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31 January 2006 @ 09:38 pm
I missed the State of the Union address tonight, as I had to spend time in TML rehearsal talking with more intelligent people. I'm not sure I would have watched anyway. At this point I find the speech boring and predictable. "The state of the union is strong." As if any president would say something differently? I will be thunderstruck on the day that any State of the Union speech includes the phrase "We're in trouble, folks."

"The road to victory...will take our troops home." Sure. What is victory, sir? It wasn't the ousting of the dictator, or that dictator's capture. It sure as hell isn't kidnapped or seriously wounded journalists. And it isn't a government that has close ties to the extremist ideologues of Iran. So what is Victory?

Congratulations on finally realizing that we have an addiction to oil. You're only a decade behind many of the rest of us. If you'd been listening, maybe you would have heard that before 2006.

So on and so forth, but here's the thing. I don't expect to hear anything from King George the Lawbreaker that will make me feel any optimism for his stewardship of this nation. So I can't be angry at him, not in any way that's profoundly different than the disappointment that seethes under my skin in almost every moment.

Instead, I aim it at the Democrats, who yet again replaced their spine with limp noodles, and whose only response to the State of the Union is more milquetoast laundry lists and the uninspiring statement "There is a better way."

Which is? How many more backbends does it require? How many more windmills?

That's what it comes down to: I don't expect leadership from the people in control, but I at least want some semblance of it in those who speak against them.

The Loyal Opposition seems lacking in both today.
Current Mood: pissed offpissed off
Current Music: The New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
Zach Millerzarfmouse on February 1st, 2006 01:12 am (UTC)
Oh it doesn't matter if Iraq's government has ties to Iran because we're invading them next. We look forward to being Iran's friend!

Also...Zimbabwe and Burma: Look out, you're on notice!

These countries' sins are that they are not democracies. But no mention of China, the world's largest non-democracy. They get a pass.

And we're going to end our dependence on 75% of middle east oil, which accounts for less than 15% of our total oil imports. No mention of ending our dependence on canadian or venezuelan or african oil, or on oil in general.

I was amused that he asked Congress for the line item veto. The Republican-sponsored line item veto was found unconstitutional during the Clinton era by a 6-3 decision and even if both new supreme court justices favor overturning that ruling it'd only be 5-4 because O'Connor already dissented on that ruling. The only option the supreme court gave was to amend the constitution. I wonder if someone just slipped him some old Republican talking points from 1994.

His attempt to make tort reform a feminist issue was amusing.

Not nearly as amusing as the brawl that nearly broke out when the Democrats started cheering hard core for the defeat of social security reform. I loved the look on W's face as his grin at the applause melted away when he realized who was applauding and why.

Cindy Sheehan got herself invited and then arrested.

Zach Millerzarfmouse on February 1st, 2006 01:32 am (UTC)
Out of the whole 51 minutes he spent about one sentence saying something that I liked. He talked about making ethanol from grass and other non-starchy biomass. My hope is that that means he's going to pour more funding into cellulase research, research which would help us mass-produce the currently expensive enzyme which would let us ferment cellulose into ethanol. The department of energy currently estimates that cellulase adds $.50/gallon to the cost of ethanol made from non-starchy materials but predicts that further research can get that cost down to $.05 in the forseeable future.

Imagine instead of harvesting corn and only being able to turn it's sugars into fuel and ending up with a stalky mashy waste biomass, instead turning the whole plant into fuel, turning discarded paper and cardboard into fuel, turning any kind of pulpy biomass into fuel. That'd be huge. I think cheap cellulase has got to be a major component to any sane short term energy strategy.
Bilal Dardai: Hillbdar on February 1st, 2006 11:30 am (UTC)
Cindy Sheehan got herself invited and then arrested.

Over a T-shirt, at that. Talk about insecurity.
Reina Hardyreinahardy on February 1st, 2006 03:32 am (UTC)
Stand beside her... and guide her...
It was pretty much as I expected. But the roommate and I made an impromptu drinking game out of it, which was wonderfully fun and ended in singing. Next year, it will be a proper party, organized, with a rules poster on the wall.
rearviewmags on February 1st, 2006 10:01 am (UTC)
As if any president would say something differently? I will be thunderstruck on the day that any State of the Union speech includes the phrase "We're in trouble, folks."

it's funny that you should say that. i started out watching it, but turned it off because he didn't say we were in trouble. if you start off with a lie, there's really no point in continuing.
Somebody Strangesomebodystrange on February 1st, 2006 10:26 am (UTC)
A friend of mine recently pointed out that he just can't be mad at Bush for the nation's problems, because it's like being mad at Pinocchio because Gepetto boinked your wife.

