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codzilla
01-21-2004, 01:34 AM
It seems to me that President has two serious problems, he did not address either one adequately in his annual State of the Union speech. For one thing, his spending is out of control. The other problem is Iraq.

Tonight he claimed this year his budget would “only” increase spending to 4%, this compared with 20% of previous years. This is only an election year ploy to seem to be a fiscal moderate. In reality people will honestly look at his record and look at all the non-defense spending bills: farms, medicare, and education; all this and reducing taxes so the fed actually has less money to give away to spending bills. It makes no fiscal sense. President Bush did not tell us why he has spent like (as The Economist recently coined) “faster than a French Socialist” over his administration.

He also named all the countries in his “coalition.” It is not that this is in significant, it could have been significant in World War I era balance of power politics. Post World War II America put a whole new set of International Law in stone. The Bush Administration has dismissed this and treated it with disdain. Their “coalition,” will not be on the correct side of history in fifty years because it undermines International Law by violating the Section VI of the UN Charter.

President Bush’s State of the Union hardly touched on any of this, because there is nothing he can say to change these facts. I do think he will lie, as he did when he was running for President in 2000, to sound like a moderate on foreign affairs fiscal discipline, and the economy; but as long as you continue to read my posts I won’t let you believe his lies.

Diogenes the Cynic
01-21-2004, 02:13 AM
He didn't mention his giant deficit nor did he mention Osama bin Laden. His pitch for a reelection was extremely inappropriate for a SITU address. Those are supposed to be formal reports to Congress not opportunities for stump speeches.

The best part was when he started to lament the fact that Homeland security was about to expire and he was interrupted by applause.

eponymous
01-21-2004, 02:24 AM
The best part was when he started to lament the fact that Homeland security was about to expire and he was interrupted by applause.

Hmm...I recall it was in reference to the Patriot Act. But I only caught the first 10-15 minutes on the radio as I was driving home from work, so I could be wrong.

codzilla
01-21-2004, 02:41 AM
No, the best part was when he started asking for his tax cuts to be permanent and the democrats started hissing.

sturmhauke
01-21-2004, 02:42 AM
Gotta love that Defense of Marriage Act. God knows that if gays and lesbians are allowed to marry, good heterosexual marriages will utterly fail, and this nation will fall to ruin. And we don't have enough federal support of faith-based charities; in fact, people of faith are discriminated against. We must not let the atheists run God out of our country, because America is blessed by God. This is God's chosen country, people! You're either with us or against us!

blowero
01-21-2004, 04:14 AM
I liked how he went back to trying to suggest a connection betwen Iraq and 9/11. He said he doesn't need a "permission slip" to protect America. The problem with that reasoning is that Iraq wasn't a threat to America.

Zoe
01-21-2004, 06:09 AM
blowero, I caught that effort to link them again too.

President Bush is still twisting words in an effort to deceive. During the State of the Union Address, he spoke the following words so quickly that I couldn't believe what I was hearing:

Some in this chamber, and in our country, did not support the liberation of Iraq. Objections to war often come from principled motives. But let us be candid about the consequences of leaving Saddam Hussein in power. We are seeking all the facts -- [b]already the Kay Report identified dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations. Had we failed to act, the dictator's weapons of mass destruction programs would continue to this day.

I thought that he was again claiming that we had found dozens of WMDs that Iraq had concealed. So I looked up the text of the speech and noticed that it is not "weapons of mass destruction" that have been found, but WMD program activities and "significant equipment."

I had to search out the Kay Report to understand the reference:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/world/iraq/20031002-1830-kay-text.html

The Kay Report makes it very clear what has been found and what has not. WMDs have not. So why is the President still trying to use that to justify the war? Congress knows better. Who is he trying to mislead? What would the average voter make of what he said when hearing it only one time, in passing?

He may have received bad intelligence before the war. But what is his excuse now?

Fear Itself
01-21-2004, 06:48 AM
"And jobs are on the rise"

An outrageous statement, in the face of his own administration's monthly job report of a net gain of only 1,000 new jobs in December.

plnnr
01-21-2004, 08:54 AM
"Our aim is a democratic peace - a peace founded upon the dignity and rights of every man and woman."

Unless you happen to be a homosexual - in which case you do not have the right to marry another adult of the same sex.

Diogenes the Cynic
01-21-2004, 08:58 AM
Hmm...I recall it was in reference to the Patriot Act. But I only caught the first 10-15 minutes on the radio as I was driving home from work, so I could be wrong.
Yes, it was the Patriots Act. That's what I meant. I was tired when I wrote that.

Patty O'Furniture
01-21-2004, 09:00 AM
Text of the speech (http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/01/20/sotu.transcript.1/index.html)

Democrats' Response (http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/01/20/dems.transcript/index.html)

He set up quite a few straw men to know down. For example:

Some in this chamber, and in our country, did not support the liberation of Iraq.

Who has said they are not in favor of Iraq's liberation? I think the method is what many people are not in favor of.

And:

Activist judges, however, have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives.

Who are the activist judges? Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore comes to mind, but seems to be off-topic. I suppose he's referring to the Massachusetts Supreme Court's ruling that was decidedly non-activist by handing the matter in question back to the state legislature.

And I can't believe that Carl Rove let him keep the lines about making homophobia legal at the constitutional level. He may have picked up a few points with conservative cristians, but lost many points with just about everybody else. I can't even believe an issue like same-sex marriage made it in to the SOTU address in the first place.

Patty O'Furniture
01-21-2004, 09:02 AM
The Onion's take (http://www.theonion.com/4003/infograph.html)

Bricker
01-21-2004, 09:15 AM
And yet, in spite of all these obvious deficiencies, the President's approval rating remains high, and polls show him winning against any Democratic candidate in November. It's a shame how stupid the American people are, eh?

MAV
01-21-2004, 09:20 AM
He set up quite a few straw men to know down. For example:

And I can't believe that Carl Rove let him keep the lines about making homophobia legal at the constitutional level.

