Wednesday, February 01, 2006

George W Bush SOTU 2006--The State of Our Union is Strong

It amazes me how I still get teary eyed when I hear Bush speak. As I have said many times I didn't start paying attention to politics until Clinton was President :-(. In fact, it makes me sad because all 4 of my children were born while Clinton was President.

All that to say it was so meaningful to me when W became President. I finally got to witness a man of integrity with whom I shared many beliefs and ideals take the oath of office. And W has a charm and a likability about him and he is very presidential. I think some conservatives take him for granted and I think history will look very favorably on him.

He is not perfect. I do not agree with him on Campaign Finance, Immigration and other issues. I think he's too nice to some liberals. But he has done some awesome things and he has been a great president. How often do you get a President who has similar moral beliefs, similar conservative beliefs and is very inspiring in how he deals with people? The last president we had like that was Reagan but who was it before that???? When you look at Nixon, Ford, Dole, Bush Sr., etc. you don't have that. I am going to be intellectually honest when I don't agree with Bush but I think I am witnessing a fascinating time in history. I am concerned about 2008 because no one looks like a Shining Star to me. So I am going to be so thankful for W while he is still in office.


Now to the speech. There were some great lines:
Far from being a hopeless dream, the advance of freedom is the great story of our time. In 1945, there were about two dozen lonely democracies in the world. Today, there are 122.

But our enemies and our friends can be certain: The United States will not retreat from the world, and we will never surrender to evil.

America rejects the false comfort of isolationism. We are the nation that saved liberty in Europe, and liberated death camps, and helped raise up democracies, and faced down an evil empire. Once again, we accept the call of history to deliver the oppressed and move this world toward peace. We remain on the offensive against terror networks. We have killed or captured many of their leaders – and for the others, their day will come.

Our work in Iraq is difficult because our enemy is brutal. But that brutality has not stopped the dramatic progress of a new democracy. In less than three years, the nation has gone from dictatorship to liberation, to sovereignty, to a constitution, to national elections.

The road of victory is the road that will take our troops home. As we make progress on the ground, and Iraqi forces increasingly take the lead, we should be able to further decrease our troop levels – but those decisions will be made by our military commanders, not by politicians in Washington, D.C.

Yet, there is a difference between responsible criticism that aims for success, and defeatism that refuses to acknowledge anything but failure. (Applause.) Hindsight alone is not wisdom, and second-guessing is not a strategy. (Applause.)

Marine Staff Sergeant Dan Clay was killed last month fighting in Fallujah. He left behind a letter to his family, but his words could just as well be addressed to every American. Here is what Dan wrote: "I know what honor is. ... It has been an honor to protect and serve all of you. I faced death with the secure knowledge that you would not have to.... Never falter! Don't hesitate to honor and support those of us who have the honor of protecting that which is worth protecting."

Democracies in the Middle East will not look like our own, because they will reflect the traditions of their own citizens. Yet liberty is the future of every nation in the Middle East, because liberty is the right and hope of all humanity.

Tonight, let me speak directly to the citizens of Iran: America respects you, and we respect your country. We respect your right to choose your own future and win your own freedom. And our nation hopes one day to be the closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran.

So to prevent another attack – based on authority given to me by the Constitution and by statute – I have authorized a terrorist surveillance program to aggressively pursue the international communications of suspected al Qaeda operatives and affiliates to and from America. Previous Presidents have used the same constitutional authority I have, and federal courts have approved the use of that authority. Appropriate members of Congress have been kept informed. The terrorist surveillance program has helped prevent terrorist attacks. It remains essential to the security of America. If there are people inside our country who are talking with al Qaeda, we want to know about it, because we will not sit back and wait to be hit again. (Applause.)

Together, let us protect our country, support the men and women who defend us, and lead this world toward freedom.

As we look at these challenges, we must never give in to the belief that America is in decline, or that our culture is doomed to unravel. The American people know better than that. We have proven the pessimists wrong before – and we will do it again. (Applause.)

