Wednesday, February 01, 2006


SOTU Switcheroo

We must move forward not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling toward freedom.


The State of the Union is "Meh".....

Wow! I was not looking forward to the SOTU speech at all yesterday, but when I finally sat down to watch it, I did get a little into a whole pageantry and traditions of democracy kind of mode. The President spoke well and was on his game, but the substance was sorely lacking and he was a bit too defensive on the whole Iraq thing. (For a moment I thought we was going to declare the firstGalacticc Republic.) Anyway, what struck me most about the speech and about Governor Kaine's response was that we did get a little of a conservative speech and a little does of big government liberalism...It's just that Bush's speech was the big government liberalism and Governor Kaine's speech (with the exception of a call for the return of the windfall profits tax) was more conservative...go figure.

Seriously though, if you look at what Bush proposed it was like Ted Kennedy's dreams come true. A 22% increase in DOE funding, a federal program to hire 70,000 more teachers, acknowledgement that healthcare for the elderly and poor is the responsibility of the federal government, and other 'investment initiatives.' Spend, spend, spend King George! The only difference between Ted Kennedy and George Bush on the role of government is that King George wants to expand federal programs into our bedrooms and perhaps women's uteruses (after all it's not's uter-us!). The smaller government, fiscal restraint that brought on the new republican majority is dead...Bush killed it and heaven forbid any of us should question it. Confirming the GOP's abandonment of conservative principle was theraucoussapplausee the Prez. got for his unappologetic defense of ignoring the 4th Amendment.

Of course the highlight of the night is when the Dems did a standing ovation when Bush mentioned that Congress failed to act on his social security reform..he, he that was funny...Bush of course showed them though when he called for yet another commission on social security ballsy George.

Governor Kaine was a different story. His left eyebrow aside, he did a decent job and his message was more of a moderate/libertarian republican with a dash of Clintonian DLC-ish-ness than was Bush's. Responsible government, well run government, accountable government...I remember those messages from the mid 1990s when the GOP was trying to get the majority...The GOP used to mean it, they don't anymore. Kaine's refrain of "There's better way" was nice, but way over used.

Just as it is shaping up as a battle between John McCain and George Allen for the GOP Presidential nom., we should keep a eye on Kaine (or his predecessor Warner) and Iowa's Tom Vilsack... as I think we are starting to see the early messages we'll be hearing more of as we approach 2008.

I was surprised I enjoyed last night as much as I did. Perhaps it isbecausee after five years, I have abandoned any pretext that Bush will actually do anything remotely conservative in the classic sense (e.g. -welfare reform, reducing government spending and the like). He's a Big Government man through and through...and if you like that stuff then good for you...but there used to be a time when such big government supporters were called by their true name..Socialists...not Republicans.

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