Talk about your straw men... :rolleyes:

Many here have supposed the "best part" of the speech. I submit that the Best Part™ was the telling and damning behavior of the Democrats during the speech, and especially in reference to the Patriot Act. They applauded when he said provisions of it were to expire next year, but he shut them up quickly by following that up with the fact that the terrorist threat will not follow that schedule.

The Democrats are self-destructing, and that is probably the best thing that can happen to America.

monstro
01-21-2004, 09:20 AM
Will the average American notice the deceptive word-play mentioned in Zoe's post?

Will the average American give any thought to how many new jobs have been created? Do they care about the difference between a thousand new jobs and a hundreds of thousands of new jobs?

Does the average American care that 9/11 and Iraq had squat to do with one another?

Did the average American even watch last night's speech?

I'm a young person...under the age of 30. But I feel burdened with the cynicism and mistrust of a much older person. I think the answer to the above questions is a resounding NO! Why? Because we're a stupid and ignorant people. Bush is going to get re-elected--this time fair and square. My stomach churns in anticipation.

Bricker
01-21-2004, 09:34 AM
Was the average American stupid to support Kennedy? Johnson? Nixon, TWICE? Carter? Reagan, TWICE? Bush Sr.? Clinton, TWICE?

How is it that the average American is smart some years, and a drooling idiot others?

Jane D'oh!
01-21-2004, 09:35 AM
I loved the shots of Ted Kennedy, he was just shaking his head everytime they showed him (mostly after scary Bush remarks).

I was very disturbed by the comments about the Defense of Marriage Act. He did say that it should be a constitutional ammendment??

Apparently a glurgy closing remark reminding us to thank the troops who are fighting and dying is enough for the American Public to believe he empathizes with their situation.

Squink
01-21-2004, 09:36 AM
the Kay Report identified dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities I was promised a big hunk of 4-year cheddar, and now all you have for me is a recipe for American process cheese food?

Chance the Gardener
01-21-2004, 09:37 AM
I watched the State of the Union on PBS. My favorite part was when the camera panned to Ted Kennedy. When Bush was nattering on about how he'd allegedly improved education, Kennedy was subtly but clearly shaking his head. He did the same thing when Bush went on about how we'd found those weapons of mass destruction programs in Iraq, as if that justified Bush's Iraq adventure.

I watched the whole thing, right through the Pelosi and Daschle rebuttal and all the Shields and Brooks commentary. Shields was being too kind, and Brooks wasn't being as much of a cloying sycophant as I might have expected, considering his New York Times columns as of late. Frankly, this State of the Union speech was a joke. It was a campaign speech, and hardly the report to Congress that it's supposed to be, as Diogenes has already pointed out. It was politically charged to a most inappropriate degree. I can't say it's out of character with Bush, though. Wish I could.

I finished my third beer by the time the whole thing was over. It's a good thing there weren't any Bush apologists at my place last night. They would not have had a good time.

Kimstu
01-21-2004, 09:40 AM
Bricker: And yet, in spite of all these obvious deficiencies, the President's approval rating remains high, and polls show him winning against any Democratic candidate in November. It's a shame how stupid the American people are, eh?

Oh, I don't think the American people are stupid; but without being as pessimistic about it as monstro, I think that many of them are ill-informed or misinformed about many issues. Thanks in no small measure to the Administration's strenuous efforts to mislead them.

Don't worry, though, many of us are doing our best to set the record straight, and will continue to do so between now and November. I think that Bush's chances of re-election are strongly inversely correlated to how well-informed the public is about what he's actually been doing.

(And about those approval ratings: according to the Century Foundation's Ruy Texeira ("The Bush Cycle") (http://www.tompaine.com/feature2.cfm/ID/9763), it does not bode well for a President's re-election when his approval rate is dropping during the first half of an election year, as Bush's is doing.)

Dinsdale
01-21-2004, 09:42 AM
My favorite dichotomy was the proclamation that we don't need no stinkin' permission slip to do whatever we damn well please wherever we damn well wish, but - uh - other sovereign nations apparently do not enjoy the same luxury within their own borders.

Here, let me draw up a li'l constitution for you. Now don't trouble yore purty li'l head over such things. Have a co-cola.

Lord Ashtar
01-21-2004, 09:46 AM
There was also a great shot of Hillary. She was looking miserable, but as soon as she saw the camera on her she lit up with a huge smile.

At least I found it funny...

xenophon41
01-21-2004, 09:47 AM
And yet, in spite of all these obvious deficiencies, the President's approval rating remains high, and polls show him winning against any Democratic candidate in November. It's a shame how stupid the American people are, eh?
No, the real shame is the willingness of seemingly informed moderate conservatives to overlook the radical features which define this adminstration. One simply cannot be attentive to the actions of the Bush administration and at the same time believe its carefully framed image of conformity to conservative ideals unless one wants to be fooled.

And that's a pity.

RTFirefly
01-21-2004, 10:32 AM
And yet, in spite of all these obvious deficiencies, the President's approval rating remains high,According to Zogby (http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=786), 49% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Bush's job performance, and 50% have an unfavorable view. (Statistically even, since the poll is +/- 3.5%.) That's not a low approval rating, but it isn't high either.
and polls show him winning against any Democratic candidate in November.According to Zogby again (same link, further down the page) Bush is running behind 'any Democrat' 45% to 41%.
It's a shame how stupid the American people are, eh?We can all be bullshitted for a little while, but eventually people figure out what's really going on.

John Mace
01-21-2004, 10:46 AM
There was also a great shot of Hillary. She was looking miserable, but as soon as she saw the camera on her she lit up with a huge smile.

At least I found it funny...

I saw that, too. She's good. Kennedy won't be running for president, so he can just let it all hang out.

The "permission slip" line was a good one. Those who mentioned it so far have failed to mention that it got the biggest applause of any line-- from both sides of the aisle.

