Prior to the State of the Union Address Tuesday night, you might have thought that even President Bush would have read about the 2006 elections by now. If you did, you don’t know President Bush. Americans are left scratching their heads once again, wondering why Bush spent several minutes sucking up to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (who apparently is a woman) while failing to mention any viable solutions to the perennial laundry list of domestic issues he threw out. If this was supposed to be Bush’s most important State of the Union yet, he gave the wrong speech.
What lasted for 45 minutes was nothing new. It featured the president’s same old failure to recognize the flaws of his foreign policy and his same old reluctance to offer any achievable goals for addressing the nation’s domestic issues. He couldn’t even bring himself to mention the words “global warming,” because as long as you don’t acknowledge something, it can’t be real. Kind of like “quagmire” or “failure.”
Bush’s remarks on the Iraq mess took up about half of his speech; the language was that of a man who is the last to know that no one agrees with him. He reiterated his decision to add more than 20,000 American servicemen to Iraq, but the madness didn’t stop there. Bush also announced a plan to increase the size of the active military by 92,000 troops over the next five years. It’s so blindly absurd, but how would it even be done? We certainly don’t want to be the ones to throw out the D-word, but is there any other way?
And as if that wasn’t enough, the president broke new ground with his announcement of a volunteer Civilian Reserve Corps. What is that? From what we surmise, it’s like the Peace Corps – with guns. So nothing like the Peace Corps, really. Now here’s a man who knows what he’s doing.
As the country continues to pour billions into spreading “democracy” to the Middle East, the president did make sure to throw some vague, lofty goals at the Democratic congress for it to sort out. The man who turned the largest budget surplus in history into the largest deficit in history now wants to balance the budget by 2009 without raising taxes – while continuing to drop billions into his war. Rep. Charlie Rangel’s (D-N.Y.) bemused smile said it all: Do you live on this planet, Mr. President?
And as if that wasn’t enough for the Democrats to chew on, the president kept the vagaries coming. He wants to “fix” health care with a standardized tax cap, but don’t bother listening for a cost figure, it isn’t there. A year after confessing the country’s addiction to oil, Bush reiterated that foreign oil is the pits, while advocating doubling the nation’s oil reserves. While he did mention alternative sources (including woodchips and grass, of course), it was all in one winding sentence, without any mention of the all-important how and when.
Promises were supposed to be central to this year’s address, but the president only promised uncertainty. But what would a Bush State of the Union be without uncertainty?