Wednesday, January 24, 2007

About Last Night's SOTU Address

Joshua Holland has the best summation of last night's SOTU address for those of you who missed it:
But all you really need to know is that last night president George W. Bush could have come out on stage and, after pausing to let the ovation die down, he might have looked at the cameras with those beady little eyes and said, simply, "Folks, I got nothing. G'night!"
Of course, that didn't happen. Bush touched on everything from Afghanistan to Social Security. If you're interested in reading about his domestic initiatives, the Drum Major Institute's SOTU analysis covers the economy, budget, health care, immigration and education.

The president also talked about the goal of reducing U.S. gasoline usage by 20 percent in the next 10 years. But, as the WAPO pointed out this morning, you need to read the fine print: "Administration officials said that the goal is 20 percent below projected annual gasoline usage, not off today's levels."

If you're still starved for information, try turning to Think Progress. The site has a number of excellent posts discussing the address, as does Campaign for America's Future, which takes a look at the numbers and shows how Bush's rhetoric has failed to match reality throughout his presidency.

Overall, though, Holland is the most realistic:
To be fair to the president, it didn't really matter what he said; Americans are fully aware of the state of our union. Polls this week paint a grim picture of a nation that has lost confidence in its leaders. Seven out of ten Americans say the country is headed on the wrong track. A record 64 percent call the Iraq war a mistake, more than at any time during Vietnam, and "for the first time more than half of Americans, 52 percent, say the United States should withdraw its forces to avoid further U.S. casualties, even if civil order hasn't been restored." More than half think the economy's getting worse, and less than a third of the country thinks Bush "shares their priorities." He might as well have gone up there and admitted that he had nothing.

Ultimately, the best thing about this State of the Union was the end -- Miller Time -- and with it, the knowledge that we'll only have to suffer through one more.
I'll toast to that.

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