A hopeful society depends on courts that deliver equal justice under the law. The Supreme Court now has two superb new members – new members on its bench: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sam Alito. (Applause.) I thank the Senate for confirming both of them. I will continue to nominate men and women who understand that judges must be servants of the law, and not legislate from the bench.

Human life is a gift from our Creator – and that gift should never be discarded, devalued or put up for sale.

Lincoln could have accepted peace at the cost of disunity and continued slavery. Martin Luther King could have stopped at Birmingham or at Selma, and achieved only half a victory over segregation. The United States could have accepted the permanent division of Europe, and been complicit in the oppression of others. Today, having come far in our own historical journey, we must decide: Will we turn back, or finish well?
Other parts of the speech I liked:
--In the past 2 1/2 years more jobs have been created in the U.S. than Japan & the European Union combined

--Make the tax cuts permanent

--Line Item Veto

I was very happy with what he said directly to the Iranians. Tony Snow mentioned this morning how important it would be for W to do this and he did. I remember hearing stories of how people in East Germany were so inspired when Reagan asked Gorbachev to tear down the wall. It makes a bold statement when the President inspires people in a non-free country that we want them to be free.

I also was so impressed with how bold W was. Instead of walking up there with his tail tucked between his legs (which is how the dems acted like he should) he confidently defied his critics especially when it came to saying he would continue wiretapping to prevent another 9-11. You go W!!!!!!

Things that made me mad:

--The Dems cheering about sabotaging W's Social Security plan

--Hillary's smug, arrogant, condescending smile (I totally wanted to slap her)


People that made me mad:

I agree with Bill Kristol 75% of the times. Sometimes I love his passion and other times he just ticks me off. Tonight was one of those ticked off times. I watched the speech live and was so impressed and then Kristol came on and criticized the speech for being squishy. It was like throwing a bucket of cold water on me. Not happy with him :-(.

The other person that annoys me endlessly is Wesley Clark. For Heaven's sake Bill Clinton fired him. If you get fired by Bill Clinton you are clearly incompetent. He was talking on Hannity and Colmes and I just wanted to scream. He was repeating some rumor and Hannity called him on it and he made some lame excuse. I can't believe he ever thought he had a chance of winning the Dem nomination let alone the presidency.

People that I was proud of:

Rudy Giuliani seemed to be as impressed with the speech as I was. He is such a great guy. I just wish he was more conservative on social issues because he would then be a shining star for '08.

Haley Barbour made an awesome defense when hammered with questions from Colmes. Very impressive.


sandy said...

Sorry, I have to do this. You say in your post:In fact, it makes me sad because all 4 of my children were born while Clinton was President.

I take it that Like Bill Clinton, you were sexually active while he was in office. The difference is (I assume) you were active with only one partner:-)

Joubert said...

You were up late, LMC.

BTW Giuliani is not perfect but he's very electable because of his appeal to independents and moderate Dems. I'd vote for him and then start praying hard that he is guided to do the right thing.

Most enjoyable read.

Rivka said...

Great job!! It was too late for this early bird to write my own commentary!! But, we used the same pictures.. Great minds think a like.. but, yours is a little more coherent than mine!! ha!

I too enjoyed the exact same things you did, and hated HITLARY'S smile!! I wanted to jap slap her. SHe had a sickening smile, then shook her head like.."Bush, you silly little turd... you are so incompetent, we are going to impeach you anyway.. HA, ha , ha.. with her little witch laugh"..

Patrick and I were saying.."What a witch"..

Yes, I got teary eyed the minute he started. I always do.

I am thinking of putting in a huge pitch for guliani for president. I am serious.. He has the same qualitites Bush has as far as forthrightness, and not cowering down to the liberals' regarding the new war.
IF he ran, he would win by a landslide. For me, it is either Condi, or Rudy.
I don't see any other candidates who are well known, where the country would feel confident. People saw how Rudy handled the attacks in New York. They know where he stands.

I don't agree with him on social issues either, but I would rather have him in there than a Hitlery type.

Joia said...