Yeah, this address was much too political. He was talking to the American people instead of to Congress, so he took it into campaign mode. It doesn't surprise me.

But not to worry. The Democrats have a plan to require country of origin labels on food. Such vision. Such leadership. :)

Priam
01-21-2004, 10:50 AM
Should I feel honored for being included in the State of the Union address? Oh wait, I got in through the same door as Iraq: threat.

And I noticed neither the Democratic response or any analysis (outside of the usual GLAAD, HRC, etc. stuff) in any significant way stood up in opposition to that section included in the SoTU.

I'm very disappointed today. :(

Mr. Moto
01-21-2004, 10:53 AM
According to Zogby again (same link, further down the page) Bush is running behind 'any Democrat' 45% to 41%.

This doesn't mean much. When the average voter imagines the mythical "any Democrat" he typically conjures up a perfect combination of FDR, JFK, Harry Truman and only the competent parts of Jimmy Carter.

Once a nominee is actually chosen, and the voters get a good look at him, reality is likelt to disappoint.

Zogby, too, isn't the only pollster out there, and he has a reputation for leading his questions left. Other pollss are showing Bush in much better shape

Fear Itself
01-21-2004, 10:59 AM
Zogby, too, isn't the only pollster out there, and he has a reputation for leading his questions left. Other pollss are showing Bush in much better shapeAnd those would be the "fair & balanced" polls, right? :rolleyes:

Whistle past graveyards much?

Binarydrone
01-21-2004, 11:03 AM
What strikes me as frightening about this is that Bush seems to always have this sort of smirky and maniacally gleeful look about him. Say what you will about his approval ratings, and the job that he is doing but you can not argue that the things that he is talking about and the things that have happened on his watch are deadly serious. His emotional state, to me, did not seem to indicate that he is taking his job very seriously and that this is all some sort of a game to him.

David Simmons
01-21-2004, 11:30 AM
What strikes me as frightening about this is that Bush seems to always have this sort of smirky and maniacally gleeful look about him. Say what you will about his approval ratings, and the job that he is doing but you can not argue that the things that he is talking about and the things that have happened on his watch are deadly serious. His emotional state, to me, did not seem to indicate that he is taking his job very seriously and that this is all some sort of a game to him.

GW has a history of failed or marginally successful enterprises in the oil game so his record as president shouldn't be too surprising. We were going to take out bin Laden and al Qaeda. But that was too hard so we invaded Iraq. The military part went fine which isn't too surprising. The military establishment is good at selecting and training people who know how to carry out complex operations. However, the part that the civilian leadership managed isn't working so well and now GW want the UN to help bail him out. Again, this is a GW characteristic.

Homeland security improvement consisted of gathering a group of disparate groups into a large, new bureaucracy. This bureaucracy has demonstrated little competence in airline security as shown by a number of tests in which uncleared people gained acess to sensitive airport areas. The intelligence agencies which didn't catch the WTC were more or less left alone, unchanged and unimproved.

Homeland Security keeps juggling orange and yellow alert levels based on "message traffic" if we can believe what they say is their justification. Has everone forgotten how easy "message traffic" can be manipulated? Prior to the Normandy landings an entire phantom army, "commanded" by none other than Gen. George Patton himself, was created to fool the enemy as to the invasion plan and it was created solely by "message traffic." And it seems to have worked, too.

The one characteristic that GW exhibits to me is that of outlining large schemes that are overoptimistic to the point of fatuity (Iraqi's will dance in the streets at their liberation) without any knowledge or planning to carry them out, if that is even possible.

Chance the Gardener
01-21-2004, 11:38 AM
Zogby, too, isn't the only pollster out there, and he has a reputation for leading his questions left. Other pollss are showing Bush in much better shape.

I'm afraid you've got Zogby figured wrong. Check this out from a 2000 Slate article:

The most important reason for Zogby's popularity is that his polls make Republicans feel good. Conservatives clutched at his accurate prediction of the 1996 race because it seemed to show that Clinton wasn't so popular after all. Since then, Zogby's numbers have usually shown Republicans doing better than they do in other polls. (Zogby is a registered Democrat and, he says, a liberal.) My hunch is that Zogby's method of determining who's a "likely voter" emphasizes low-turnout elections, especially ones in which Republicans are disproportionately able to mobilize their base. That allows him to notice some Republican upsets that other pollsters miss. But it also sometimes leads him astray, as it did in the D'Amato-Schumer race.

FromSlate.com, March 1, 2000 (http://slate.msn.com/id/76221/)

While Zogby himself is an admitted liberal Democrat, his polls are fair, and typically compensate for where the Republicans' figures are overlooked, due to the fact that Democrats are more likely to respond to polls than Republicans.

I have to stick up for Mr. Zogby's fine organization. Apparently Mr. Moto's been exposed to someone's attempt to poison a well. Pow! Another blow against ignorance! Biff! Wham!

fruitbat
01-21-2004, 12:01 PM
I felt Bush's speech was pedestrian and uninspired. I don't know when the State of the Union became a disjointed listing of pie in the sky policies that will never see the light of day. There was little passion and even less surprise in his address.

If possible I was more dissapointed by the Democrat's response. Nancy Pelosi and her nine face lifts were halting and dull. Daschle was polished, but smirky and self-satisfied. Is there any rule that says that the response must be given by the respective minority leaders? Barbara Mikulski could have given an inspired response that would have the potential to overshadow Bush. Even Ted Kennedy could have done a better job of responding.

I felt like I wasted a couple of good hours of my life last night with nothing to show for it. As bad as Bush was, the Democrats weren't much, if any, better.

BobLibDem
01-21-2004, 12:03 PM
I flipped to and from the speech during commercials in History Channel's Barbarians show (somehow, flipping from Atilla the Hun to GWB seemed appropriate).

