Rose colored union

[The President] shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient
US Constitution, Article II, Section 3

High privilege and the distinct honor

Last night George W Bush, aka The Shrub, gave us his view of the state of the union in a televised prime time speech before Congress.

Bush delivering the state of the union address; photo from NY Times

It's the terror, stupid. Bush began his speech with a quick nod to the men and women of the armed services and an improving economy, and then turned to his theme: "The terrorists continue to plot against America and the civilized world."

In his defense of his foreign policy, W made two quite remarkable assertions. First, the US attack on Saddam "enforced the demands of the United Nations." This must have been news in some capitals around the world. Second, "no one can now doubt the word of America." I suppose the exception concerning weapons of mass destruction must have been in a footnote that W didn't read.

rose colored glasses

If you knew only what the president was saying in his speech, you would have to believe that everything in the world is working out just fine.

You expect the president to put a positive spin on things — every politician does — but the speech revealed how The Shrub's rose colored glasses prevent him from seeing much of reality.

Jonathan Edwards

Thou shalt and shalt not. The Shrub's "moral certainty" was on full display. He railed against athletes taking shortcuts to performance. He exhorted parents to "encourage right choices" (by which he meant abstinence from sex and drugs). He insisted that children get the "right messages."

Nothing in W's tone or demeanor hinted that there might be disagreement about what the "right" choices and messages are, nothing that indicated any colors in his moral palette except pure black and pure white.

The Republican party used to have a strong libertarian disposition. That's gone. The Republican party of George Bush believes the government knows what's good for us, particularly when it comes to social and cultural issues. Bush thinks it's the government's place to tell people if and when they can have sex, who they can marry, what to believe, and so on.

Bush sees everything through the lens of his religious beliefs. In his warped mind, the separation of church and state is discrimination. "People of faith can know that the law will never discriminate against them again," he thundered.

After going through the usual laundry list of things W wants to do, he then chastened Congress, in the ultimate hypocrisy, to limit discretionary spending and "be wise with the people's money."

Frankly, this guy scares the spit out of me.