SOTU and the Rebuttal

First off, full disclosure. I’ve been quiet lately, and I apologize. This has mostly been as a result of some severe internal frustration as I find myself at an impasse between my political and ideological sensibilities. The writer for PSOTD (whom I affectionately call “The Vagina Guy”), and I have been debating over the past few days, and if you want a much better and more detailed bit of insight at the impasse of which I speak, go here, and check out the discussion that ensued in comments.

If you don’t want the full monty, then I’ll give you the reader’s digest version. Considering everything that is going on in the political world, I find it incredibly frustrating that what is in my mind morally right, and politically wise are often at odds with each other. Further, there is a right, and a politically wise, and I find that the party I support cannot seem to unify itself to do either.

I mention this stuff because first… apology… second…I’m not going to cover the SOTU like I do most things. You want the quick political? Okay fine. The SOTU combined with Alito’s nomination will most likely result in a small temporary bump for the president in the polls. There was nothing in the speech that I could see that would get him out of the political doldrums he’s currently in. There. If you want some transcript reading because you couldn’t force yourself to listen to the man live, check it out here. And then please pity me, for I really did listen to it.

Now… What I thought of the speech: This dipshit is still our president? Dear reader, you should know that while I was not able to blog and watch at the same time, I did take some notes, and I’d like to share them with you. In truth, I did not have the opportunity to watch the whole thing, but I made it through a good chunk of it before I had to attend to other duties, so here we go…

-In the run up to the speech, an interesting subplot to the story began to develop. A few hours prior to the speech, the news broke that Anti War activist Cindy Sheehan was invited to attend. As she began to unfold an anti war banner, however, she was placed under arrest. The police have said that questioning will take an hour, thereby ensuring her absence for the event.

-Bush started with a few eloquent words mourning the loss of Coretta Scott King, the wife of civil rights activist (and an activist in her own right), Dr. Martin Luther King. Personally, I really did think what the president said about her was beautiful, and incredibly Ironic. I wonder if Mrs. King is already spinning in her grave, right along with her husband as the President “honors” the loss of two great people who have fought for civil rights as the president is currently, actively, railing against said rights. Shouldn’t it be illegal for the guy who has tried to ban gay marriage to honor a civil rights hero? Shouldn’t it be like sacrilege for a man who shameless defends his invasion of privacy through warrantless domestic spying to invoke the names of people who are known for their works and sacrifices in helping Americans in attaining their basic human rights? Don’t you go to hell for this kind of thing?

-Then the president goes after the partisan rancor in Washington. True true true. It’s terrible and needs to stop, but, come on, two applause pauses later, he says, “we seek the end of tyranny, some see this as a misguided goal.” As he casts the Democrats a dirty little chimp look, I start screaming at the television, “YOU FILTHY LITTLE HYPOCRIT!” This has been a theme in so many of his speeches, and yet, he can’t help take potshots. He says that disagreeing is okay, and debate is fine, and there’s nothing wrong with quesitoning the president, as long as you only question him in areas that he allows you to… Oh we get there a little later on my friends… Trust me.

-And by the time I stop shouting, I start listening up long enough to hear him flog 9-11 again. Okay, it’s been 4 years and change. Mr. President, can we have one major speech without 9-11? I ask you, please. Dear readers, you should know that anymore any time I hear this guy say September eleventh, I physically, and noticeably cringe. I can’t help it. And then he starts going on about women voting in the middle east, and purple fingers, and Jesus Christ can you stop it already? But the answer to that is of course “no”. You’ll see what I mean soon.

-I’ll give him this, he did change one small part of his rhetoric. Someone must have told him “Weapons of Mass Destruction” is starting to suck in the polls because they are now (duh da da DAAAH!) “Weapons of Mass Murder.” Nice change. “Murder” fits in so much better with his other super cool buzz words like “fear” and “evil”.

-“There is no peace in retreat… no honor in retreat?” What are we six? Listen people. This is the problem. The man who is the leader of the free world has the mentality of a grade school bully. No honor in retreat… I ask you.

-Now about sixteen minutes into it, I notice a kinda of hunted look on his face. As he drones on and on, recycling bits and pieces of stump speeches from the past (curiously enough many of them after he got elected… Aren’t you supposed to go off the stump once you win a campaign) I noticed this just weird look on his face. It kinda seemed as though in that mind of his he was thinking, “I don’t think they’re buyin’ it no more…” or “I don’t think I’m buyin’ it no more… I wish Uncle Dick could hold me now… I feel so alone, and everyone’s lookin’ at me… and all those people off to the right of me aren’t standin’ up everytime I pause. And what’s with the guys in the robes? They don’t even clap… Oh Uncle Dick, we’re gonna need some serious cuddle time after this.” Now you may wonder why I pick out sixteen minutes… We’ll get there eventually.

