So I did my part and watched the State of the Union last night. Reading the coverage I find myself once again out of step.
- I thought that on the whole Bush's speech was nice, although he's clearly getting worn down and sort of cranky. Get the president a juice box and someone get Condi to take a nap.
- Substantively it was pretty stupid, both politically and policy-wise. Although that's been covered elsewhere, in brief by embracing themes like Health Care and Immigration Reform, Bush is alienating some substantial subset of his remaining support. He also proposed things -- like subsidized opt-in insurance -- that are terrifically ineffective.
- Did no one else see him grab Speaker Pelosi's tit at the end???
- While I liked how he started off on calling out CEO pay, and I like that everyone seems to think it was a tenacious response, Jim Webb's ditty felt stiff and boring to me, like a high school teacher giving a lecture. I like his reasoning and tough, brass-tacks bearing, but I prefer it seasoned with some passion.
Anyway, I'm pleased that Bush had to thematically go our way on Health Care, Energy and the like. That matters. When it comes to making programs happen, the President actually can't do anything. As easy as it is to forget this after the last six years, the President actually doesn't make the laws, at least not according to the Constitution.
This means his stupid proposals are just that -- empty talk -- but the subject of that empty talk bodes well for people like me who savor the notion of energy independence, universal health care, universal net access, and an economy that embraces the notion of service rather than servitude.
And on Iraq, well, nobody but McCain wants to escalate, and even his stance there looks more and more like a political gambit gone wrong. It's a tragedy. Hopefully it can be forced to some kind of conclusion sooner rather than later, but it's going to take continued work from citizen activists to get us turned around on that and focused on the real threats to our security.