Watching what little of the speech, I was left wondering what in the heck people see in this guy. The dictionary should show his picture next to the word "smarmy". After reading the speech later, I thought he seemed to be reaching to the right, the far right, and the really far right. The bit about the activist judges was a real howler, what he meant was judges that don't rule in his favor.

I hope monstro is being overly pessimistic. The average American is starting to wake up to the fact that the administration pulled a fast one on them in Iraq. The average American isn't getting rich off the Bush tax giveaway. Should the Democratic nominee be someone worthy of the challenge (i.e., Kerry or Edwards), Bush is going to have a real battle on his hands.

Dewey Cheatem Undhow
01-21-2004, 12:08 PM
There was also a great shot of Hillary. She was looking miserable, but as soon as she saw the camera on her she lit up with a huge smile.

At least I found it funny...Even better were the repeated shots of Charles Rangel sleeping. I wonder if he snored.....

Binarydrone
01-21-2004, 12:10 PM
... As bad as Bush was, the Democrats weren't much, if any, better.
You know, this is really at the heart of something that has been bothering me for a very long time. What do we have to do to get some actual sane leaders?

Milum
01-21-2004, 12:16 PM
Monstro: "I'm a young person...under the age of 30. But I feel burdened with the cynicism and mistrust of a much older person. I think the answer to the above questions is a resounding NO! Why? Because we're a stupid and ignorant people. Bush is going to get re-elected--this time fair and square. My stomach churns in anticipation."

Take heart, Young Monstro, yes we are a stupid and ignorant people, but give thanks to your secular or non-secular, god or godess above that only about 70% of we Americans are stupid and ignorant. That is the precentage of Americans who will vote for Bush in November. At that time you can pout and whine along with the other 90% of the posters to this thread.
Hey! Then you each can tell each other how smart you all are, and together you all can lament the sorry, sad, state of affairs that happens when free Americans, both stupid and ignorant, are allowed to vote. __ :)


_______________BUSH IN FOUR______________

RTFirefly
01-21-2004, 12:31 PM
This doesn't mean much. When the average voter imagines the mythical "any Democrat" he typically conjures up a perfect combination of FDR, JFK, Harry Truman and only the competent parts of Jimmy Carter.

Once a nominee is actually chosen, and the voters get a good look at him, reality is likelt to disappoint. That may or may not be true. But what I said refutes Bricker's claim as worded, regardless.

If the nominee is Kerry or Edwards or even Wesley Clark, my bet is that the winner will look at least as good as the hypothetical 'any Democrat'. In Edwards' case, maybe even better. (JFTR, I think Dean is toast as far as the nomination is concerned. He's not this year's McGovern or Carter; he's this year's Gene McCarthy. He's given the other candidates the backbone to take on Bush and the GOP, but they can do that and win, and he can't. So he's the victim of his own success.)
Zogby, too, isn't the only pollster out there, and he has a reputation for leading his questions left.First I'd heard of that. (His alleged reputation, that is. I'm sure there are other pollsters out there.)

pantom
01-21-2004, 12:51 PM
I deeply, deeply resented two things:

1) the "activist judges" bit. Straight from the segregationists of the civil-rights era. Disgusting. Some things never change.

2) his insistence that the military represents the right solution to terrorism. The Prez is given very few powers in the Constitution, and Presidents have a long history of using the "Commander in Chief" title to pry open the door and accrue to themselves as much power as possible. That's the only reason why he militarized the terrorism problem.

John Mace
01-21-2004, 01:20 PM
I deeply, deeply resented two things:

1) the "activist judges" bit. Straight from the segregationists of the civil-rights era. Disgusting. Some things never change.

I disagree. There are many very reasonable, non-racist arguments to be made against an activist judiciary. However, I do think bringing up the subject of gay marriage in a SotU address is inappropriate. We've got bigger fish to fry as a country than that issue. It's an issue for the states to decide.

I thought the biggest disappointment in this address was the failure to mention ObL. He is enemy #1 and should be topic #1. Sure, Bush talked about al Qaeda, but to not mention ObL reeks of cowardice. There's no reason not to be honest and admit that we've failed to capture him-- the country needs to be reassured that we're still trying our best.

codzilla
01-21-2004, 01:34 PM
I felt Bush's speech was pedestrian and uninspired. I don't know when the State of the Union became a disjointed listing of pie in the sky policies that will never see the light of day. There was little passion and even less surprise in his address.

Well, it was probably what he runs his re-election campaign on. It pretty much is all he's got! I took notes:

"Renew the Patriot Act"

The foreign policy part about "liberating" Iraq, only in flowery language. Even seeming to claim Mr. Kay's report justified going in at the beginning. Both of these are references to his impossible War on Terror.

Then he took on domestic matters. The five domestic messages Bush wants to run on are: 1) economy turning around 2) my Medicare payoff to the drug companies 3) Education the under funded mandate heavy No Child Act 4) (I was a bit surprised by this) Illegal Drugs, taking care to note how professional athlete's are all on steroids--Doesn't he have better things to talk about for this speech. 5) Talked about marriage in a very oblique way. He doesn't really want a constitutional amendment codifying that marriage should be between a man and a women does he? That seems to me like a political loser.

Then, finally, the in-evitable "god bless America".


I felt like I wasted a couple of good hours of my life last night with nothing to show for it. As bad as Bush was, the Democrats weren't much, if any, better.

You had plenty to show for it, you now know how George Bush is going to put the loin cloth over all of our eyes and pretend to be somewhat of a moderate.

blowero
01-21-2004, 01:52 PM
He set up quite a few straw men to know down.

A few? Hell, I thought I was at Wizard of Oz auditions. His favorite mode of attack is along the lines of:

"There are some among us who are in favor of kicking cute little puppies. I am firmly against the kicking of puppies." :D

pantom
01-21-2004, 01:56 PM
John Mace: I was specifically referring to the context in which he said it, that is the context of "gay marriage": now that another group is looking for equality under the law, the same cliched idiocy is being used to hold them back. He knew his reactionary audience, and knew what the reference meant. It was vomitacious.

elucidator
01-21-2004, 02:17 PM
.... only about 70% of we Americans are stupid and ignorant. That is the precentage of Americans who will vote for Bush in November....

