A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

The 2007 State of the Disunion Address: Post Mortem

I have been dragging my butt around for the last few days because the damn President kept me up until 10:00PM Tuesday. I didn’t even hear his entire speech. He was just beginning to do his shout-outs to the visitor’s gallery when I gave up, and turned in for the night. Still, I saw enough to get an idea how far the President’s agenda will go in this current Congress.

First, I must compliment Dick Cheney and his handling of the President during the evening. The President spoke well, missed a few words, but I didn’t see Cheney’s lips move once! His ventriloquism lessons are paying off very well. I know Cheney was really the one speaking because (1) there have been accusations that he is really in charge of the administration; and (2) at one point both Bush and Cheney took a drink of water at the SAME TIME! That had to have been rehearsed.

It was easy see which party was sitting where in the chamber, judging from the times they stood up to applause. Most of the Republicans sat at the President’s left and this section gave him a rousing ovation when he mentioned medical liability reform as a goal for this year. The rest of the chamber, which coincidentally comprised the other two-thirds of the space, sat quietly when this issue was mentioned.

We must credit the President for taking the time to acknowledge the first female Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, sitting behind him. It was very refreshing to see someone else sitting there besides Dennis Hastert. It may have been a strange illusion by the television cameras, but Hastert always seemed like he was too big for the Speaker’s chair, and I mean big as in the moon blocking out the sun during a solar eclipse. I would guess Cheney is a bit relieved that Pelosi is in Hastert’s place now. There may have been times when the two of them sat side-by-side and the Vice-President could have felt threatened. After all, what if Hastert got hungry for a snack at that moment and the only thing within reach was Cheney...but I digress.

Pelosi not only called the House to order, but also served as a stage manager for the Democrats in the chamber. They followed her lead when it came to applauding the President’s messages. She stood up and applauded, and they stood up and applauded. She remained seated and clapped her hands politely for lukewarm issues, and the Democrats did the same. When Cheney and the Republicans jumped to their feet to give the President a rousing response, she sat quietly. I wouldn’t have blamed her if she chose to make a goofy face at such moments, which would’ve sent the Democrat side of the chamber into hysterics, but much to her credit she remained composed and maintained the decorum that the moments demanded.

There were a few issues that both sides applauded vigorously. One such moment was the President’s vow to maintain supporting the troops in Iraq. Although there are more Congress members now opposing the war, none of them wants to be perceived as being against those men and women already fighting the war. The President’s proposed troop surge may be on shaky ground, but continued financial support for the war is a sure bet.

Iraq is Bush’s Achilles tendon. He is weak and vulnerable on this issue. Now he is proposing an advisory committee on Iraq. Great, another group of recommendations which he can choose to ignore. This is known as a political dodge; if you are faced with an unpopular issue, you can table it or delay action until the problem dies or goes away, or form a committee where the issue will go into limbo until such time that your term expires and you don’t have to deal with it anymore. In any case, I will be very surprised if the advisory committee gets off the drawing board.

Now that the speech is over, everyone can get back to the business of debating and legislating. In other words, sharpen your claws and say good-bye to civility. There’s a new Congress in town and everyone should get ready for the fight that lies ahead.


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