January 23, 2007

"This rite of custom brings us together at a defining hour – when decisions are hard and courage is tested."

The State of the Union.

ADDED: "How'r'ya doin'" our President says, turning to Nancy Pelosi. He begins by taking credit for the new step of saying "Madam Speaker."

MORE: That "added" part was on the wrong post (the previous one), I see the next morning. I couldn't get Blogger to publish last night, so this went up -- as far as I could see -- after I went to bed. And the idea of simulblogging the speech went out the window. Sorry!

25 comments:

Brent said...

The New York Times posted their Editorial on the State of the Union less than 6 minutes after it was over.

hdhouse said...

If Nancy weren't sitting behind him this speech could be the speech from any of the past 3 or 4 years. Sad. Average. Pedestrian.

Sloanasaurus said...

Great speech, one of the best.

vbspurs said...

I watched it, just after catching the second half of American Idol (crikey, what an Althousiana I am becoming).

Some minor points:

Tuning unto to ABC, I was irritated by Charlie Gibson's yammering over the action in the beginning, something which the silky-smooth Peter Jennings never did.

I thought the President started out very elegantly, with a charming tribute to the new Speaker (honouring her father by association, a man whom she hero-worships, and she seemed genuinely touched by the gesture).

-- Speaker Pelosi, BTW, was wearing a pleasant, flaterring pastel shade of green, albeit it was perhaps a little too relaxed for such a momentous occasion. She should've gone with Mrs. Bush's startling red. --

Then...well, I don't know what happened really.

It was Bush without the fangs: a tired, listless, unchallenging speech which restated every talking point in EXACTLY the same phrases, as the ones since the famous (magical) 2002 SOTU.

He even mentioned that damned "wood chips, to grasses" phrase for his ethanol allusion, which he used VERBATIM last year.

George Stephanopoulos thought that his ending "The State of the Union is Strong", with which he has started every SOTU speech, was a cagey move.

It had been set-up by the introduction of ordinary American heroes up in the gallery, as a way of sustaining his point that we are strong.

And it's not that we're not.

Despite Iraq, the US is productive, its people employed, and the economy still the envy of all nations.

But if you were to go by President Bush's flat delivery, you'd think we were on life support.

In conclusion, it was not his finest hour.

Cheers,
Victoria

LoafingOaf said...

Pelosi blinks too much. It's distracting.

Revenant said...

Good speech, at least on paper. We'll see how the various proposals pan out in real life.

dix said...

The New York Times posted their Editorial on the State of the Union less than 6 minutes after it was over.

Was it positive or negative?

MadisonMan said...

You know, if I were President (Ha!), I'd like to do away with the SOTU speech. Near as I can tell, it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't kinda thing. The proposals floated in it go nowhere (Mars anyone?), and all you really get are scripted moments of applause. As political theater, it's mediocre. As a way to connect to the public? I don't think it works. As a way of reporting to Congress -- well, in the 21st century, is that necessary? All of Congress is there all the time, if they really need to be brought up to date, there's something wrong that the SOTU speech can't fix.

DBrooks said...

I thought the speech was very good, especially for a SOTU. The "laundry list" wasn't nearly as long as usual, or as fiscally reckless. The President's comments about Nancy Pelosi were very gracious. I was struck by two things. One, when the President said, "Every one of us wishes that this war were over and won. Yet it would not be like us to leave our promises unkept, our friends abandoned and our own security at risk. Ladies and gentlemen: On this day, at this hour, it is still within our power to shape the outcome of this battle. So let us find our resolve, and turn events toward victory," most of the Democrats neither applauded nor stood. For all of their protests that they "support the troops," and "want us to win," their response to this simple statement was informative--and, for me, depressing. Secondly, for all the vitriol and animus that is displayed between the two parties every day, the SOTU always leaves me with a more accurate sense of the private camaraderie that exists in both Chambers. For example, Sen. Russ Feingold(one of Ann's favorites)made the effort to get out in the hall immediately after the speech. If you watched the President walk out into the hall after his speech, Sen. Feingold waited for him, shook his hand, and said something like, "You did all right, Mr. President." Not a glowing endorsement, but a nice gesture on Sen. Feingold's part, and one he didn't have to make.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Not only does Pelosi blink too much, she was chewing gum!

