2006 State of the Union or
Spin of the Union?
What is Bush?... Conservative?... Liberal?... None of the above?...
Listening to him talk around some issues and spin others, makes it very difficult to tell exactly what Bush really is. But this State of the Union Address leaves little doubt about what he is NOT. He is no conservative. In fact, as I listened to this State of the Union Address, I couldn't help but wonder if he wasn't more interested in balancing applause from the Republican and Democrat sides of the aisle, than in making a definitive statement on various issues.
Oh, he talks conservative and actually acts conservative on a few hot-button issues. But based upon his actions on other issues and this State of the Union Address, one has to wonder if maybe his positions on national defense and the war on terrorism are not simply convenient excuses, to cover his liberal and often unconstitutional actions, right here at home.
But, because we understand just how important it is to fight the war on terrorism on the enemy's turf, rather than on ours, we'll give Bush the benefit of the doubt and assume that he really is conservative on that issue. But, there is a lot more going on in the world and in our own government, than just the war on terrorism, so we can't just put on blinders and focus on that one issue and pretend that Bush is not really liberal on many other issues.
Tonight, we heard a well crafted speech that gave Bush a chance to spin his liberal domestic agenda early in the address, followed by a long list of conservative, terrorism-related initiatives, designed to make conservatives forget that he wants to give amnesty to illegal aliens and increase the federal government's roll in healthcare (although that initiative is considered DOA), among other things.
But just as important as what Bush said, is what he did NOT say. For example, he avoided any mention of one of the largest initiatives of his entire term of office - the very quietly begun, NAFTA Super Highway that most conservatives more accurately refer to as the Wetback Expressway. This initiative that seriously threatens our sovereignty, aids illegal immigration and makes it easier for terrorists to bring WMD's into our country, is almost as huge domestically, as is the war in Iraq internationally and yet, not one word was mentioned to tell us why he thinks this is necessary. The absence of any mention of this issue shouts volumes. Bush also talked about increasing the size of the Border Patrol, while two exemplary Border Patrol agents sit in prison for doing their jobs. Yet, he didn't tell us how he was going to convince those new agents that they would not go to jail, too, if they do their jobs. Instead, he talked about a health insurance initiative that is essentially DOA.
Bush's handlers structured his speech in such a way as to get the media to focus on the war in Iraq and almost completely ignore his liberal domestic initiatives that would anger conservatives. From spending a lot of time on terrorism issues, late in the speech, to the routine recognition of a few extraordinary Americans, at the end of the speech, they created and effective buffer to allow conservatives to forget his earlier mentioned liberal initiatives. But, some of us won't be tricked. We don't forget. And, we know that just calling it "compassionate conservatism" doesn't make it conservative.
In the days following the 9-11 attacks, Bush told the world, "You're either with us or you're against us." After listening to this State of the Union Address, it is clear that conservatives need to remind Bush and the remaining Republicans in Congress that the reason why the GOP is in the minority is that we realized, before the last election that, "You're either with us or you're against us. You're either a conservative or a liberal," and that's how we voted. This State of the Union Address makes it clear that Bush has learned nothing from the last election. Either that, or he just doesn't care. Either way, it's clear that he is no conservative and acting conservative on just one issue - the war on in Iraq and Afghanistan - will not make him a conservative. While we applaud his actions in fighting the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, we realize that such actions alone, do not a conservative make.
If conservatives take just one thing out of this State of the Union Address, it should be this. We need to be more alert and more active than ever, because Bush is going to do everything that he can to subvert our efforts on behalf of real conservatism.
What about the Democrat Response?
I think that Macbeth said it best. "It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." (Act V., Scene V.). Senator Jim Webb, did exactly what the Democrats have become famous for doing, in recent years. He pointed out the problems (the sound and fury), but offers not one single solution (signifying nothing). They promise to fix things, but they don't tell us how.
They have a lot of complaints, but they have no plan.
So, who came out on top?
I have to give it to the Democrats, even though they don't have a plan. I don't trust them any more than I trust Bush. But, I'll take no plan, over a bad one. How sad that it has come to such a choice.
I should mention here, that the one thing that really bothered me about the broadcast of this State of the Union Address, is that the camera never zoomed in on Bush and I had to watch Nancy Pelosi the whole time. I kept thinking that if I wanted to watch some old lady with a bad facelift, I could turn on TV-Guide Channel and watch that old actress, who interviews all the celebrities at the awards ceremonies. She looks just as tacky, but she dresses better (well, marginally).
George W. Bush has single-handedly brought down the 1994 Republican Revolution, in a way that Bill Clinton could never even dream. This State of the Union Address exemplifies why that is so. It should serve as a warning to all true conservatives. Beware!