PolySciFi Blog

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


SOTU: Bush v 5.0

8:57 News coverage has already switched over to the Capitol. Fox reports that the the inked finger of solidarity with the Iraqi voters is a go for some members of Congress.

Also of interest the whitehouse has a streaming video of the speech here. (link will go stale)

Be sure to follow along with the drinking game while you watch.

Sergeant at arms just announced Bush. Germ swapping ensues. (Right after I posted that, someone was coughing on camera).

9:05 I sorta collect handshakes with famous people. I wonder if congressmen do that. Show-business for ugly people and all that.

9:07 Bush starts. Immediately recognizes that like the US, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Palestine just had elections too. Nice. Ties in well with his inauguration speech. A connection he just made explicit.

Called military a force for good in the world...

9:09 Notes blessing of our generation... seems to be going for a "From those who have been greatly blessed, much is expected" theme. A socialist, I tell you.

9:10 We're all that and a stick of butter. - job growth, growing economy. Now we need to do more. Just hit on spending discipline. Can I get a libertarian amen?

That cut the deficit in half by 2009 isn't that impressive as projected growth will do most of that.

Prinicple: "tax payer dollars must be spent wisely or not at all" Hear hear.

9:12 Stressing education - getting back to his roots. Praising entrepreneurs. Call for business regulation roll back and tort reform. Hear hear.

9:14 Hitting on health care - tax credits, IT reform (Newt had something on that a while back), hit on health savings accounts (which are really cool - like an IRA for health), also more tort reform.

Now on energy.. going laundry list. eyes glazing over. where's that drinking game? 4 year delay on energy bill is a good note. I think the house just passed it. Last time it floundered in the Senate.

9:17 Seems to be tying tax reform together with social security reform and immigration reform as a bunch of outdated. Hit on his guest worker program. That doesn't play too well with the base cause it sounds a little too much like amnesty.

9:19 To the meat of the talk - social security. Oddly the Democrats didn't applaud the banal platitude "we must strengthen social security" I figured they would sit on their hands later in this part...

9:21 Making his demographic case which is the real problem with social security. Bush is going wonkish, citing numbers and years. Who'd a thunk it?

9:22 I like the parallel with college planning. If you have a 5 year old, you're saving for college in 2018, why can't Congress start now to tackle a problem in 2018.

Wants a permanent fix. Going through a list of options and citing different ideas - many from Democrats - smart. Even smarter by following that up with a need to rise above partisan politcs.

9:25 Says he's open to ideas, but he's setting some boundaries on reform. 55+ are left alone. No payroll tax increases.

Describing private accounts. Emphasizing greater rate of return. Hitting on inheritance advantage (which I think is a big seller to parents) and says that the account is my money and the government can never take it away.

Addressing insecurity issues that have been raised with some broad guidelines. Probably any more would be too wonkish for the public.

Noted that federal employees already have private accounts. Smart.

9:29 Now on gay marriage. He's just came out in favor of a FMA of sorts. (no details)

Quickly moved on to "culture of life" "Human life is never bought or sold as a commodity" - hey there was an earlier Republican who made that a priority.

Wants every judicial nominee to have an up or down vote. Surprise surprise...

9:33 Compassionate conservatism stuff on gangs. Are gangs this year's school uniforms? or steroids? (although that steroids thing turned out to be an issue)

9:35 Called for AIDS funding and renewal of the Ryan White Act. Calling for dramatic expanding of the use of DNA evidence. - a good idea. Extra training for capital case defense counsel.

9:36 Good idea - Tied war on terror and homeland security into the whole package as part of a message of making America better for our children. (but not our children's children, cause children shouldn't be having sex)

9:38 Just gave a little state of the war on terror. Says we're doing well, but we must stay on the offensive until the war is won.

Leading into his $80 billion Iraq package... Mentioned the 28 countries on the ground in Iraq and hitting on the alliances. Maybe Bush is Wilsonian... However, Bush seems to be more interested in building ad-hoc coalitions of the willing. (To me a sensible approach. Who's coming with us? Hopefully more than a goldfish...)

9:41 Hit on the US's desire to stand with freedom against tyranny. "A community of free and independent nations with their own cultures..." Smart. That's what the rest of the world wants to hear.

Linking spread of democracy to peace. Root causes of terror and all.

9:43 Asking $350 million to help Palestine reform. Says he wants to democratic peaceful states living side by side and America will help them reach that goal.

Before this year that's what everyone said they wanted.

9:45 He just called out Egypt and in effect told them to have a vote.
In a more threatening tone, told the same to Syria (and to stop supporting terrorists).
Just told Iran to vote, stop supporting terrorists, and to stop building nukes,

1) I like the pyramidal structure. 2) Right after the election, this is the best possible message to give the Arab people.

Called for democracies in Syria and Iran again...

9:48 Fingers just came out at the mention of the Iraqi election. Bush thanked the Canadians for waving with all 5, but seemed to like the single fingers in this setting...

9:50 Touching human interest story with Safia. Really wouldn't be a SOTU without one. She gave Bush "the finger" too. Now two fingers in victory...

9:51 Used the election as a backdrop to note that insurgents/terrorists/Baathist dead enders are minority in Iraq.

Quickly transitioned over to Iraq's desire to take over security. Subtle reminder that the troops will be home as soon as possible. "Tell America not to abandon us" "We are standing for the freedom of our Iraqi friends. And freedom for Iraq will make America safer for generations to come."

A nice setup for the time table discussion.

Bush notes it's not the time table, it's the result. Then explicitly defines the result.
Result: democratic Iraq, peaceful with its neighbors, and able to defend itself.

9:55 Praising the troops. Is this leading to the death benefit? (Update: No. But it is in Congress now)

9:56 Praising Byron Norwood. Parents are in the audience. Mom looks like she's about to start crying. Safia and Mrs Norwood just hugged. Very nice. Then there appears to have been a warddrobe malfunction... Not that kind. This isn't the superbowl. Looks like bracelets got tangled.

Very long ovation for the troops. Very much deserved.

10:00 Ends with some short uplifting words about realizing your dreams. Though I thought it was mildly inappropriate for Bush to conclude with:

"Follow your dreams. You can meet your goals. I am living proof. Beefcake! Beefcake!!!"

Polyscifi has gotten our hands on a screen capture from that last shocking scene in the Capitol. Really, Mr. President, what were you thinking?

Oh, and here's a copy of the text of the speech.


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