Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Post-Speech Posting

I couldn’t even make it through the CSI re-run; my lights were out by 9:20. So I read the transcript this morning and came up with a couple of little tidbits of irony from the SOTU:

  • Ending our addiction to oil: Bush gets on the bandwagon with every president since Nixon by calling for ending our dependence on oil imports from “unstable parts of the world.” This from a guy who started out in the business world as a failed oil executive, and especially ironic in light of Exxon Mobil and BP’s year of record profits. He apparently missed the 60 Minutes story on the oil sands bonanza in Alberta — which is in Canada.
  • The call for civility: “In a system of two parties, two chambers and two elected branches, there will always be differences and debate. But even tough debates can be conducted in a civil tone, and our differences cannot be allowed to harden into anger. To confront the great issues before us, we must act in a spirit of good will and respect for one another, and I will do my part.” Okay, then firing Karl Rove would be a good start, followed up by getting rid of the person or persons in the White House who leaked the name of Valerie Plame to the press to exact political revenge. Or perhaps getting rid of Mr. Rove might accomplish both.
  • Math and science teachers: “Tonight I propose to train 70,000 high school teachers to lead Advanced Placement courses in math and science, bring 30,000 math and science professionals to teach in classrooms and give early help to students who struggle with math, so they have a better chance at good high-wage jobs. If we ensure that America’s children succeed in life, they will ensure that America succeeds in the world.” Great. Just make sure that you actually fund the programs and that you ensure they teach real science — not “intelligent design.” Well, at least he didn’t propose to train 70,000 high school teachers to teach students how to turn lead into gold.
  • Trying to cover both sides in the cultural war by mentioning Coretta Scott King and honoring her passing, citing Martin Luther King and his work against segregation, and taking a swipe at gay marriage. In other words, the government should stay out of people’s lives — unless it’s icky.
  • In the end, a president’s agenda depends on the people — both in Washington and beyond — believing what he says. Recent polls show that most of the electorate don’t trust the president or think he’s leading us in the right direction. So no matter what he said last night, chances are that we would have been better off watching a re-run of The West Wing for all the real substance we would have gotten out of a president. In the final irony, ABC has put its own presidential show, Commander in Chief, on hiatus because of low ratings. Would that life would imitate art.