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State of the Union — Preliminary Thoughts

As I was organizing a dinner for my college alumni association’s entertainment group, I did not get to watch all of the State of the Union Address last night. Before setting out, I did see his very classy introduction, a very warm tribute to an ideological adversary, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

She seemed to accept this with grace. It would be nice if this type of respect were to define their relationship for the next two years, much as, in the 1980s, Ronald Reagan and then-Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill, while differing greatly on policy issues, respected each other as individuals — and even enjoyed each other’s company.

I heard most of the speech while driving from West Hollywood to Sherman Oaks, much of the time caught in horrible traffic on Coldwater Canyon. You see, they had closed Laurel Canyon, the normal route I would take. I was thus not able to concentrate as much as I would like, focusing more on the stop-and-go traffic. I will note that the president sounded more confident than he has in recent media appearances. Indeed, before leaving for the dinner, when I watched his entrance on TV, I thought he looked confident — and determined.

On the whole, I thought it was a good speech. He offered a good, solid defense for the “surge,” the change of strategy in Iraq and his health care plan seems a good first step at reforming a system which works well for most Americans, but whose costs are becoming prohibitive for many. (I may have more to say on this later.)

Listening to the Democratic response from Virginia Senator Jim Webb, I became easily distracted. He did not sound nearly as strong as the president and offered little in the way of alternatives to the president’s plan. MSNBC’s David Shuster pretty much sums up my thoughts, noting that “Webb spoke mostly in platitudes, didn’t offer specifics about Democratic plans, and the way he described the current economic situation in this country was a bit misleading.

On the whole, I agree with Powerline‘s John Hinderaker that the president was “back on his game,” but wonder with him if it will matter. It seems Democrats — and many in the MSM — are intent on opposing him no matter what he proposes. As the Washington Post‘s Ruth Marcus puts it, “If George W. Bush proposes something, it must be bad. Such is the knee-jerk state of partisan suspiciousness that when the president actually endorses a tax increase — a tax increase that would primarily hit the well-off, no less — Democrats still howl” (Via Instapundit).

The President delivered a good speech last night, offering many good ideas to defeat terrorism and improve the lives of Americans. It would be nice if Democrats in Congress showed the same respect for these ideas as he showed for the Democratic Speaker of the House.

UPDATE: Seems I’m not the only one who liked the speech. Glenn Reynolds notes that it polled well. According to CNN, 78 percent had a very — or somewhat — positive reaction to the speech.

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16 Comments

  1. The Gods alone know why the Democrats chose Webb. Maybe they thought he’s use his personal moral throw-weight as a parent with a son on combat-duty in Iraq to attack either the President or his policies in Iraq….and he starts with the hestitant “plug” for the 400th anniversary celebration of Jametown!?! He lost me right there. Personally, I expected him to start with”…as a Senator, and a father with a son in the line of fire, I have the grave resposibility to respectfullty….” Instead he pulls-out a framed picture of his father in WW2 and plays the “greatest generation”-card??

    He served only to demonstrate…again…that the Opposition to the Administration’s policies lack intelligently thought-out alterantive plans to accompany their “opposition”-position.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — January 24, 2007 @ 2:42 pm - January 24, 2007

  2. If by “Back on his Game” you mean proposing major governmental programs with no way to fund them except through deficit spending, you are right, Bush is “Back to the His old Games”
    Same old Bush…INSPIRING!

    Comment by keogh — January 24, 2007 @ 2:44 pm - January 24, 2007

  3. [...] Gay Patriot  [...]

    Pingback by Infidels Are Cool » Blog Archive » SOTU: The Good, The Bad and The Boring *UPDATED* — January 24, 2007 @ 3:21 pm - January 24, 2007

  4. Can someone define for me what the democrat definition of ‘bipartisanship’ is?

    Overall Bush was resolute, somewhat contrite and delivered a good State of the Union with a lot of new proposals….Nice job!

    Comment by benj — January 24, 2007 @ 3:45 pm - January 24, 2007

  5. Riddle me this…

    If the CEO of a company was making bad decisions that the majority of stock holders felt were the wrong course of action and as a result the board of directors called on that CEO to make a change in his policy, should we then expect the board to suggest the correct course of action? What’s the CEO’s role then except as a figurehead? Why should the stockholders expect to pay a salary to said CEO? Why shouldn’t said CEO simply resign?

    I hear all this GOP blather about Democrats not having any ideas or alternatives. Well guess what fellows, that’s not their job. That’s the job of the big fellow in the white house. And frankly if you feel that it IS somehow their job to take both the responsibility AND the privilege of acting as commander-in chief, you should recommend the dunderhead and vice dunderhead in charge step down and let Nancy Pelosi move her stuff into the oval office already.

    Comment by Just A Question — January 24, 2007 @ 4:06 pm - January 24, 2007

  6. His comments about Pelosi and her father were great. And didn’t anyone notice how many ardent anti-Bush Dhimmicrats – including Pelosi, Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) – lined up for handshakes and autographs afterwards?

