January 24, 2007

Unlike past years, I didn’t watch President Bush’s State of the Union address tonight. I kinda feel bad about that, to tell you the truth, because I do think they serve as an important benchmark in every president’s term, and this one is no different. Word is, his intent was to try and gin up popular support for the so-called “surge” in Iraq while offering bold domestic initiatives in the way of health care and energy. But I just didn’t have the desire to watch. You know why? ‘Cause none of these things stands a ghost of a chance of being successful. And I’m not alone in feeling that way.

Specifically, there are several reasons why I chose not to watch:

1) They’ve become a sort of theater for political juvenile behavior. It seems as if, more than ever before, the SOTU address has become all about theater and little of substance – and his intended audience knows it. Ya know, if the President says something the Republicans like, they all stand up and hooray, while the camera pans the Democrats remaining seated on the other side seeking dumb or disgusted looks, or rolled eyes, etc. If he says something that Republicans don’t like, the TV cameras pan their side, looking for the same thing. I mean (and I say this to members of both parties – grow up and show some dignity, will ya? You are elected officials, after all…

2) Like everything else, they’ve become too political. To me, the SOTU should be the President’s opportunity to provide a laundry list of what has transpired since the previous one and what he hopes to accomplish before the next one. Nothing more, nothing less. But instead, you get this ridiculous pre-address build-up, then afterwards, the post-address reviews (all along party lines, of course). Finally, you have the opposition party’s rebuttal. All to what purpose? Once a special occasion, the SOTU is now no different from any other address the President gives, so what’s the point?

3) To be frank, the President has lost my ear, and I’m not much interested in what he says anymore. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – I’m very disappointed in President Bush in almost every way this term. His White House seems unbalanced, off-message, and unfocused, seemingly incapable of strong and effective leadership – especially when it comes to Iraq. On domestic issues, the guy’s all over the map. When he should be focused on what got him elected in the first place – the promise of less government, less spending, and bold and innovative leadership, what do we get? Half-baked ideas that leave even once-loyal Republicans shaking their heads. I mean, I feel for the guy – Iraq and the War on Terror have both conspired to diminish significantly his ability to govern, and I wouldn’t be surprised, or even blame him, if he’s just plum worn out after six hard years.

4) Do I really want to watch “San Fran” Nancy Pelosi for a whole hour while the President speaks? Um, no.

So sorry, Mr. President. You’ll pardon me if tonight I found other things to occupy my time during what should be the most important speech you’ll give all year. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that I no longer care what you have to say. The 2008 election can’t come soon enough.

P.S. It’s stuff like this that makes former supporters of the President like me shake their heads. It’s because of the lack of strong and effective leadership that this kind of stuff is even allowed to see the light of day. Oak Leaf is right – this does nothing to either help the President’s cause or make the White House seem strong and in control. What a joke.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:17 | Comments Off on State of the Union
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