Thanks for the sum up, woman! We were out last night and I missed the whole thing and have been frustrated that I couldn't find a quick summary of what was said.

As for what president before Regan was really someone we could be proud of as father and grandfather both speak very highly of Eisenhower. I confess I haven't done more than a cursory study of his presidancy, but I know my father, in particular, has said that from Eisenhower till Regan there wasn't anyone he personally felt proud of.

James Manning said...

I listened... at best it was blah. So I'm going to bypass it because I already know the reaction it is going to get. Those one the right will consider it a great speech and those on the left will consider it lacking. No surprise and I don't even feel like playing.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Patrick: I'd vote for Giuliani for his leadership skills alone. In the run, however, he'd be torn apart by Dems for his extramarital affair(s) on the Hypocritical Ticket. But I still like his politics and his take charge style.

James summed it up on both sides: the Right thought it was Fab, the Left thought it manifestly from Hell.

LMC: I'm like you insofar as I definitely do not agree with all of Bush's policies and disagree mightily with his poor display on the borders issue, internal energy problems and his tendency to not fully wield the power he possesses. He's experiencing the Second Term Presidency Syndrome consistent with all STP's.

These are very partisan, polarized times and the Dems are somewhat against the wall insofar as they are being fought on many fronts -- fronts on which they've not experienced resistance in the past 25 years -- radio, the internet, the Mainstream DEM and its declining print and news power.

The Right has found its voice and the Left is not pleased.

Dionne said...

Sandy: You totally crack me up :-). Good one!!!!!!!! And yes--one partner, my husband :-).

Patrick: Yah, I'm always up late, being that I'm a night owl. I really do like Giuliani so it will be interesting.

Rebecca: Yah, its hard to believe that Giuliani would be the best we could have but he is so much more appealing than others. I like George Allen's politics but I don't know if he is charismatic enough or if he has the leadership skills like Rudy. I still remember the first time I saw him on Meet the Press. I was so impressed at how he carried himself.

Joia: I was hoping that it would be a good summary for some that didn't get a chance to see it so glad you liked it. And you even got my expert analysis of the commentary afterwards :-).

As for Eisenhower I haven't studied him that much yet. And my perception of him so far is that he was somewhat moderate but I don't know a whole lot.

James: Not all those on the right thought it was great.

BZ: Yah, Giuliani's leadership skills are awesome. I have wondered about his relationship issues also. I think its a little different than Clinton because he had the intellectual honesty to get divorced and stay with one other woman. Whereas Clinton kept pretending like he wasn't doing anything wrong while having affairs with hundreds of women. He stayed married just for politics. I find that despicable.

I agree that the Right had found their voice and it is awesome.

James Manning said...

Chatter said: he had the intellectual honesty to get divorced and stay with one other woman. Whereas Clinton kept pretending like he wasn't doing anything wrong while having affairs with hundreds of women. He stayed married just for politics. I find that despicable.

I say:

Is it possible that ole Rudy thought about his political future and figured it would not be a good thing to have a girlfriend while married? So, in order to clear the way, rather than go home and work on his marriage, he chose the easy route and got a divorce. So what’s worse, getting divorced for political considerations or staying married for political consideration. I think President Clinton has a better standing. He was a two term President. His political career is over. Hillary could have easily played the discarded wife and won some sympathy votes – no loss there. Rudy on the other hand knew he’d have a hard time winning a political office living in a continued state as an adulterer.

I don’t know these men motives for staying or leaving, but I find it amazing that a Christian is giving someone credit for leaving his wife for his girlfriend. I’m just saying.

Dionne said...

James: I don't know their motives either but Clinton cheated on Hillary before they were even married. He was a serial adulterer and Hillary knew it and they stayed married so they could both get ahead politically. I would have more respect for Hillary if she would've never married Clinton and rose to power on her own or if she would've left him after the 2nd affair. If someone cheats once and the marriage is repaired it can work. But when someone continually cheats they've shown they have no plans to stay committed to their marriage.