-And then he got to Iran and Hamas. Some serious tough talk here that I’ll leave mostly to the foreign policy wonks. But I’ll share my initial reaction with you. As Bush stared into the camera and delivered some tough, hard words, I think I shit my pants as I thought, “or what? You’ll come, invade my country, mismanage the war and the aftermath, fail to get me and my minions, and pretend like you’re doing a great job?” I mean, by this point, I think the only people afraid of this guy are the innocent bystanders. I can just imagine some poor Iranian thinking “oh shit, I guess we better start stocking up on bottled water and batteries, Huricane George looks like it might turn in our direction.”

-This is of course followed by more sappy heart string tugging bullshit about helping some woman in some third world country with AIDS, or this and that, and I’m just sitting here in awe… at 25 minutes into the speech… and thinking “you shouldn’t have been our president, you should have joined the Peace Corps.”

-Now, I’ve mentioned time several times. There’s a reason why, and I want to draw everyone’s attention to it. Now I use the SOTU acronym because I think it’s all cool and insider and stuff… Kinda like POTUS, and SCOTUS, and FLOTUS, and what not. But in case you missed it, SOTU means “State Of The Union”. So when a taxpaying American such as myself tunes in, I would kind of expect to hear something about the “State” that the “United” States of America might be in… silly me. But up until this moment, which by my watch was 27 minutes into the ballgame, the president has not talked about America at all. Sure, we’re getting a great lesson on Egyptian politics, and what have you, but where’s America? I don’t know. And what a great way to lead into actually talking about our country during our state of the union, by employing more scare tactics, admitting you are doing a terrible job on terrorism, and punctuating that fact by saying we need the Patriot Act. And then comes what was to me the most disgusting part of the evening…

-Bush addressed the wiretapping issue. But what’s worse, he didn’t honestly characterize the debate. He didn’t mention warrants… of course this makes sense since he doesn’t feel he needs them. But he also straight up lied when he said that the courts gave him permission when in all actuality what this is all about is the fact that he never went to the courts! But what disgusted me was the half of the building that stood up and cheered the President on as he did this. Sen. Arlen Spectre cheered… the man who said this would be an impeachable offense if this came about. Sen. Lindsay Graham got up and cheered… The man who said he was looking forward to working with Democrats to get to the bottom of this. Men and women cheered on a man who is apparently overstepping his bounds. These men and women are willfully lauding the deconstruction of the constitution. These men and women did not even give a single pause of thought to the implications of this situation, and I found myself disgusted. I disagree respectfully with many a Republican, but on this night, at this time, I never felt so revolted by that party. You want to cowardly hand over your rights so that you may be a little safer from a terrorist attack… fine, let them tap your house. But me… “give me liberty or give me death.”

-Still disgusted…

-Okay, I’m back. The rest of the speech was about as lackluster as the first 75%, with one small exception. By the time Bush finally got to his domestic agenda, he mentioned with reproach that congress had defeated his SocSec initiative. The republican side of the house sat in moody silence… The Democrats got up and cheered. I couldn’t help singing a rousing chorus of… “AMERICA!!! FUCK YEAH!!”

And then I had to go to work. Luckily I was back in time to catch Tim Kaine’s rebuttal speech and so…

Tim Kaine

See, he get’s his own bold headline. I’ll be honest. The man needs polish. His timing was a little bit off, resulting in some awkward pauses. As Cernig of Newshog points out, his facial expressions could have used a little more tact. And please, everyone believe me when I say that I think most progressives in Virginia really wishes that the man could get his damn eyebrow under control… But still…

I want you to go read the transcript. Screw the President’s speech because for the most part, you’ve heard it all before. Instead read this thing.

Tim Kaine is no Bill Clinton. He’s decent on the stump, but he lacks the pinache that the great communicators have. But at the same time, his speech was awesome. It is a message like this that the Democratic party needs to get behind if we are going to oust these vile, Constituion pissing Republicans from our government.

I mentioned before that I saw Tim Kaine on the stump. More specifically, it was at a rally. I went to see Sen. Obama who was campaigning on his behalf. There Kaine delivered a speech very similar to the one he delivered tonight. That one I entitled, “Good News Story,” and it was the speech that actually got my ass off the couch and in a campaign office over the weekend and on election day.

This kind of positive message that doesn’t pull punches, but still manages to focus on getting things done is exactly the kind of thing we need. Back then, Kaine reminded us frequently through his stump speech that he had a good news story to tell. Back then it was true. Virginia was salvaged from the shit heap because Gov. Warner, and Lt. Gov. Kaine had worked their asses off to make it true. So yeah, Kaine did have a Good News Story.

But tonight, the President lied. At the opening of his State of the Union speech he made a remark that was untrue… He said, “the state of the Union is strong…” and it’s not. So maybe Kaine doesn’t have a good news story to tell about America, but… There is a better way.

UPDATE: Yet again, I find myself in agreement with Sully. I may just have to be a groupie.

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