Monday, January 28, 2008

SOTU: Bush, Version W.7

For the seventh and final time, George W. Bush addressed the Congress and the nation about the state of our union. Thanks to you, Mr. President, the country is in deep shit. Tonight you came to Capitol Hill with your lame duck, lame ass wish list. Here's a few of the more brazen highlights:

  • Faith-based initiatives that don't just blur the line between church and state, they trample it -- unrepentantly proselytizing, shoving your version of religion down the throats of people who come looking for basic social services. You want Congress to make them permanent.
  • Precious public funds being siphoned off into private schools through the DC voucher program -- which, oh by the way, were mainly given to students already in private schools, not those needy kids in underperforming schools you like to use as smokescreen. Oh, and civil rights -- like Title IX -- don't apply in these private schools now mooching off the public trust. But no matter, you'd like the program to go nationwide.
  • Injecting religion into science, effectively scuttling promising breakthroughs on such things as stem cell research and delaying the over-the-counter availability of critical alternatives like emergency contraception. You still think it's the government's role to hamstring critical research based on your own narrow moralistic viewpoint, and plan to withhold federal funds to ensure your agenda.
  • Short-sighted, selfish tax cuts that sent the country further into debt and only benefit the rich -- not so much as a trickle has trickled down. These, too, you'd like Congress to make permanent -- you know, because the middle class is doing sooooo well.
  • Renewing No Child Left Behind, the teach-to-the-test unfunded mandate you and Ted Kennedy thrust on the states five years ago. A circuit court recently slapped your hand and said you can't force state and local governments to underwrite your schemes anymore, and Teddy seems unwilling to be duped by you again. Still, you like the high stakes testing cuz it lets you find some measure, somewhere, that shows some group of students has improved. Let's see you put lipstick on this particular pig.
  • Preemptive wars that cripple our economy and undercut critical domestic programs and -- oh yeah -- have made us the most reviled country the world over. Yeah, yeah, you think the surge is working, you want more money, blah blah blah. Meanwhile, our fighting men and women get extended stays overseas, less time at home, and a crippled and underfunded Veterans Administration either unable or unwilling to treat our soldiers with the dignity they deserve. Shame on you. (My brother's a vet, pal -- I am particularly hawkish on this one.)
  • Constant patriotic platitudes while you question the patriotism of those who dare to disagree or criticize your policies, and barely concealed scare tactics used to con people into believing that giving up their civil liberties is a fair price for freedom. The latest is your recommendation that we give retroactive immunity to the telephone companies that violated our right to privacy under the auspices of your administration's illegal wiretapping witch hunt.
That's quite the parade of horribles. Impressive, really. Prior to the speech, President Bush went to great lengths to say he was not feeling the least bit nostalgic about his last State of the Union address, that there was no sentimentality about this event that marks the beginning of his last year in office. Gotta tell ya, George, I'm not feeling particularly nostalgic myself. In fact, January 20, 2009 can't come soon enough. But since you were so kind to share your list of recommendations with the people tonight, here's one for you: don't let the East Wing door hit you on the ass on your way out.

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