I am not condoning Rudy's affair or his divorce. I think both were wrong. But when someone divorces and remarries one person there is a big difference than someone who is a serial adulterer who stays married so he can have his cake and eat it too. Thats just my personal opinion.

James Manning said...

That's fine Chatter. But Rudy has some serious character flaws and he wasn't that popular with New Yorkers before 9/11. He certainly wasn't popular with blacks and latinos. I'm not saying Clinton was better than Rudy - he had some serious character flaws as well.

I just think Rudy is getting a pass right now. New Yorkers know his dirt and the crap he pulled in Harlem and the crap he pulled with Amidou Dialo. That pissed me off and I can't forgive him for it. So, if he were to become President, then I would probably hate him more than I hate Bush.

Dionne said...

James: To be honest I don't know a lot of the details about Rudy like I do Clinton so I don't know how messed up his background might be. I just have had problems with how liberal he is on social issues.

But I really like how he isn't politically correct, he speaks his mind and defends good policies. I also really liked his tough policies on crime and I do think it made a big difference in NYC. He is similar in his views on the War on Terror. So there are some things about him that I really like but it is definitely a mixed bag.

James Manning said...

OK, I give you that. I don't think he'll make it so it is a mute point.

But here is a funny thing from the State of the Union address. Bush asked congress to pass the line-item veto. Well, on June 25, 1998, the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional. LOL... Your man don't seem to care much about the Constitution, unless he figure not that the Court is in his back pocket, they'll change their mind. I just thought that to be an interesting element.

Rebekah said...

I really enjoyed that speech last night!(And even made a lame attempt at liveblogging it :>)

I expecially liked the tough talk on Iran and Hamas. That's very good - and very needed.

Dionne said...

James: Just because 9 men in black robes say something is unconstitutional doesn't mean it is. Hello???

Why do you think we want to get people on the court who actually follow the constitution? Some of the libs on the court are using foreign law for their decisions. In 1998 we only had 3 solid, strict constructionists on the court so I'm not surprised that they declared it unconstitutional but it doesn't mean it is.

I am sooooo for the line item veto. Thats how you get pork out of bills and people can't sneak things into an otherwise good bill.

Rebekah: I saw your liveblogging and thought it was great. The speech was awesome and I agree that the tough talk on Hamas and Iran was good.

Joubert said...

LMC and BV, Giuliani is spending a lot of time in the South which is where his "liberal" social views (pro-choice) are the hardest to sell.

He's a much straighter shooter than McCain - well, at least I trust him more. He is very upfront.

I'm not sure if the GOP "hardcore" will go for him though but he'd win over a lot of swing votes.

I like him because he is honest, unpretentious - and especially because he can be pretty tactless.

Dionne said...

Patrick: You hit the nail on the head. Those are the EXACT reasons I love him. And you know I dislike McCain with a passion so over my dead body will I vote for him. If my choices were McCain & Giuliani I wouldn't even hesitate to vote for Giuliani.

Mr. Grey Ghost said...

I liked this year's speech, but I don't think it was his best. I wanted him to stick it more to the Left and mention Alito more. But he was forceful, confident, showed leadership and he didnt flub too many lines. He's really become a much better speaker over the years and I loved the line about how "second guessing is not a strategy".

James Manning said...


The Constitution states:

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated…

I don’t see an argument that says the Constitution allows the President the power of a line-item veto. I’ve never believed in a line-item veto. I think it gives the President more power or legislation than allowed in the Constitution. But I think the Constitution is pretty clear on it. I’m sure those with a strict constructionist philosophy would agree.

Ok, I'm done for the evening. I have to go celebrate my girlfriend's birthday. We'll continue our rage against the machine tomorrow.

sandy said...

While James is right about what the Constitution says about a Bill being presented to the President, I see no contridiction to having a line item veto.
The Bills that are to become law should not be used for pork to be put in as an addendum.
Seems like Bill Clinton wanted line item veto too.
I think it would save us tax-payers a whole lot of money on things like million dollar bridges for 60 people.

Lone Pony said...

