Tuesday, January 29, 2008

State of the Union...Anything New

State of the Union ... Anything New

I have struggled with what the subject of my next topic should be. Monday night’s attention was on the President's State of the Union message, and I have wondered if anyone actually sat and listened to the entire speech and the Democrat response given by Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas that followed.

I listened to both and, to say the least, was disappointed in both. Governor Sebelius started out rather good with her "we are all one" speech, which sounded much like the President’s "We The People" sound bite. But I expected a bit more from this lady than the "join us, Mr. President" routine that we have been hearing from the Democrats for seven years now. I wished she had offered some real points of what he is to join them on that hasn't been repeated over and over. No real challenge has been offered, and no specific points spoken. Alluding to the war, to the economy, to health care, to immigration, and such, makes for good sound bites for the media to chew on, regurgitate, and then chew on again until finally there is nothing left to regurgitate, but it still offers no real substance for which this President could join them.

Likewise, the President did not offer anything new to speak of. He said some things that he would do on issues like spending and earmarks, which he should have been saying and doing seven years ago. I call it a too-little-too-late plan, Mr. President, and would ask you why you have waited until now to slow the spending that you have allowed for seven years, the spending that has been compared to that of a drunken sailor. Too little, too late, Mr. President.

The President has stuck with his guns on Iraq and, from the looks of things, a good part of what he has pushed is working. Even the UN and NATO is agreeing that the surge has, to date, done its job. Again, Mr. President, too little, but hopefully for our military's sake, not too late. No, I am not being a Monday, or in this case, a Tuesday morning arm chair general. I have been saying that this war was under-staffed, under-funded, and under-estimated for over four years.

The stimulus package appears to be a bipartisan band-aid, and the call for the Senate not to overload the barrel was correct but put mildly. The Senate, as I wrote in the earlier post on the Stimulus Package, will attempt to load up the trough and dare the President to veto it. Either way he goes, he is going to be attacked.

On immigration, there was nothing new to that story. I thought that surely, by now, the President would have gotten the message that his plan is not in line with the wishes of the majority of the American people. The candidates on the Republican side are, for the most part, running from the plan, including McCain, who endorsed and sponsored the plan. But then he's running for President and needs to say during his campaign what the folks at home want to hear, and then he will do what he wishes should he be elected. Things like this do not cut it with me, nor do I believe it will cut it with the American voter.

On the tax cuts, although a lot of folks don't agree with them, it seems that a lot of other countries are doing the same thing and seeing good results. Ireland, Australia, Sweden, and a few others of the Euro states are getting the message that tax cuts work ... but they have to be tied to reduced spending. There is where the two parties differ in this country, and they did again last night. I believe that may have been the only new thing spoken tonight, and it was so sudden and so quick that I fear most may have missed it; I almost did and had to go back and review it. But the message was still pretty much the same and, hopefully, the tax cuts will remain in place. Taxing and spending will not get us out of the hole any more than will just tax cuts. It has to be hooked to spending. The President did mention that, as I stated in the earlier paragraphs, but I also said it was a bit too little and a bit too late.

I didn't stick around to listen to the pundits talk about how many times the Republicans stood and applauded and the Democrats sat and looked dour. Nor did I stick around to hear how many times the Democrats stood and applauded while still looking dour. Listening to the pundits reconstruct the entire speech is insulting to me, to say the least. They evidently think that the viewers are not intelligent enough to hear and decide for themselves. Admittedly, there are some who wish to be spoon fed instead of cutting their own meat on the plate. Those are the kinds of folks I fear the most because they vote, unfortunately, not on facts gained from actually listening and digesting what has been said but from the spoon-fed sound bites.

Well, hopefully, you heard the State of the Union message, so ... I ask if anyone heard anything different or new. And I also ask, what would your response have been if you had been asked to give one, as was Governor Sebelius. What say you?


joejoe said...

I like your post. The only item that I have honestly been struggling with for a long time is the war effort. I see American men and women losing blood, limbs, minds and so forth. I'm not convinced that war solves too much. Going into a foreign region, what are the long term gains going to be? This question has nothing to do with the military. God bless our military. For me it's more a matter of national policy and implementation. I pray constantly for our militry. They have always acted professionally and with much dedication. In this whole Iraq and Iran question, should we ever have asked them to take on this mission?

I just see the verse "He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword". I'm not trying to be a bible thumper, I'm just concerned. Ther have to be other ways.

Ticker said...

joejoe, I am not sure that war solves a great deal either but I sure of one thing, it is better to overcome than to have been overcome. In war there is no second place. I am not a person fond of war for I have seen it too much in my life very up close and personal. I bear hidden wounds inside as well as those which are visible on the outside. You have read my take on the operation of this war from the beginning, I stand by that.

I question why , when it appears that goals are being met and that the Iraqi people are finally beginning to stand up for themselves, why we should suddenly leave them to do a job that they are not yet prepared to do. I remember one particular war where we abandoned an ally and I saw the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocents by those filled with hatred toward this country and against any who had embraced or accepted any form of aid from us. I do not wish to see this occur again and for certain it would. There is no doubt in my mind that a "cleansing" would take place as soon as the US pulled out, should we pull out too soon.

As to the question ,should we ever had undertaken this mission? It is like asking if we should have closed the gate, after the horse is already out of the corral. I am reminded of the words of JFK when he said "We have come too far, we have sacrificed too much, to disdain the future now." and I wonder if in our current presence that should we not ask ourselves the same question.

Our enemies, and they are not a few would revel in our abandonment of Iraq at this point and our friends, especially the few we have in that region would question if the US could ever be trusted again to protect those who are in need. JFK had this to say on that subject:

" We stand for freedom. That is our conviction for ourselves; that is our only commitment to others.”

These words were a reflection of the US before JFK and I wonder if we can abandon them and continue to have the trust of the freedom loving world.

I will agree that there have to be other ways and in some instances there will be. Just as there are many ways of fighting a forest fire that are successful sometimes fire has to be fought with fire. I am sitting watching on the local TV where firefighters are fighting a fire that is destroying homes in a neighborhood. I see that even in the windy conditions (gust to 50mph) that they are now setting fire in a section where they feel they can control it inorder to keep it from jumping across that section and burning more homes.

Thank your for your well thought out response.

Anonymous said...

Ticker, Thanks for your thoughtful response. I will respond more tomorrow. But in the meantime, I think that no matter when we leave, the whole geographic area will have to find its own equilibrium. There is too much instability over "there" to hope that Iraq can determine its own destiny. There is too much going against what we think we are trying to set-up over there. I hope that you are healing well.

joejoe said...

That last post was from JoeJoe not anonymous.