Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Just got done watching the State of the Union. A few notes.

First off, Bush enters to almost immediately find a black child to interact with. I'm sorry, but if that wasn't a bullshit photo-op plant, I don't know what is. "There's a black child in my arms. Am I freakin' out? NO! Am I sayin' 'Get that tar baby out of here? NO!'"

Like the first half of Bush's speech was pandering to the troops and patting ourselves on the back for Afghanistan and Iraq. Mixed in there was sniping against those who opposed the war, because once again the anti-war crowd is pro-Saddam. Speaking of Saddam, I was impressed that so little time was spent on his capture.

Not surprisingly, we didn't hear much WMD in Iraq hype, and no mention whatsoever of Osama. The closest we got on Iraqi WMD was something along the lines of "weapons of mass destruction-related activity programs." Boy, we've come a long way from "Iraq nearly has nukes!" just a year ago, haven't we?

You know, I didn't realize Bush was such a big fan of international effort. What with Great Britain, Australia, Poland, Endor... Look, I'm sorry, but if Australia and Poland are your number three and four guys, respectively, then you do NOT have a strong "international coalition." All those other countries he mentioned can't be contributing a whole lot, at least not enough for someone to brag about when they're trying to sell the coalition. I know that Japan is sending a decent amount of money, but that's just what they do - they are the biggest giver of international aid in the world. Oh, and after much soul-searching they're sending like four troops to help out. I'm not faulting them for that; I know they have issues with military action. I just can't seem to remember why.

Speaking of the troops, I will never get over the administration's cynicism, whereby they praise the troops in public with words, but fuck the troops in private through legislation and military policy. We're proud of what you're doing, and we're going to keep you over there as long as we can, whether you like it or not. Oh, and we're going to cut your benefits when you finally do come home, too.

One of the most striking things in the speech came somewhat early on, when Bush explicitly called for an extension of the PATRIOT Act. When re-capping this after the speech, I'm lucky I didn't break my hand punching the wall. Bush all but pulled out a blood-soaked copy of the PATRIOT Act and waved it in our faces. This sent several clear messages, amongst them being this: George Bush may be talking a big game that makes him look like he's moving towards the center in this election year, but make no mistake - he is firmly entrenched on the right.

In what will probably be their one moment of showing balls this year, I have to give the Ds points for clapping as Bush was mentioning the expiration of the PATRIOT Act provisions next year.

Bush once again pulled out his faith-based initiative bullshit, attempting to blur the lines between "not promoting" and "discriminating." When Bush talks of organizations "with a cross, a star of David, or a crescent on the wall," we all know perfectly well that he's talking about a VERY BIG cross, and a rather small star of David or crescent. Bush doesn't give a shit about tearing down the walls of discrimination (cough*affirmative action*cough), he wants to erect the walls of government sponsorship of religion.

He also further crammed the No Child Left Behind Act down our throats, what with its bullshit standardized testing and current lack of funding. You go ahead and keep pushing those tests, George, and we're going to end up having a country full of unimaginative, ineffectual people. Namely, a country of me.

Bush praised the beginning of the dismantling of Medicare, and he outlined plans for the beginning of the end for Social Security. Meanwhile talking up all sorts of domestic initiatives which have no clear source of funding. Relax, docile populace, because Team Bush (TB) is going to cut the deficit in half. The deficit, which didn't exist not too long ago, that is now at record heights. They really should not be bragging about cutting down a deficit that they created. What the fuck does Bush want, a cookie? You're SUPPOSED to clean up the goddamn mess you created, you dumb motherfucker.

Still, you don't need a PhD in mathematics to realize that half of a really big number is still a really big fucking number. And of course, that "cut in half" is most likely a best-case estimate, and we all know how often things reach their best-case outcome. As a bonus, it will take five years to hit this halfway point, which means that most of the deficit will be left to those who follow him.

Oh, and how about that little Ashley Pearson, or whatever the fuck that 10-year-old's name was? That was the biggest load of CRAP I've ever HEARD. You go, girl! If you even exist.

In addition to the PATRIOT Act colonoscopy, the other big moment, for me at least, was when Bush started ranting about marriage. God, I wanted to puke when they showed Santorum; I could swear that cocksucker was actually glowing.

The reason why that was so poignant is because as I watched it, I just thought to myself "Here's, ostensibly, the most powerful man in the world, spewing homophobic garbage while the whole world watches."

Bush once again talked about "respecting the individual," but in true Orwellian fashion he contradicted that statement IN THE EXACT SAME SENTENCE by bringing the hammer down on gay marriage. You know, I'm half surprised that part way through a rant on Iraq he didn't just start talking about how we're at war with the Soviet Union, while everyone just pretends like it's all OK.

Bush's big justification for his gay-bashing on a world stage is that "the will of the people" must be respected. We already know what he thinks about the will of the people, but regardless of who's using that justification, it's a stupid fucking justification. It's a shame that we don't always follow the will of the people, because if we did then I'd never have to worry about sharing the bus, the workplace, and whatnot with blacks and other minorities here IN THE LAND OF THE FREE.

Finally, there were some pretty clear crack-backs on the Ds in that speech. If there was ever a time to get pissed and to get fired up, Democrats, now is the time. I suspect that just like Pelosi and Daschle immediately afterwards with their rebuttals, you Democrats will continue with your official policy of laying down. Meanwhile, the "Great Uniter" has driven an even larger wedge in between this nation which he has played a big part in dividing. Strap yourselves in, America. We've got four more Bush State of the Unions to go.

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