January 31, 2006
1) "We will not sit back and wait to be hit again." is THE soundbite. It could easily have been prefaced by "Despite the words and actions of the Democrats in Congress..."
2) The Dems standing up and cheering the defeat of Social Security reform. Hillary was positively beaming. Good fodder for an ad in 2008. Disgraceful. Do they know how they look to the average American when they do that? But then again, Harry Reid did actually say "We killed the Patriot Act".
Some of the analysis says he was more reserved than expected. I think at least in terms of National Security and Iraq he was pretty feisty. The last third sounded too Clintonian though. Too many "small" programs squeezed into too little time. Tedious.
All in all I give it a B+. Better than last year's but not as good as others (say, 2002).
I'll be watching. I thought about live-blogging it but there are sharper tools in the shed than me who'll already be doing that. But in anticipation of the address, here's my prediction of how it'll go. It's a combination of what I think he'll say and what I hope he'll say:
1) WeÂ’re still at war. The enemy isnÂ’t letting up but we are killing lots of bad guys every day. America must not be complacent. The reason we havenÂ’t been hit again is not because they havenÂ’t tried. NSA surveillance is critical. This is not spying on grandmaÂ’s cell phone conversations; this is identifying threats before they materialize. Despite the complaints of some, it is lawful, it is Constitutional and weÂ’re going to continue to do it to protect American lives. End of story. (If only Jack Bauer could be up in the gallery next to Laura Bush!)
2) The economy is strong. Quote employment statistics, job creation numbers, GDP growth, Federal Tax revenue increases, etc. It's not a coincidence that these strong numbers have come about since cutting taxes. Tax relief for all who pay taxes is a good thing. WeÂ’re going to do more. We need to reform and simplify the IRS code.
3) Congratulations to Sam Alito and his family and thank you Justice OÂ’Connor for your 24 years of service on the court. (He should gloat but he wonÂ’t.)
4) List the under-reported accomplishments in Congress over the past year.
5) Lay out a few proposals (in a Â“big pictureÂ” way) for the coming year. Set the agenda (emphasize Immigration reform).
6) We must reform the current political system that has compromised members of both parties and the GOP must take the lead. Reign in spending. Elect a strong majority leader (wink to Shadegg). Enact sweeping institutional changes to restore the integrity of the Federal Government (meaning Congress) to a level that voters can once again be proud of.
7) Thank you and God Bless the United States of America.
Something along those lines, I think.
And if some Democrats want to get up and walk out if the chamber in the middle of the speech...oh that would be the icing on the cake!
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