January 21, 2004
Some may be wondering why I haven't commented on this yet. The fact is, I have no time. For that reason, I'm not going into a bunch of detail, but just list some notes. You can read a good summary by the AP Press here. I think I read the exact same article over at the Deseret News also. If you missed it, you missed out. That is, you missed out if you like Bush. I thought he a great speech giver and actually got excited in some parts. There were a few parts that made me wince, but in all I'd say it was a good speech. It was also a very political speech, taking several stabs at those who opposed his policies here in America, and implied those abroad also. A couple other things I found interesting were that he quite forcefully asked Congress to pass his bills and he mentioned God and/or a divine guiding power several times.
Posted by charr at 8:51 PM
I haven't enjoyed any of Bush's speeches that I've heard, even when I agree with him. I hear his delivery on this one was better than usual, but I don't regret missing it.The AP article illustrated the thing I'm most frustrated with him about, which is his stubborn insistence that there was some real threat to us by Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, and that's why we attacked. Of course, he's smoothly and gradually shifted from his alarmist cries of impending nuclear death to saying that Saddam's WMD programs would have continued if we hadn't intervened. But what's that got to do with us?I say the whole terrorism thing is largely a red herring that allows the government to pursue their desired course of attempting to undermine the power of Islamic governments in the Middle East and remake them in a more America-friendly image. It's not about the physical safety of our people; it's about maintaining the supremacy of our government and worldview. See the PNAC 'Statement of Principles' and the people who signed it: http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htmAlso, he wants to renew the PATRIOT act. I certainly don't want him to do that, and his insistence that it's good and necessary doesn't endear him to me at all. It just makes more opportunities for government covert domestic action, which is even more antithetical to democracy than covert foreign action.And what in the world has steroid usage in pro sports got to do with the federal government? That's ridiculous.I'm not sure how he mentioned God, but if he made any insinuation that God was behind his policies, I find that very distasteful. It's one thing to ask God to bless the country or to plead for guidance; it's quite another to claim he has divine direction.Anyway, this is getting long and rambly. I don't hate the man, I'm just frustrated with him. I disagree with a lot of his politics and I don't think he's being entirely honest with us. But then, no President ever has been completely honest. They're all politicians, after all.
The terrorism card is played a bit too often in politics (by both parties) these days. While I do think terrorism is still a threat, I'm a little sick of politicians using it to justify everything they do. We can't spend out lives looking around every corner watching for the boogyman and the government shouldn't do it either. We need protection from terrorism certainly; but we also need to be sensible about it without going to extremes. And using terrorism as an excuse for every move the government makes is certainly extreme.I'm with Levi about the Patriot Act. It makes me uneasy. They need to be a little more sensible about the lengths they allow the PA to go in order to protect the US. As it is, it goes a little too far.
I mostly agree with Levi also. The Patriot act, and the forceful way he prommoted it really made me wince. I think it intrudes too much on civil rights. When he talked about WMD, I kind of sighed, but I don't think it's as bad a thing as Levi sort of implied. While it wasn't something to go to war over, there were plenty of other things that justified it to me (that I saw before the war, not after). Plus there was plenty of reason to believe that Saddam had WMD (though not that he was an imminent threat), and that guy shouldn't have them. However, I did like the manner he gave his speech. It sounded confident and cautiously optimistic to me.
I used to be in Youth for Peace in high school and checked out a lot of socialism and communism books from the public library. Later on, when I realized these extremes did no one any good I wondered if my name was ever tagged in some FBI file.