31 January 2006

Quack (SOTU)

I think we have just witnessed the effective end of the Bush presidency. Yes, wishful thinking, I can admit, but wow. The most positive comment I have heard was "modest." Where is the bold Commander Codpiece of a year ago, striding forth and spending his hard-earned political capital on such visionary plans as reforming social security and the tax code? Where is the budget-impaired adolescent of three years ago who proudly declared "Mars or Bust"? Ah, what a sad thing it is when a year of incompetence and corruption reduce him to a 39% approval-rating shell of a man whose bravest proposal was to ban human-animal hybrids (really).

It cracked me up when he lamented that "congress did not act" on his Social Security proposal, giving the Democrats their best (only) applause line of the night.

What happened to Health Care? The run-up said that this would be the big focus of the SOTU, with big big proposals, but there was one paragraph dedicated to health care, and it basically was a plea for malpractice reform (dead) and minimal changes to Health Savings Accounts, which nobody uses anyways. Bit of a bait and switch, there, but not too funny to the 47 million uninsured Americans.

"America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world." Are you fricking kidding me? This from the man who spent the last five years as the "Oil president" and presided over the biggest profits ever for the energy industry? Yes, and the oil producing countries are unstable, aren't they -- they keep getting invaded and hosting inconvenient insurgencies and having their presidents overthrown by US-backed coups. How irritiating.

Say, whatever happened to the hydrogen cars he promised us a couple of years ago?

And the man who added $17 Trillion to the nation's liabilities manages to crow about $14 Billion in deficit reductions. With a straight face.

An odd silence on the lobbying scandal on the hill, and minimal red meat thrown to the base -- passing mentions only of gay marriage, stem cells, and abortion.

I think this speech will be forgotten by the end of the week, and absent an agenda this year, I can't see that the era of Bush will have any other opportunity to introduce any expansive plans or radical changes (thank goodness), since this year will be consumed by electoral politics, and by 2007, the focus will be on the next president. Sure, Bush will have another three years to inflict damage on the country with his control of the executive branch and judiciary -- it will take us a long time to undo the damage, to be sure. But I got a real feeling of a turning of the tide tonight, that his window of opportunity is closing and that the long dark night is finally coming to an end.

1 comment:

Carlos said...

I am surprised to find that you don't have an entry for Alito's confirmation on your blog yet. That damage won't be repaired for a couple of generations.