Not particularly relevant to your post, but something I've been forgetting to tell you for a while.
Bilal Dardai: Spiderbdar on February 1st, 2006 11:27 am (UTC)
Some blogger, right before we invaded Iraq under the pretense that they were connected to 9/11 (well, that was one of the pretenses, anyhow) summed up the situation as follows:

"It was like getting dunked on by Michael Jordan and crying out, SCOTTIE PIPPEN DID THIS!"

I always liked that.

For me it's varying levels of outrage fatigue. At some point, I'm expecting Bush to admit that he tossed a sackful of mewling kittens into the river in the interests of national security, and it will only cause me mild irritation when Bill O'Reilly complains about the bleeding-hearts who want to look after the inconsequential civil rights of orphans.
Bilal Dardai: Whoopsbdar on February 1st, 2006 11:28 am (UTC)
By "orphans," I mean "mewling kittens."
Adamarettber on February 1st, 2006 11:54 am (UTC)
I was astonished - ASTONISHED, I tell you - to hear that he didn't say anything about the recent glowing economic report supplied by Exxon/Mobile. You'd think that in an optimistic, positive speech about the State of the Union, he'd point out the spectacular success of perhaps the most American of big companies.

Further, he would have been justifiably able to point to their success as something on which he had a direct and positive influence.

And on the alternative energy front, I'll believe it when I see it. Remember, a few short years ago his big initiative was $15 billion for AIDS relief in Africa.
Wooddealer: wastewooddealer on February 1st, 2006 12:22 pm (UTC)
Democratic silence
As long as there are only two players in the game, it's in each other's interests not to overthrow the other. It's like the Globetrotters and Generals, everybody knows that if the Generals didn't "help" the globetrotters, they could win every game. But what would that accomplish? The American people are like the referees in that game, we're trying to instill law and order in a game that's already scripted.

You can look to the democrats all you want, but they'll only make enough noise to collect their majority of Congress again, and the presidency if they're lucky, nothing more.

Until the American public realizes that you can be socially liberal and economically conservative, vise versa, Green, libertarian, or anything else, as well as socially conservative and economically conservative (republican), as well as socially liberal and economically liberal (democratic), this crappy song and dance will continue.

Basically there's no pressure on the democrats to succeed in their goals. Who is a "liberal" person going to support if the democrats get out of line? A non-existant 3rd party?

So get back in line, and vote Democrate in the next election because what other choice do you have?
Danielleserendipidy on February 1st, 2006 07:46 pm (UTC)
I had hoped that Howard Dean's ascension to the head of the DNC would mean that the party would grow some balls...apparently, I was wrong. I'm not entirely sure how to galvanize the left into pulling together and running the right out of town, but somehow, I have developed this grand notion of sending out boxed sets of the Sorkin years of The West Wing. Call it, "How to be a Democrat 101," a new education for the millenium.

Many of the problems have already been stated in previous comments, but one sticks out to me--we really have nowhere else to go. Who else can we vote for that has a prayer of defeating Republican leadership? The minority votes could sink the Democratic party, but the problem is that we don't have anywhere else to go...it's the lesser of two evils, and it's discouraging to vote for Evil-Lite simply because Evil Incarnate is just too evil. Some people--a lot of people--would rather just not vote at all...but that solves nothing.

I'm rambling.
Danielleserendipidy on February 1st, 2006 07:50 pm (UTC)
When I say "sink the Democratic party," I mean that if the minority votes left the party, it would sink even further into obscurity. The party does take the minority vote for granted, because frankly, it knows that it can. Where else are we going to go? (I use the term "we" because, technically, being a woman makes me a minority in the eyes of politics, despite the fact that I think women now outnumber men population wise--at least, I know that they do in the halls of higher education.)
911939: serenity911939 on February 1st, 2006 08:20 pm (UTC)
Ahh, Sorkin, inspiring and idealistic. John Wells...more accurate depiction, which is depressing.

Yeah, that's the thing is that we could vote for the progressive third party, content to lose until more and more people join us. But the prospect of giving THEM, and I don't really mean Republicans, I mean THEM, all the power for the amount of time that it takes is just too scary.

911939911939 on February 1st, 2006 08:31 pm (UTC)
To sort of combine your two most popular posts of late, the book one and this one, I was reading a really fascinating non-fiction book before I got distracted by Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. It's called Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I picked it up after seeing her on The Daily Show.

Anyway, first of all, it's fascinating how the Republican party was the liberal party back then. So neo-con Republicans better not pick up the whole "part of Lincoln" thing, because screw that. Also, the guy filled his cabinet with the smartest people he could find, whether they agreed with him or not!! He cared more about the country than about being right.

*sigh* It almost hurts.
911939911939 on February 1st, 2006 08:32 pm (UTC)
Of course, I meant "party of Lincoln", not "part of Lincoln". 'Cause that's just weird.
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