    Kucinich even got TWO handshakes – once when the Prez walked into the House, and one on the way out. Bet the Kossacks are gonna give him hell to pay for that faux pas…

    Gee, he worked the room better than Slick Willie ever did. Now THAT is the GWB we know and love in Texas.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — January 24, 2007 @ 4:07 pm - January 24, 2007

  7. Dan, I think GWB hit it exactly right… he was a gentleman to NancyP and clearly won her over with his gracious comments –she repsonded perfectly. He moved through a litany of work to be done in a bipartisan fashion and his “people call outs” in the gallery reminded us of what America can be and is.

    It’s now up to the Administration to keep hammering away… and the SenGOP not to cave in on any menaingless grandstanding proposals from the House.

    Of the top issues that voters want GWB and Congress to address this year, GWB made substantive proposals on every single major issue. I think the social conservatives here probably liked his comment about no amensty for illegals in the US. I liked his resolve on Iraq and the WOT.

    Top issues outlined here –http://www.pollingreport.com

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — January 24, 2007 @ 4:36 pm - January 24, 2007

  8. #5 – Isn’t it ironic that someone who was part of the caterwauling in 2000 about an “unelected” president and “disenfranchised voters” would favor having an unelected House Speaker as president, with no say from the American voters whatsoever?

    Hypocrisy, thy name is liberalism.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — January 24, 2007 @ 4:48 pm - January 24, 2007

  9. Is it just me and my curmudgeonly state of mind, or does W lose no matter what he does? If he’s clear and resolute, then he’s arrogant, partisan and imperial. But if he’s gentlemanly, conciliatory…then….nothing. He gets nothing, and only winds up looking dickless.

    Comment by EssEm — January 24, 2007 @ 5:24 pm - January 24, 2007

  10. Well, let’s put it this way. Someone brought up the example of Harry Reid. As recently as December 2006, he called strongly for a troop surge. Now that Bush wants it, he’s agin it. Same with Andrew Sullivan.

    Comment by Calarato — January 24, 2007 @ 5:36 pm - January 24, 2007

  11. Vera was slightly drunk during the speech, but she remembers this:

    On HDTV – with her never-ending blinking – Nancy Pelosi looked like a drag queen that was tweaking.

    John Kerry is to politics what Kevin Federline is to music: tone deaf and irrelevant.

    Hillary Clinton should have moved her seat before the speech;
    Sitting next to Obama only heightened the major differences between them; A good looking black male trumps a tired looking female.

    Condi: get your Zoloft prescription refilled. Today.

    Jim Webb needs a better colorist. And a better color.

    Dick Cheney looked like Mr. Potter from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.
    He used to look like ‘Clarence’ the aspiring angel.

    GWB gave a good speech – and Madam Speaker Pelosi was kind enough to return his testicles to him when he was done. They were in her clutch bag.

    Rummy should have shown up drunk and ranting, ala James Mason (as Norman Maine) in the Oscar sequence from “A Star is Born”. It would have been priceless.

    Cheers darlings, if you can manage it…

    Comment by Vera Charles — January 24, 2007 @ 9:34 pm - January 24, 2007

  12. If the CEO of a company was making bad decisions that the majority of stock holders felt were the wrong course of action and as a result the board of directors called on that CEO to make a change in his policy, should we then expect the board to suggest the correct course of action? What’s the CEO’s role then except as a figurehead?

    Just A Question, you regularly demonstrate the fact that, in order to be a Democrat, you can never have actually worked for a living or understand corporate America.

    Boards of directors are made up of experienced people with years of service in an industry and a proven track record of success. Many are former CEOs themselves. The point of having these people is to use their combined knowledge and experience to set strategy and direction. The CEO, as part of the Board, is the individual who carries it out.

    In contrast, Pelosi, Reid, Webb, and the other Democrats have demonstrated that their only criteria for whether or not something is a good decision is whether or not it’s anti-Bush. Hence their support of Cindy Sheehan, who sends hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and supplies to the terrorists daily attempting to kill our soldiers, Webb’s son included — all because she’s anti-Bush.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 25, 2007 @ 12:28 am - January 25, 2007

  13. It would be nice if this type of respect were to define their relationship for the next two years, much as,

    Problem is, Pelosi likes her job and will do whatever it takes to keep it.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 25, 2007 @ 1:32 am - January 25, 2007

  14. #4
    Can someone define for me what the democrat definition of ‘bipartisanship’ is?

    Easy:

    Bend over, lube up, and take it like a good b*tch should.

    Bipartisanship, unity, comity etc. all mean the same thing. Republicans should shut up, get rid of their ridiculous beliefs and do what liberals say. Which is why it irritates the sh*t out of me when Republicans roll over so the liberals will like them or shiv their president because they think it’s popular.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 25, 2007 @ 1:43 am - January 25, 2007

  15. #11 – Welcome back, Vera dahlin! I have REALLY missed you on this board! You are definitely a breath of fresh air.

    My cup runneth over. Which is why I switched to a pint. Cheers!
    ;-)

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — January 25, 2007 @ 11:59 am - January 25, 2007

  16. [...] Today, while beginning my day, I had FoxNews on and was delighted to hear the President challenge the critics of his new Iraq policy, saying that it was their “obligation”* to put forward their own plan. It seems he’s following up on his strong State of the Union address where, as I noted earlier this week, quoting Powerline’s John Hinderaker, that the president was “back on his game.” [...]

    Pingback by World and Global Politics Blog » Blog Archive » President on Iraq Critics — Back on his Game — January 29, 2007 @ 3:53 am - January 29, 2007

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