I loved this post. I was the same way about politics. Never paid attention. Too busy trying to just stay alive. :-( Thank you for the cool pics and for the speech. It meant lots to me.

Dionne said...

James & Sandy:

I am doing research on this. So far I found out that the congress passed the Line Item Veto Act in 1995. The Supreme Court ruled it as unconstitutional in 1998. As I am doing my research both the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation support the Line Item Veto and those are both organizations that are strict constructionists. So far I am with Sandy in that I don't see how the constitution is specifically saying you can't have a line item veto. And I don't think it gives the president more power. But I still have more research to do so will give you more of an answer tomorrow.

Dionne said...

LP: Thanks for the kind words, very encouraging to me :-).

Dionne said...

GG: You make some awesome points :-)!!

James Manning said...

Chatter, I'll look into it as well. When I say power, I mean that depending on the agenda of the President, he can basically gut a bill to the point where it something very different then what Congress approved. Yes, I think there is too much pork being tossed in bills that have no relations and it would be nice to have a means to deal with it. I have no answers for that.

Chatter, I have an idea I'd like to present to you. I'm think of getting a group of bloggers together with different political philosophies and have them all present an opinion on an issue on the same day and we link to all of the other blogs. I'm thinking maybe 5 for 6 bloggers. We don't have to do it that often but enough to where people are really getting different opinions on an issue.

I think it could work since we're not talking about 20 or 100 blogs. I think a group of fair-minded individuals would work. I'd like you to be the Conservative of the group. What do you think?

Rivka said...

I finally got a chance to see the Black Bush video.. It was hilarious! Thanks!

Dionne said...

James: I would love to do that. My only concern is if everyone would be as nice as you. I find so many liberals and some conservatives are very angry and bitter when talking about opposing points of view. I don't think that accomplishes anything. If there is a way you could encourage everyone to be civil I would be very open to it. I think you and I have great talks but I have yet to see that very many other places.

Rebecca: Glad you enjoyed the video. It gets a little crude in one part but the rest of it is soooo funny.

sandy said...

LMC, I'm glad you got a chuckle out of my comment. I did hesitate but thought I knew you well enough by reading your blog to know you have a marvelous sense of humour.
I would rather make someone laugh than to cry and to make someone think than react.
I like James idea, but would share your concerns about some liberals and conservatives.
He did say one thing that made me think. He stated the President sends the bill back with his objections. The Congress can over ride his objections the same as they could over ride his one line vetos. It would just put it more in the public eye and I see nothing wrong with that.

James Manning said...

I'm going to hand pick the people to participate and what I am looking for is an open dialogue. I'm working on the details and I'm going to post it.

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

Like you I did not pay close attn until Clinton was in office, however I have voted since turning 18. I was brought up in a (southern) Democrat family that felt there was only one way to vote and you had to register the day of your 18th b'day.
Now since I am catching up and learning more and more, I know what I admire and respect in a Pres...and our current President is that. I'm thankful that HE is a believer in God and has faith, morals and a tough backbone against terrorism. I only hope and pray that our next President can measure up to what values I look for in a leader for our country.
Excellent Post btw....

Shavonne said...

I'm just happy people watched it and was able to blog about it. I Bush was the first president who's addresses I actually watched or at least used to watch. I'm no fan of Bush and have better things to do than Bush bash. And I also lack the desire to blog about politics because 1)there aren't any shining star candidates I think could take this country into the future in a more unifying way. 2)all that is certain in life are death taxes.

But you just keep doing what you're doing because somebody has to and it's not going to be me:)

Shavonne said...

2)the only things that are certain in life are death and taxes.

I had to correct that. Sorry for taking up space.

Rivka said...

Just linked you as blog of the week for my friday post!!

Dionne said...

Sandy: Agree about the making people laugh thing :-).

James: Sounds good.

Suzie: Ditto!

Shavonne: Thanks for your kind comments.

Rebecca: Thanks!!

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

Oh btw I did VOTE for President Ronald Reagan both times!!! (smiling)