Wednesday, February 01, 2006

State of the Union

Well, at least we seem to have curtailed George W. Bush's ambitions. No more sweeping changes to Social Security or much of anything else - though he does continue to take the budgetary ax to every social program he can get his sights on - even Katrina relief goes by the wayside, even as the president says we must renew "American values."

BIG WORDS: "We will renew the defining moral commitments of this land," but poetry aside, it might be nice to know what Mr. Bush really thinks those are. And are they any different for him than they are for us?

No, nothing revolutionary on the table this round, nothing sweeping at all, not even rhetorically, unless you count the "wide arc of human history," whatever that means. Maybe Mr. Bush ought to ask his speech writer what it means.

Some say this speech will be remembered for the short sentence, "America is addicted to oil." But isn't that our smarmy drug dealer telling us that? How odd, an oil man, not unimersed but truly embedded with that enemy OIL. But at least he said it so we can say he - even HE - told us so.

But not there in the "addicted" sentence or anywhere else, no real passion, no depth, nothing grand, nothing but the '06 marking of a passing parade. He read the speech as if they were clearly all words written by another man, a spectre of a focus group. We witnessed (or didn't) a smaller speech from a notably smaller man.


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