On Tuesday night, President Bush delivered the 215th State of the Union address, fulfilling the constitutional requirement contained in Article II, section 3 of the Constitution. The speech, which ran slightly under an hour, was interrupted by applause some seventy-two times and contained absolutely nothing unexpected.
While it is obviously no secret that I fully support President Bush and plan on voting for him in November just as I did four years ago, I find that a speech such as this – full of standard applause pauses and catch lines – makes me long for days forgotten when presidents used to submit the State of the Union to Congress in writing. Unfortunately, in the age of the twenty-four hour news cycle and the never-ending campaign, the State of the Union address long ago lost some of its importance as a legislative report and become a campaign tool that every modern president has utilized to its fullest.
The speech itself represented President Bush’s most articulate delivery and contained a full report on his foreign and domestic policy initiatives. I was particularly pleased that he made the kind of strong stand on America’s right to defend itself that has defined his style of leadership. With the line, “America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people,” the President spoke directly to that group of persistent “blame America firsters.” These firsters think that the only appropriate course for America to take is to subordinate its sovereignty to the whims of nations such as France, who has anything but our best interests at heart. On the domestic front, I agree with the President that the economy is rebounding and that good things are on the horizon. I think it’s right for him to reject, in the strongest possible terms, the “doomsayers'” (an alternative spelling for D-E-M-O-C-R-A-T) assertions that our economy is in trouble. It would of course be nice to see a Democrat alternative plan that did not consist solely of the words, “No Tax Cuts, and It’s All Bush’s Fault.” How quickly they forget that the so-called Clinton economic prosperity hit the skids in September 2000, two months before an army of old, retired New Yorkers (and registered Democrats, I might add) turned our electoral process on its head because they couldn’t follow an arrow to a dot.
Despite the assertions of Democrat leaders such as Nancy Pelosi and Tom Daschle, “the State of the Union is confident and strong.” Thank you President Bush.
Scott Wacholtz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.