Man, what are you on?

For myself, I was most struck with the boldness and leadership of the "vision thing". His unprecedented effort to rid professional sports of steroids may very well stand as the single most significant contribution of his tenure. One gasps with awe at the grand sweep of his leadership! And the bold proposition to spend chump change on community colleges, presumably to retrain truck drivers to be computer programmers (got two bits says they get a two year program in BASIC and COBOL....)

But I've overlooked the Bushiviks stern initiative to keep teenagers abstinent! Yeah, that'll work!

I also got two bits that says the guy who wrote the line about the Patriot Act expiring is looking for work today.

Age Quod Agis
01-21-2004, 02:25 PM
I thought the President's threatened veto of "Any attempt to limit the choices of our seniors, or to take away their prescription drug coverage under Medicare" was just silly. Neither the Republicans nor Democrats are for limiting the choices of seniors, or taking away their drug coverage under Medicare. Such a bill has about the same chance of reaching the President's desk as I have of making out with Naomi Watts.

John Mace
01-21-2004, 02:31 PM
I also got two bits that says the guy who wrote the line about the Patriot Act expiring is looking for work today.

Why? Do you think Congress wouldn't pass it again?

Age Quod Agis
01-21-2004, 02:34 PM
Those are supposed to be formal reports to Congress not opportunities for stump speeches.For myself, I was most struck with the boldness and leadership of the "vision thing". His unprecedented effort to rid professional sports of steroids may very well stand as the single most significant contribution of his tenure. One gasps with awe at the grand sweep of his leadership!I can't think of a SOTU since FDR that wasn't politicized or included the President's pet projects, and that's especially true in election years. Bill Clinton used the SOTU to address such pressing issues as school uniforms (http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/P/bc42/speeches/sud96wjc.htm). Reagan talked about cleaning the Chesapeake Bay and establishing "a bipartisan National Commission on Excellence in Education" to combat falling SAT scores (http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/P/rr40/speeches/su84rwr.htm). LBJ proposed the Highway Safety Act of 1966 to "arrest the destruction of life and property on our nation's highways," and asked Congress to increase the limits on political contributions and the tax incentives for such contributions to "make it possible for those without personal wealth to enter public life without being obligated to a few large contributors. " (http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/P/lj36/speeches/su66lbj.htm)

I agree with John Mace that gay marriage is neither a federal issue nor appropriate for the SOTU. I agree with elucidator that I was a bit surprised when Bush started talking about getting rid of steroids in sports ("Hey, baseball, we're looking at you"). I just don't think the political content and pet projects are anything new or surprising.

Titan2
01-21-2004, 02:38 PM
According to Zogby, 49% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Bush's job performance, and 50% have an unfavorable view. (Statistically even, since the poll is +/- 3.5%.) That's not a low approval rating, but it isn't high either.

That same pollster was claiming Kerry as a poor 3rd in Iowa a week before the caucuses.

While I'd like to believe him these Jan.polls usually have little bearing on what transpires in Nov.

The problem for the Dems is to present a leader that either doesn't come across as Bush Lite on the war,or can articulate his positions better.

There's time,tho hardly enough for Dean to shake that angry man image.

Age Quod Agis
01-21-2004, 02:44 PM
I suppose he's referring to the Massachusetts Supreme Court's ruling that was decidedly non-activist by handing the matter in question back to the state legislature.When people talk about activist judges, they're usually talking about judges that change or strike down legislation in a manner inconsistent with previous laws or decisions (and the speaker's political philosophy). The Mass SC handed the matter back to the lesiglature with instructions to reform the law's definition of marriage and/or create civil unions consistent with the SC's opinion, or else they'd strike the law down or change it themselves. That's not inconsistent with being activist.

Age Quod Agis
01-21-2004, 02:45 PM
2. his insistence that the military represents the right solution to terrorism. The Prez is given very few powers in the Constitution, and Presidents have a long history of using the "Commander in Chief" title to pry open the door and accrue to themselves as much power as possible. That's the only reason why he militarized the terrorism problem.Right. Because he should have sent the FBI into Afghanistan. :rolleyes:

elucidator
01-21-2004, 02:47 PM
Why? Do you think Congress wouldn't pass it again?

Dunno. What I meant was that the speech was carefully combed to be sure all the applause/standing ovation lines were correctly timed and the pauses in place. The applause for "set to expire" wasn't anticipated, and poor GeeDub had to stand there looking like he just bit into a sour persimmon.

I listened to the speech on the radio at work. Saw parts of it again on TV and was stunned by the world of difference between the two. On the radio it sounded like a love-feast, that they would carry him out on thier shoulders chanting "40 more years! 40 more years!". Televised, it was a whole different ball game.

Nothing like watching a whole slew of fat, rich white men doing standup/siddown calisthenics on cue.

And have we ever had a Constitutional Amendment to define a word? Isn't that usually left to dictionary makers?

John Mace
01-21-2004, 02:48 PM
As much as I hate to become completely cynical, it's probably time to give up on the notion that the SotU address should not be judged as political speech. It is and has been for some time. So, looking at this as a political speech (and a campaign kick-off speech to boot), I think it was pretty effective. Bush did a good job on delivery, and hit on the themes that should help get him elected. And the Dems did the same thing in their rebuttal, although I think they did it much less effectively. To be fair, though, the Dems did not have the advanatage of a long speech in front of an audience. But their food marking plan stacks up (or down) with Bush's steroid concerns anyday.

plnnr
01-21-2004, 02:53 PM
I asked this same question in another forum, not knowing how much cross-forum reading some Dopers do. If you see it there, you'll know why.

