Tuesday, January 23, 2007

State of the Union: I ask you to give it a chance to work

6:14 “I congratulate the Democrat majority.” He just couldn’t bring himself to say Democratic, could he? (Update: it was Democratic in the prepared version.)

6:15 Evidently they must still “guard America against all evil.” Dude, Cheney’s sitting right behind you, with a hurt expression on his face.

6:19 He’s against earmarks, which I can’t quite recall being mentioned in earlier SOTUs. The time has come to end this practice. I wonder what happened in, say, November that makes this the time.

6:20 I’m watching in high definition and, holy shit, I just caught a glimpse of Ted Kennedy....

6:26 Patrick Leahy is not a high-def kind of guy either.

6:22 A disguised proposal, which I wouldn’t have even recognized had AP not predicted it. Bush’s words: “giving families with children stuck in failing schools the right to choose something better.” What that meant is that he plans to propose letting them use public money to pay for private schools. This is obviously one of those obligatory no-chance-in-hell proposals that so enliven SOTU speeches. He might as well suggest letting them transfer to private schools on Mars.

6:23 Speaking of DOA proposals, here’s his health insurance tax-deduction scheme (order now and get free switch grass!). No reference here to “gold-plated” insurance policies, although poor people will supposedly be helped to get “basic” private insurance.

6:31 We will reduce gasoline use by 20% in 10 years, without a single American having to get out of their car and step on a smelly bus or walk or bike to work.

6:34 “Yet one question has surely been settled - that to win the war on terror we must take the fight to the enemy.”

6:37 Who have “shoreless ambitions”.

6:40 “What every terrorist fears most is human freedom”. And spiders.

“Free people are not drawn to violent and malignant ideologies”. Dude, Cheney is still right behind you.

6:42 John McCain is adorable when he’s sleeping.

6:43 “This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it’s the fight we are in.” If it’s not the fight we entered, shouldn’t there be a new vote in Congress?

6:47 “the consequences of failure would be grievous and far-reaching.”

6:48 Shia or Shiite, make up your mind.

6:50 “Our country is pursuing a new strategy in Iraq - and I ask you to give it a chance to work.” I repeat: you mean give it a chance to fail.

6:50 “The war on terror we fight today is a generational struggle that will continue long after you and I have turned our duties over to others.” Notice the shift: when he first started talking about this being the “struggle of a generation,” he meant a fight that fell to one particular generation. Now he uses “generational” to mean a fight that will last at least a generation.

6:54 We will “continue to awaken the conscience of the world to save the people of Darfur.” So, just talking about it, then.

7:02 Instead of the usual God bless the United States of America, or the creepier May God continue to bless, we just got a perfunctory “God bless.”

Oh, I forgot: the state of the union is strong. He really does have a tiny vocabulary, doesn’t he? We’re lucky he didn’t say the state of the union is interesting.

Well, this wasn’t a very interesting post, but then it wasn’t a very interesting speech. No would-be stirring phrases, no new formulations like “axis of evil,” no clarion call to stop human-animal hybrids. No one will remember a word of it tomorrow.


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