this world toward freedom.
Yup. Protect their Constitutional rights, give proper armor to troops who are getting shot at, and... hmmm... don't know what Bush considers "freedom" anymore.
We will build the prosperity of our country by strengthening our economic leadership in the world.
I think he means that "outsourcing jobs to other countries is good," but I'm not clear on this one.
We hear claims that immigrants are somehow bad for the economy -- even though this economy could not function without them.
You're right. Somebody's got to pick the lettuce.
Keeping America competitive begins with keeping our economy growing.
Pay no attention to the automakers behind the curtain. And pay no attention to me while I try to justify tax cuts despite the billions (or even trillions) of dollars being spent in Iraq.
The retirement of the baby boom generation will put unprecedented strains on the federal government. By 2030, spending for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid alone will be almost 60 percent of the entire federal budget.
Oh, he is NOT going to try and justify privatizing Social Security again, is he?
Congress did not act last year on my proposal to save Social Security (applause)
OK, hear that, George? They applauded the death of your stupid program. Get a clue here, will you?
Keeping America competitive requires affordable health care...
Hang on. He just said WHAT?
And because lawsuits are driving many good doctors out of practice -- leaving women in nearly 1,500 American counties without a single OB/GYN...
You're right. Who was it that said, "Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country"? I know I've heard that somewhere...
America is addicted to oil...
Now is where we start giggling like schoolgirls, since most of the Bush administration gets their money from Big Oil. Hell, Bush had Harken Oil, Condi Rice had an oil tanker named after her, and let's just ignore that whole Cheney energy task force thing. So, if oil is an addiction, what does that make YOU, Mr. President? A pusher?
...many Americans... still have deep concerns about the direction of our ... They're concerned about unethical conduct by public officials, and discouraged by activist courts that try to redefine marriage.
Whoa. I'm sorry. I nodded off. Did he just talk about DeLay, Abramoff and gay marriage in the same sentence? What'd I miss?

Maybe they're going to share a cell. That would be cool.
As we look at these challenges, we must never give in to the belief that America is in decline, or that our culture is doomed to unravel. The American people know better than that. We have proven the pessimists wrong before -- and we will do it again.
Yup. Hopefully in November of this year, and again in November, 2008. Assuming that we can't impeach your sorry ass before that.
Honorable people in both parties are working on reforms to strengthen the ethical standards of Washington...
Well, yes and no. "Honorable people" are indeed working on Congressional ethics. Sadly, none of them are Republicans....

OK, I'll admit it. Bush surprised me at this point. First he promised more money to rebuild New Orleans, and then he said this:
A hopeful society acts boldly to fight diseases like HIV/AIDS, which can be prevented, and treated, and defeated.
I'm going to assume he means "homosexuality can be wiped out in our lifetime," though, because a George Bush who worries about HIV makes my head hurt.
Yet the destination of history is determined by human action, and every great movement of history comes to a point of choosing.
Yup. Like Cindy Sheehan getting moved out the back door in handcuffs, because you didn't approve of her T-shirt. That's a fine choice, Mr. President.
Lincoln could have accepted peace at the cost of disunity and continued slavery. Martin Luther King could have stopped at Birmingham or at Selma, and achieved only half a victory over segregation.
Holy crap. You did NOT just compare yourself to Lincoln and King, did you?

You gotta admit, he's got cojones.
The United States could have accepted the permanent division of Europe, and been complicit in the oppression of others.
And if you’re trying to compare the conflict in Iraq to World War II, you’ve already lost. The only way the two would compare would be if the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor, and in response, American forces invaded Brazil.
May God bless America.
And may God save us from you and your cronies.


Worst Weather Ever said...

found this in google blog search. i did almost the same thing you did with this post. check it out. it was soooo easy to dig into. Mr. Danger plays fear left and right and really never says anything of substance.

gandhi said...

I had a crack at this sort of "heckling" too - hard to resist, isn't it, when every word he utters amounts to a lie?

But my effort expired due to sheer bloddy grustration when I was only about a third of the way through the speech...

The real tragedy is that these times call for some serious leadership, whereas the longer Bush stays in power the worse things get.

gandhi said...

"bloddy grustration"???

This geyboardd is gissing me off!!