What legitimate governmental interest is there in "preserving the sanctity of marriage" such that same sex partners can't have equal protection under the law? I'm asking for a real, negative outcome that would result if, tomorrow, same sex marriages were permitted in all 50 states? Would there be some astronomical increase in the crime rate? Would financial markets collapse? The ozone fail to do whatever it is that the ozone does and we all fry to a crisp from radiation? Just what, exactly and specifically, is the harm in permitting a consenting adult to marry another consenting adult, whatever their sex?

If Brittany Spears and her childhood friend can get drunk, get a marriage license, get hitched, and then have the whole thing written off as some sort of drunken prank, why in God's name can't a monogamous couple, who have been partners for years, who may have children that they are raising, and who pay their taxes, participate in civic life, and are law abiding citizens get married?

Anyone?

pantom
01-21-2004, 02:57 PM
Age: that's the exception that proves the rule. I'm sure you guys'll be using that to fund a swollen military establishment forever.

pantom
01-21-2004, 03:00 PM
plnnr: it's got nothing to do with logic and everything to do with prejudice. Which is why that reference disgusted me so.

jshore
01-21-2004, 03:11 PM
Talk about your straw men... :rolleyes:

Many here have supposed the "best part" of the speech. I submit that the Best Part™ was the telling and damning behavior of the Democrats during the speech, and especially in reference to the Patriot Act.

So, when you talk about Democrats who oppose the Patriot Act, where do people like Bob Barr and the American Conservative Union (http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,525038886,00.html) fit in? Libertarian-leaning conservatives aren't too fond of some of its provisions either.

jshore
01-21-2004, 03:11 PM
Talk about your straw men... :rolleyes:

Many here have supposed the "best part" of the speech. I submit that the Best Part™ was the telling and damning behavior of the Democrats during the speech, and especially in reference to the Patriot Act.

So, when you talk about Democrats who oppose the Patriot Act, where do people like Bob Barr and the American Conservative Union (http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,525038886,00.html) fit in? Libertarian-leaning Republicans aren't too fond of some of its provisions either.

rjung
01-21-2004, 03:27 PM
So, when you talk about Democrats who oppose the Patriot Act, where do people like Bob Barr and the American Conservative Union (http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,525038886,00.html) fit in? Libertarian-leaning conservatives aren't too fond of some of its provisions either.
I suspect Karl Rove and the neo-cons are taking them for granted.

"Ah, let them Libertarians whine and bitch! What are they going to do, vote for Howard Dean? Muahahahahahahahaha!"

ElvisL1ves
01-21-2004, 03:36 PM
Perhaps unusually for a news junkie like me and the rest of you, I couldn't make the decision to watch another hour of the same lies and divisiveness that we've dissected thoroughly here, not when there was a good hockey game on another channel. But we now know he's going to continue that line all the way to November, not that he has any choice. Yes, the annual address is just a free hour of campaign advertising for the incumbent - when has that ever not been the case?

AQA, you need to reread the Mass. ruling on gay marriage - it doesn't strike down a law at all; just an administrative practice. Calling it "not inconsistent with activism" as a rhetorical version of "activist" is one of the weakest arguments you've ever made, even at that.

A constitutional amendment to put those durn non-social-conservative judges in their place would have even less public credibility than the one to establish Prohibition - an earlier generation learned that lesson about tampering with the document that defines the fundamental principles of our government, but a part of this one has forgotten it or never learned it.

Titan2, a 50% disapproval rating is virtually radioactive for any US politician, especially in an election year. It's amusing to see the loyalists claim a 43% + rating as good news, when many of the same individuals were happy to see Clinton impeached despite his 60% ratings.

Age Quod Agis
01-21-2004, 03:51 PM
Age: that's the exception that proves the rule.Then I'm confused. I doubt you're saying that the FBI should have been sent into the Phillippines or Indonesia or any of the other countries to which we've sent our military to combat terrorism.

Are you saying that the war on terror within our own borders is being fought by the military? Because I'd disagree with that. International and domestic intelligence agencies share information (made easier by the Patriot Act), but the people breaking down the door of a terrorist operating within our own borders are typically the FBI, not the US Army Rangers.

Do I misunderstand what you're saying?

GIGObuster
01-21-2004, 04:12 PM
the Kay Report identified dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities
I was promised a big hunk of 4-year cheddar, and now all you have for me is a recipe for American process cheese food?
With the cheese factory dismantled too!

Flash-57
01-21-2004, 04:20 PM
Gotta love that Defense of Marriage Act. God knows that if gays and lesbians are allowed to marry, good heterosexual marriages will utterly fail, and this nation will fall to ruin.

It doesn't appear that marriage is really being defended properly as it is. I recall news reports that people routinely fly off to Vegas, get married just for fun, and then have it annulled a few days later.

Lagged2Death
01-21-2004, 04:39 PM
What legitimate governmental interest is there in "preserving the sanctity of marriage" such that same sex partners can't have equal protection under the law?

If Brittany Spears and her childhood friend can get drunk, get a marriage license, get hitched, and then have the whole thing written off as some sort of drunken prank, why in God's name can't a monogamous couple, who have been partners for years, who may have children that they are raising, and who pay their taxes, participate in civic life, and are law abiding citizens get married?

You make excellent points. I don't have an answer for your question.

But I think the way the debate has been framed, there is a larger issue at stake that is being overlooked: Since when does the federal government have anything to do with deciding who may and who may not marry? It's against the law to marry a sibling - but not against federal law. Age-of-consent for marriage varies by state. Common-law marriage laws vary by state.

This can be viewed as a state's rights issue. For the feds to respect the institution of marriage, they must first respect the local authorities in charge of creating and dissolving that institution. A constitutional amendment regarding marriage - whatever it's intent and content - would increase federal authority and erode local authority. That flies in the face of conservative philosophy.

And yet, the conservatives keep cheering him on, even though he stabs them in the back again and again.

