Home > Politics > State Of The Union Address, part 1

State Of The Union Address, part 1

January 23, 2007

I listened to some of the State Of The Union address tonight – as much as I could stomach with the audience breaking in a hundred times or so with applause.  This is why i prefer to read a transcript the next day.  Maybe a future candidate will promise; “I will let my press secretary read my SOTU each year.  Nobody sucks up to press secretaries so you won’t have to listen to all the pointless applause.”

Bush appealed for us to give his new policy “a chance to work.”  Hell, I’m for that – the president ought to have at least one thing turn out right during his term in office.

But seriously…

GRANTING that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, and we never should have invaded in the first place, and that it probably was a misplaced vendetta by our decider-in-chief, and granting that the war has been mismanaged in just about every way imaginable, and stipulating that it has damaged us internationally and taken resources away from Afghanistan, which is neither finished nor won… granting all that…

The president is probably right.  You know the saying about a stopped clock – right twice a day.  If we pull out now and leave Baghdad unprotected, it will make a horrible situation, even worse.

This is not to say that the president’s plan guarantees success – actually the chances are slim at best.  But we broke it, we bought it.  The best we can hope for is some stability in the next year or so.  To me this is a debatable judgment call; I am not by any means certain about it.  So I won’t bite your head off if you disagree but that’s my take on it.

Don’t forget this come next election, though.  Try for a Democratic president – even if it’s Hillary (ugh) – and maybe a Republican Senate and Democratic house.  Do not let any one party have total control, ever again.

I’ll have more to say this weekend after studying the transcript. 

Categories: Politics
  1. Dont care
    January 24, 2007 at 13:38 | #1

    I was channelsurfing last night and there was SOTU playing on 4 stations consequetively and the very next station had a puppy chasing its own tail…

    Sadly, I stopped at the puppy…

  2. January 24, 2007 at 14:28 | #2

    Sadly, I stopped at the puppy…


    I missed it.  And when I noticed we missed it, because my girlfriend and I were watching an episode of Dog: The Bounty Hunter, we both just shrugged and kept watching Dog.  It was way more interesting, and as DOF said, you don’t have to wait for the worthless applause.

    As far as Iraq, I like Obama’s idea of a staged withdrawal.  But as DOF said, who knows what the right idea is.  The only thing that makes me think Obama is right is that it keeps our troops out of harms way.  We have lost more than enough at this point.

  3. trailrider
    January 24, 2007 at 16:50 | #3

    Iraq is a fiasco. Deciding how to proceed is difficult.  In business there is concept called “sunk cost”.  In deciding whether to buy a shiny new machine, the fact that you bought a shiny new machine just last year is not relevant – it is a sunk cost.  The only relevant factor is whether the new machine will increase profits or not.

    As to Iraq, what can we realistically expect to achieve by staying?  And what is the expected cost? Personally, I see no evidence that we can realistically expect to accomplish anything by staying.  I am not willing to sacrifice the life of even one more American soldier (child) under these conditions.

  4. January 24, 2007 at 20:26 | #4

    we never should have invaded in the first place, and that it probably was a misplaced vendetta by our decider-in-chief

    I disagree. It was about American dominance of the Middle East.

  5. January 24, 2007 at 20:59 | #5

    As someone who actually supported the Iraq invasion (not for American dominance, frankly, but because SH was a demonstrable lunatic who had no compunction, when not under the sanctions, about invading his neighbors, gassing his people and enemies, starting wars, and developing WMDs), the question of “should we or shouldn’t we have” is, at this point, nearly irrelevant.  It is neither a justification for staying in Iraq nor a reason to leave.

    The question is, in part, as trailrider, notes, what is the value of staying there (in terms of probable outcomes), but vs. its costs, and as well what are the values of pulling out, vs. that’s costs.  That there are costs to staying is obvious, though the value of staying is a lot more sketchy.  The value of pulling back is obvious—but the cost of pulling back is going to be signficant in terms of prestige (the US ability to actually make a difference, positive or negative, in the world), our willingness to actually act when need be (vs. spending the next three decades dealing with problems via cruise missile and harsh rhetoric), and, of course, who *will* be dominant in the Middle East, to what ends.

    The problem is, there are no silver bullets at this point.  Any course we take is going to have costs, in American lives and others, for decades to come.  We are literally faced with trying to discern the least-worst scenario—hampered by a President who had utterly blown any semblance of credibility and an opposition who see blood in the waters.

  6. January 24, 2007 at 21:02 | #6

    And, fwiw, I avoided the SOTU—I figured there wouldn’t be anything new (there really wasn’t) and my blood pressure would be better served by watching the Daily Show coverage of it later.

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