Random thoughts on the big speech
By Jim Babka
Frankly, I’m tired of State of the Union speeches. Just because we’ve always done something for years doesn’t mean we should keep on doing it. There were presidents who submitted their reports in writing.
Ever since FDR, we’ve been getting a dog and pony show. Every State of the Union speech now showcases a basket-full of goodies designed to buy an increase in the President’s poll numbers (which by the way, rarely lasts more than a week).
And the coverage of the event, with the possible exception of C-SPAN, stinks.
ABC did, however, make one note worth mentioning. So interesting was this point that it was, in my opinion, more important than any of the rhetoric coming out of the president’s mouth.
Charlie Gibson reported that, according to their political team, 48 of 62 paragraphs could’ve been said by Bill Clinton. To the folks at ABC, starting with Mr. Gibson, this showed how he was “reaching across the aisle,” or trying to “reconcile,” or “bipartisanship” ...blah, blah, blah.
The truth is that there’s very little difference between the parties. Their main argument is over management details like who will run the programs, how will the money be spent, etc.
• Both support intrusions on civil liberties, like the Patriot Act. The Democrats just want more bureaucrats supplying We the People with Vaseline for the proctologists who work at the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security.
• Both support increased federal spending. Republicans want to buy more guns; the Democrats want to buy more butter.
• Both support fiscal insanity. The Democrats want to tax and spend, while the Republicans want to borrow and spend. The Democrat plan damages job growth. The Republican plan destroys the value of your paycheck.
• Both support the war in Iraq. Sure, the Democrats want to pretend that they don’t like the war, but when they had a chance last year to vote for withdrawal, you could count on one hand the number who did so. John Kerry’s campaign platform actually called for more troops to be installed on the theory that their work could be completed sooner. And don’t forget, they voted to authorize the president to use force in Iraq – including Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
• Both support increased spending at the Departments of Education and Energy, as well as continuing the insane war on drugs.
• Both support numerous special interests and pork-barrel projects.
If you place a priority on limited government power, civil liberties, reduced spending, ending foreign busy-body policies, slashing ineffective and unconstitutional departments, and an end to redistribution of wealth, you’ve got no party in Washington.
And the President’s State of the Union is the political theater that demonstrates the pettiness of Republican-Democrat disagreement.
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