Wednesday, January 29, 2003

The best thing about Bush's speech the other night was that it was short. Only about an hour. It was almost like he was watching the clock and as soon as it hit one hour he said "Whew! God Bless America!" and that was it.
I was glad that he spared everyone the theatrics that had become common in so many State of the Union speeches going back to Reagan and extending through the Clinton years. By that I mean the planting of people in the audience who are then recognized and featured in heart-rending or patriotic stories. Of course, it could have been that Bush just couldn't find anyone who has been helped by his programs who he could highlight.
Probably most notable about the speech was all of the things he chose not to talk about. There was no long list of accomplishments to highlight, just a laundry list of initiatives that have yet to be passed, funded and/or show any results. As one commentator pointed out after the speech - Clinton was long-winded in part because he had so many good things to talk about. Bush had a long list of things he didn't want to mention, like rising unemployment, a blossoming budget deficit, a tanking stock market, and so forth.

I'm still waiting for the explanation on why we have to bomb Iraq right now, while it is just fine to "contain" and even appease North Korea. Who do we know for a fact has weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)? Who was caught recently exporting some of these weapons to a nation (Yemen) that harbors terrorists and Al-Quadea sympathizers? Why does containment work just fine for NK, but we can't even wait long enough for the U.N. inspectors to do their jobs before we start dropping bombs on Baghdad? Maybe the recently hawkish Colin Powell will enlighten us on Feb. 5.

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