"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

State of the Union

President Bush will make his annual State of the Union address to the nation tonight at a critical juncture in his term of office, and many folks are speculating about what he might say to try and boost his sagging approval ratings. I fully expect more of the same "stay the course" rhetoric and selective statistics purporting to show that we are "winning" the war on terrorism. But according to an article by James Carroll in the Boston Globe, the problem with this war is that we don't have an enemy. Instead of fighting against a nation, an "insurgency", or even a self-mythological figure such as Bin Laden, we are fighting an idea - and for that, Carroll says, "the muscle-bound Pentagon offers no authentic means of assault". Yet, look for Bush to portray himself as a steely, determined war commander and justify all his activities (even the illegal ones) as necessary to defend the nation. It will be interesting to count how many times "9/11" is invoked tonight; if less than 20, I'll be amazed.

Another thing we can expect to see tonight is an attempt by Bush to deflect attention from the Iraq quagmire, illegal wiretapping, and Congressional scandals to health care and medical costs. The Seattle Times reports that "Bush is moving the issue to the top of the national agenda again and is expected to push a series of proposals" that he hopes will refocus the nation's interest on domestic policies. After dismally failing to overhaul Social Security, The Times notes that success at health care reform "would allow the president to build political momentum heading into the midterm elections this fall". However, if the government fiasco of confusion and frustration that is the Medicare prescription drug program is any example, don't look for any significant change in benefits for those who need it most -- the uninsured and under-insured. The last attempt at major reorganization of the US health care system in 1993 was a colossal political failure, so Bush better hope that his plan has more to offer than Hillary's did.

Fortunately, I don't need to actually watch Bush's address tonight to know what he's going to say. It turns out that he gave a preview of the speech to Congress last week, and I've managed to track down this video of it.

Coincidentally this year, the State of the Union Address falls during the same week as Groundhog Day. As Air America Radio points out: "It is an ironic juxtaposition: one involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication, and the other involves a groundhog."


2 Comments:

  • At 1/31/2006 05:40:00 PM, Blogger Brandi said…

    I think I would rather drink a bottle of bleach than listen to that raving fricken idiot tonight. Nothing pisses me off more than having regular TV inturrupted by him. Don't get me wrong, if it were anyone else I wouldn't give a crap less if my TV scedule was messed up because I really don't watch that many programs.
    AAAAAHHHHHH, why don't we impeach him already!!!!

     
  • At 1/31/2006 11:39:00 PM, Blogger Wild*Hen said…

    Painfull to watch..but I managed.

    I couldn't even tell you what he said, it's all Texanese to me.

    (Cute quote there about the ground hog!)

     

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