After some frustrating moments getting a good stream off of c-span.org, I finally got both audio and non-stupid video of the State of the Union address.
Voluntary personal retirement accounts is Bush’s solution for fixing social security. Nothing new, but yay anyway. I’m glad he’s sticking with it. Let me keep my money, thank you very much. For me it all boils down to that. I believe I can handle my money better than some bureaucrat in D.C.
I guess Bush wasn’t joking when he said he was going to spend the political capital he earned. Support for a federal marriage amendment and building a culture that is “pro-life” is going to be expensive. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. Interestingly the pro-life part focused not on abortion but on stem-cell research and preventing “baby farms.”
Foreign policy is the same. He’s going to stay the course. Bring freedom and promote democratic movements. Money to Palestine? Can we wait until they show that they aren’t going to just keep blowing other people up? Syria is going to get the screws tightened on it and a message of hope for those who pursue liberty in Iran. Excellent. I teared up when Bush pointed out Sofia, a true Iraqi freedom fighter. We bled for her and her countrymen.
He’s laid out an aggressive agenda for his second term. Domestically, I’ll believe it when I see it. The Dems are making moves to block everything from social security reform to judge appointments. If these initiatives fail it won’t be because of any lack of effort on Bush’s part. On the foreign side, much of his agenda will be interesting to see how it plays out. I’m all for putting serious pressure on both Syria and Iran. My guess is they think we don’t have it in us to topple them like we did Saddam and the Taliban. Unfortunately, I think they’re right. And without that saber to rattle, they are given a huge advantage.
Harry Reid, in the Democratic response, is surprisingly unobjectionable. Promote technology? Cool. Help infrastructure? We will have to do it eventually anyway. Well, it was unobjectionable until he says privatizing social security is wrong. Yawn. He just wants to maintain the status quo. Social security reform is going to be a big fight. Interestingly, Reid doesn’t mention the marriage amendment, though he does emphasize old time American values. Pelosi admits that our troops made a sacrifice for our country and defended us. Wow, I guess removing Saddam was part of the War on Terror. She also says Iraq is a magnet for terrorists. Duh, better there where our army is than here in our cities. She also wants a plan for getting out of Iraq. Do these people not grasp the fact that by giving any type of timetable will only help the terrorists? As far as the terrorists should know, we’re going to stay there until they die or give up. On the other hand, she gives a lot of suggestions with which I agree: improving security in Iraq, stopping the genocide in Sudan, and improve homeland security. Of course, most of that stuff I’d consider no-brainers and things that Bush and the Republicans would be working on anyway.
Anyway, right now I wish I was in Seattle at McCormick’s enjoying a $2 cheeseburger, sipping a Guinness, and looking forward to a cigar and scotch. Some things are just not to be.