Wednesday, February 01, 2006

WorldNetDaily: Bush's address to the nation

The full text of the State of the Union speech.

I watched it, of course. The Democrats spent most of their time sitting on their hands, or cat-calling about Social Security. Bush chided them publicly for failure to act--and that was good to see.

My chief criticism, of course, is of his attitudes on immigration. Clearly he wants to let more people in--and does not recognize that not everyone has the temperament to live in a republic, with all the responsibility that places on every citizen. More to the point, our porous border is the worst vulnerability we have. Now it's all very well for The Wall Street Journal to opine that as long as we engage terrorists abroad, we need not restrict immigraiton over there. But The Wall Street Journal has a conflict of interest: its biggest subscribers and advertisers want cheap labor. So, I imagine, do most of Bush's contributors. Maybe if one of those "cheap laborers" cut the throat of the contributor who had the bad sense to hire him, those same contributors would dance a different tune. That is not a threat of any direct action by myself or by anyone I know. It is a warning of the deadly risk that those same contributors seem to want to take without even knowing what a risk it is.

Besides that, Bush said that as a nation we were "addicted to oil," and specifically to its importation from "unstable regimes"--meaning our enemies. Unhappily, his reports on the subject amounted to an admission that we've spent ten billion US dollars on research--and not a scrap of results to show for it! Imagine a research department head making that kind of report to the CEO. How many days, how many hours, would he stay in his job, do you think?

All of which goes to illustrate, perhaps, the biggest problem with State of the Union addresses. A committee of committees writes it, and the President delivers it, totally deadpan. Ronald Reagan knew how to deliver a State of the Union address. Bush doesn't.

If you're the President, and you really want to move the country off a dependency on oil, do you not say something like:

I announce now that our military will begin at once to wean itself off the oil standard--through the use of hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles on our nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, so that carrier captains can keep those vehicles running while at sea for longer deployments; and by ordering new engines for our land vehicles that will run on any of a wide variety of fuels and fuel mixes, depending on what is available for the least total cost. The major automakers will shortly receive contracts for the delivery of large quantities of such vehicles, and I strongly urge them to make such vehicles available for the civilian market as well. I have further ordered the building managers of all federal buildings to make any possible economical use of solar and wind power in his buildings, and will shortly issue an Executive Order that every new federal building incorporate in its design certain features to make it energy-efficient. Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 grants to Congress absolute authority over federal property on which stands any "needful building" of the government, military or civilian. We will promote alternative-energy techniques in the most obvious way imaginable: by active demonstration.
Wouldn't that sound a lot better than just a quote of a research budget? I never want to hear numbers; I want to see results. Any boss would.

Other than the above, it was a great speech, one appropriate to the times. But I never give anyone a free pass for a missed opportunity--especially not someone for whom I voted.

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