That's class.

buffpilot said...

DBrooks,

The Left-wing Democrats say they support the troops, but they don't support victory. They say its impossible. A clear-cut US victory in Iraq, even after 3 more years of very-low level fighting, would be a disaster to them and to the Islamic extreamist we fight. It would validate the Presidents decision to start the Iraq Campaign which they can't let happen. The loony-left has been rooting for US defeat since day one of the invasion.

I will be very interested how the tone changes when the democrats when the Presidency in '08 and have to take over. I wonder how Clinton will handle Iraq.

Sloanasaurus said...

The president needs to start challenging the Democrats. We haven't been attacked on America in 5 years. Pulling out from Iraq would be retreating to our borders and inviting attack. Do the Democrats want to risk instituting a policy that will lead to thousands of civilan deaths in America and a stagnant economic growth rather than fighting them in Iraq.

I don't think they do which is why their war opposition is mostly hallow rhetoric for the left.

It's also great to hear democrats argue that we should send more toops to afghanistan to fight the terorrists there. Thats interesting because most of the terrorists are now in Iraq.

Simon said...

Personally, I think we should go back to the SOTU tradition that this country followed for almost half our history, from Jefferson through Wilson. ;)

vbspurs said...
"I watched it, just after catching the second half of American Idol (crikey, what an Althousiana I am becoming)."

Surely Althousian. Wouldn't Althousian be "relating to, in the style of, or being of Althouse," while Althousiana would be "things having to do with Althouse"? A particular turn of phrase might be Althousian, while a signed note would be Althousiana.

MadisonMan said...

It seems like every Republican senator up for re-election in '08 (Norm Coleman, especially), is very firm in their caution. It's the American People who want out, not the Democratic Party. Perhaps those who think the USA should stay in Iraq, Democrats and Republicans alike, should do a better job of saying why we should stay there.

The problem is that many of the reasons for being in Iraq to begin with turned out to be lies. And appearances are that much of the Iraq war has been badly mismanaged. Speaking as someone who reluctantly supports an escalation, I have to say I'm not thrilled with the Management at the Top. Liars and Bunglers do not breed success.

Too Many Jims said...

Madison Man,

You are a terrorist loving panty waste.

vbspurs said...

Surely Althousian. Wouldn't Althousian be "relating to, in the style of, or being of Althouse," while Althousiana would be "things having to do with Althouse"? A particular turn of phrase might be Althousian, while a signed note would be Althousiana.

That is not incorrect, Simon, but since I coined Althousiana, and after all, I am an Althousiana in several Romance languages (since it's a female ending), I will use it that way. ;)

And was Pelosi REALLY chewing gum, Ruth Anne?? Did you read that, or happen to see it yourself?

If so, that is the lowest of the low, on formal occasions. WTF.

Cheers,
Victoria

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Victoria: I did not see what specifically was in her mouth; however, I'm presuming it was gum. [My husband says lozenge.] It was in the later parts of the talk. I, too, was noticing the blinking and then I saw her move something around in her mouth [dentures?!]. I kept looking. Best as I could tell, it was gum.

To be fair...I think Cheney was chewing on something, too.

This is a good argument for reading the speech.

vbspurs said...

Victoria: I did not see what specifically was in her mouth; however, I'm presuming it was gum. [My husband says lozenge.] It was in the later parts of the talk. I, too, was noticing the blinking and then I saw her move something around in her mouth [dentures?!]. I kept looking. Best as I could tell, it was gum.

To be fair...I think Cheney was chewing on something, too.


What the hell, man.

Is there still a bowl of Jelly Beans back there, left over from the Reagan Administration or what??