RTFirefly
01-21-2004, 04:47 PM
That same pollster was claiming Kerry as a poor 3rd in Iowa a week before the caucuses.Cite?

Oh, hell with it. You made that up. Please don't do that again; it doesn't fly here.

The Iowa caucuses were on January 19. Here's what Zogby had to say on January 12 (http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=777), when his poll showed Kerry in third, but doing increasingly well: Pollster John Zogby: “Dean had another good day. Still basking in the Harkin endorsement. Perhaps it is still too early for Edwards to feel the impact of the Des Moines Register endorsement --although I'm sure that his team wants to forget that the Register endorsed Bill Bradley in 2000. There is a strange magnetic pull that keeps Gephardt around 23 percent.

Today I'm watching John Kerry who was feisty on Meet the Press and had a particularly strong day in our polling. As of today's rolling average, it is a three way race in the western and eastern parts of the state, among self-identified liberals, among 35-54 year olds, among previous caucus voters, those with a college education, union members, parents of children living at home, those who are afraid of losing a job in the next year, men, and voters in households earning over $50,000.

Yesterday I watched Edwards shoot up a few points after reports of Dean's negative statements about the Iowa Caucus. But as Dean stabilizes, Edwards' rise seems to have stalled.

But the day belongs to John Kerry.
But back to you, Titan:
While I'd like to believe him these Jan.polls usually have little bearing on what transpires in Nov. There's a long stretch of time between now and November, and a lot can happen. But while people have only started to focus on the Dem candidate, they've had three years to think about Bush, and these polls tell you a lot about how the public feels about him.

At any rate, a lot more is being made out of Bush's approval ratings et al. than I intended them for, which was a simple rebuttal to Bricker's claims of Bush's public standing now.
The problem for the Dems is to present a leader that either doesn't come across as Bush Lite on the war,or can articulate his positions better. Neither Kerry, Edwards, nor Clark is Bush Lite, and all can articulate their positions pretty well. And they're the field, IMHO: I'd be willing to add to my list of potential wagers that neither Lieberman nor Dean will be the nominee.

BTW, anyone wanting me to put my money where my mouth is, is welcome to do so, but please shoot me an email just in case I miss your post.

Age Quod Agis
01-21-2004, 05:18 PM
AQA, you need to reread the Mass. ruling on gay marriage - it doesn't strike down a law at all; just an administrative practice.Then what do you suppose the Mass. SC meant by its statement that it was "reformulating" the definition of civil marriage to mean "a civil union between two persons as spouses . . . ."? They weren't changing an administrative practice. They were changing a law.

[clarification] Despite my earlier statements, the Mass SC didn't hand "the matter back to the lesiglature with instructions to reform the law's definition of marriage and/or create civil unions consistent with the SC's opinion, or else they'd strike the law down or change it themselves. " The Mass SC reformulated the statute themselves, and then stayed the effect for 180 days, so the legislature could take whatever action (consistent with the Court's opinion) it deemed appropriate.Calling it "not inconsistent with activism" as a rhetorical version of "activist" is one of the weakest arguments you've ever made, even at that.I used that phrase because I don't know if the decision was activist. I'm not an expert on the Mass. constitution, and I haven't done any research on the topic. The Mass. SC presumably are experts, and have done lots of research on the topic. I'll have to take their word on what the Mass. constitution stands for.

My point was that the Mass. SC's order to stay the effect for 180 days was irrelevant to whether or not the decision was activist. An court could stay the entry of judgment for 180 days and still be activist. Or a court could not stay the entry of judgment for any time, and still not be activist.

In other words, I meant exactly what I said.

And for the record, I support legislation amending the definition of marriage to allow for same-sex marriages.an earlier generation learned that lesson about tampering with the document that defines the fundamental principles of our government, but a part of this one has forgotten it or never learned it.Thank goodness that lesson was never learned by the generation that lived through the Civil War (the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments). Or the 1910s (the 19th Amendment). Or the 1960s (the 24th Amendment). Or, I guess, the first generation of Americans, who also passed the Constitution itself (the Bill of Rights).

Come to think of it, let's hope no one ever learns this "lesson" you speak of.

John Mace
01-21-2004, 06:54 PM
I assume Elvis is talking about Prohibition (past generations learned...). Marriage is along those lines-- doesn't belong in the federal constitution.

jsc1953
01-21-2004, 07:25 PM
I agree with elucidator that I was a bit surprised when Bush started talking about getting rid of steroids in sports ("Hey, baseball, we're looking at you"). I just don't think the political content and pet projects are anything new or surprising.

And I'm sure GW made certain that the Texas Rangers were steroid-free when he owned the team....didn't he? :rolleyes:

Soup_du_jour
01-21-2004, 07:36 PM
And I'm sure GW made certain that the Texas Rangers were steroid-free when he owned the team....didn't he? :rolleyes:
So that's why the Rangers aren't any good. Bush got them all off of steroids!

Ah, it makes sense now.

Age Quod Agis
01-21-2004, 07:52 PM
And I'm sure GW made certain that the Texas Rangers were steroid-free when he owned the team....didn't he? :rolleyes:Now that you mention it, Sammy Sosa was a lot more skinny when he played for the Rangers. :p

pantom
01-21-2004, 07:56 PM
Age, I'm not sure why you're being all disingenuous with me, but the point is simple, or my point is anyway: we went into Iraq partially because, it being a military adventure, it gave the Prez an excuse to directly control the one piece of the Federal government he has a Constitutional mandate to control, rather than it doing anything to fight the terrorists. As for the rest of what you said, yeah that's justifiable use of the military against terrorists, but it could be financed with a fraction of what we're now spending.
First, what the Prez proposes to spend over the next few years on the military: http://www.cdi.org/budget/2004/topline.cfm
Notice that the amount rises by more than 100 billion dollars just over this timeline.
Next, a relative assessment of the amount we spend as opposed to the amount al Qaeda spends:
http://www.satirewire.com/briefs/budget.shtml

Age Quod Agis
01-21-2004, 08:37 PM
Age, I'm not sure why you're being all disingenuous with me, but the point is simple, or my point is anyway: we went into Iraq partially because, it being a military adventure, it gave the Prez an excuse to directly control the one piece of the Federal government he has a Constitutional mandate to control, rather than it doing anything to fight the terrorists.I wasn't being disengenuous. You said that "the only reason why [Bush] militarized the terrorism problem" was to increase his power. I'm saying Bush "militarized" it (to the extent it has been militarized) because Bush thinks that the problem can be stopped before it gets to our borders, and the military is one of the best ways to do that.