Cheers,
Victoria

Anonymous said...

Too Many Jims said:


Madison Man,

You are a terrorist loving panty waste.


Oh, this is off-topic and I truly apologize. However, I sincerely hope that this is published, given that the above post was published. You (Althouse) have this moderation set up, and laid out specific instructions as to what types of comments would and wouldn't be published, yet this(above) comment is approved? It is nothing but an attack... Of course, it's not an attack on you, so is that how we decide what is and isn't appropriate to post? In that case, sloanasaurus and victoria: I have long thought you both were self-absorbed, pretentious windbags! Cheers!

Simon said...

Brad, it seems clear (to me, at any rate) that Jim was joking. Your comment unfortunately seems to demonstrate something that worried me about the move to a moderated comment setup - that some people would assume that a comment allowed is a comment endorsed, and that asumption would provide rich fodder for the anti-Althousiana, who were already falling over themselves to read negative connotations and bad motives into every word and action by Ann.

vbspurs said...

I have long thought you both were self-absorbed, pretentious windbags! Cheers!

Have you noticed how some people talk about certain people all the time...whereas others don't notice the other's existence, and never mention them AT ALL?

Now, why is that, d'you suppose?

No cheating. This isn't an open book quiz.

Cheers,
Victoria

MadisonMan said...

Simon (and Brad)...

I also thought Mr. TMJ was joking. If not, he should see a dentist or listen to a different station in Milwaukee.

Too Many Jims said...

You think I am kidding?!?

I mean MM suggested that it wasn't only Dems who were against the war at this point but the "American People". Only a true "dhimmicrat" would say such a thing. He goes on to suggest that "[p]erhaps those who think the USA should stay in Iraq, Democrats and Republicans alike, should do a better job of saying why we should stay there." Don't you know, once the Administration is forced to articulate good reasons for something using facts, reality and logic, the terrorists have won.

Ok, maybe I was being a tad sarcastic. But hey five months ago when I quoted Sen. Graham on the conditions on the ground (including his observation that "[I]f we back out of this fight ... your children and grandchildren will never know peace.") and concluded by saying that "until we acknowledge the mistakes it isn't going to get any better." I was told: "Your 'demand' for navel-gazing is childish and stupid. Grow up." Well, I haven't grown up, but it is good to see that some people are beginning to be forced to. I can understand MM's reluctantly supporting the escalation (in September I argued that we should "immediately deploy more troops to Iraq (specifically Baghdad and al-Anbar)") but, while I hope it will be successful, I think it is too little and too late (not to mention that, while I have every confidence in Gen. Petraeus, I have no confidence in the Administration's ability to do just about anything well).

P.S. MM thanks for reminding me to schedule that dentist appointmen.

Anonymous said...

vbspurs said...

I have long thought you both were self-absorbed, pretentious windbags! Cheers!

Have you noticed how some people talk about certain people all the time...whereas others don't notice the other's existence, and never mention them AT ALL?

Now, why is that, d'you suppose?

No cheating. This isn't an open book quiz.

Cheers,
Victoria


Perhaps it's because some of you (hint..) are so profoundly, obnoxiously, offensively irritating and self-involved that not only do you call attention on yourselves, but you're too busy spouting off your irrelevant bull to notice the existence of anyone else? Could be wrong.. it wasn't open-book afterall. Cheers!

vbspurs said...

Perhaps it's because some of you (hint..) are so profoundly, obnoxiously, offensively irritating and self-involved that not only do you call attention on yourselves, but you're too busy spouting off your irrelevant bull to notice the existence of anyone else? Could be wrong.. it wasn't open-book afterall. Cheers!

No, I don't think that's it.

Go to page 3 and read the "Obsessed" chapter, then turn to the Index and highlight in yellow "Envy".

Extra credit:

"How I hate those who disagree with my politics and follow them around like a Ninny" essay in 8 pages or less.

Start ...now!

Cheers,
Victoria