I wasn't trying to be snarky. Thanks for clarifying your position.As for the rest of what you said, yeah that's justifiable use of the military against terrorists, but it could be financed with a fraction of what we're now spending.
First, what the Prez proposes to spend over the next few years on the military: http://www.cdi.org/budget/2004/topline.cfm
Notice that the amount rises by more than 100 billion dollars just over this timeline.The American military is doing quite a bit more than just fighting Al Queda. We're stationed throughout the globe, and for a variety of missions.

I don't doubt that the military could be run more efficiently and cheaply, but there are costs to cutting the amounts we spend on the military, and in order to show that the military can be run for "a fraction" of its current costs and projections, you're going to need to show a bit more than the increase in spending over the next few years. I'd be interested, though, in your thoughts on what we can cut.

By the way, your satirewire link was hilarious.

antechinus
01-21-2004, 09:09 PM
An Australian perspective.

Our evening news showed a snippet of the address which focused on Bush urging Americans to support him because he needs to finish the war off. Bloody hell. That is the lowest of all arguments for reelection. I hope the US people do not fall for this war-reelection-ploy.

Keep him in power and he will continue to increase the hatred for America around the world whilst wasting billions.

Binarydrome was right on the mark about Bushes ...smirky and maniacally gleeful look.... This is something that comes across as very scary and worrisome.

ElvisL1ves
01-21-2004, 09:41 PM
And I'm sure GW made certain that the Texas Rangers were steroid-free when he owned the team....didn't he? Could be, actually - there has to be some reason for their chronic suckitude. Maybe Bush is still sore that Sammy Sosa didn't juice up and start hitting for power until after he traded him to the Cubs.

MAV
01-21-2004, 11:21 PM
So, when you talk about Democrats who oppose the Patriot Act, where do people like Bob Barr and the American Conservative Union fit in? Libertarian-leaning Republicans aren't too fond of some of its provisions either.

Don't know. I wasn't talking about specific Democrats who oppose the Patriot Act. I was merely referencing the Democrats' behavior last night when the President mentioned the expiration of key elements of it. They seemed to approve until he slammed the door on them.

minty green
01-21-2004, 11:30 PM
So that's why the Rangers aren't any good. Bush got them all off of steroids!Nonsense. The Rangers won their first division title ever under Dubya's ownership. Unlike Tom "Who Needs Pitching?" Hicks, Dubya was smart enough to let the show be run by people who knew what the hell they were doing. But unlike Dubya, Tom Hicks is smart enough not to let maniacs run the show. (Instead, he runs it himself, which is just as bad.)

sturmhauke
01-22-2004, 02:24 AM
It doesn't appear that marriage is really being defended properly as it is. I recall news reports that people routinely fly off to Vegas, get married just for fun, and then have it annulled a few days later.
Why does marriage need defending? Who's attacking it? If someone, say Britney Spears, goes off to Vegas, gets married, and annulls it the next day, I might think she's a moron, but ultimately it's her life to screw up however she likes. No one held her at gunpoint and told her to get married at some drive-thru chapel, or get a bullet in her head. The government cannot protect people from their own stupidity, however much effort may be poured into the task.

RTFirefly
01-22-2004, 11:45 AM
Nonsense. The Rangers won their first division title ever under Dubya's ownership. Unlike Tom "Who Needs Pitching?" Hicks, Dubya was smart enough to let the show be run by people who knew what the hell they were doing. But unlike Dubya, Tom Hicks is smart enough not to let maniacs run the show. (Instead, he runs it himself, which is just as bad.)Two corrections:

1) The Texas Rangers didn't win a division title until 1996, by which time Dubya was governor of Texas, and presumably not playing an active role as owner, even if he hadn't completely divested himself of his interest in the team.

2) Dubya was never the owner of the Rangers, just one member of an ownership group. (If he invested any money of his own, it was minimal.) I don't know what % of the team he owned, but despite being the frontman for the ownership group, the one source I've read with something to say on the matter(Helyar's Lords of the Realm, an economic history of baseball) indicates that Dubya didn't run the team in any meaningful sense.

elucidator
01-22-2004, 12:05 PM
Boy, that is just so typical of you "Bush bashers" The guy does a perfectly splendid job as owner/front man/chief cheerleader of a major league team and gets no credit for it!

I, for one, remain convinced that major league baseball is the perfect outlet for GeeDubya's talents. Indeed, I find him entirely suitable for the position of Commissioner of Baseball. The sooner he is relieved of his current onerous responsibilities and is free to take on such a position, the better!

Let us all work towards such a desireable end!

Pashnish Ewing
01-22-2004, 02:30 PM
Could be, actually - there has to be some reason for their chronic suckitude. Maybe Bush is still sore that Sammy Sosa didn't juice up and start hitting for power until after he traded him to the Cubs.The Rangers traded Sosa to the White Sox in the ill-fated Harold Baines deal. (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/1998/target61/timeline/sosa/)
[Sosa] has barely unpacked his bags at Triple-A Oklahoma City when Texas ships him, along with pitcher Wilson Alvarez and second baseman Scott Fletcher, to the Chicago White Sox for slugger Harold Baines and infielder Fred Manrique.Pash (Beleaguered Rangers fan since 1982)