February 01, 2006
Anyway, I went through my prediction of what Bush would say last night to see how I did.
Click "read more" to find out. more...
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!
December 19, 2005
There are lots of pull-quotes but this one hits Liberals right between the eyes and sums up the basic difference in the way they see the world and the way we see it:
The terrorists do not merely object to American actions in Iraq and elsewhere, they object to our deepest values and our way of life. And if we were not fighting them in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Southeast Asia, and in other places, the terrorists would not be peaceful citizens, they would be on the offense, and headed our way.Democrats have made a miscalculation in that they believe that the majority of Americans see things the way they do. They're overplaying their hand with this doom and gloom, cut and run attitude. They see America as the problem, not the terrorists.
September the 11th, 2001 required us to take every emerging threat to our country seriously, and it shattered the illusion that terrorists attack us only after we provoke them. On that day, we were not in Iraq, we were not in Afghanistan, but the terrorists attacked us anyway -- and killed nearly 3,000 men, women, and children in our own country. My conviction comes down to this: We do not create terrorism by fighting the terrorists. We invite terrorism by ignoring them. And we will defeat the terrorists by capturing and killing them abroad, removing their safe havens, and strengthening new allies like Iraq and Afghanistan in the fight we share.
As Glenn Reynolds says, Bush is doubling down here:
"One big thing struck me: In this national televised speech, Bush went out of his way to take responsibility for the war. He repeatedly talked about "my decision to invade Iraq," even though, of course, it was also Congress's decision. He made very clear that, ultimately, this was his war, and the decisions were his.Democrats are on the wrong side of history, but they can't see it. They dismiss all the good news and the positive developments as irrelevant. They're betting that voters will give them a shot at being in control of National Security. Once again, they're going to lose.
Why did he do that? Because he thinks we're winning, and he wants credit. By November 2006, and especially November 2008, he thinks that'll be obvious, and he wants to lay down his marker now on what he believed -- and what the other side did. That's my guess, anyway."
November 14, 2005
Leaders in my Administration and members of Congress from both parties looked at the same intelligence on Iraq Â–Ã‚Â and reached the conclusion that Saddam Hussein was a threat. Let me give you quotes from three senior Democrats: First, quote, Â“There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons.Â” End quote. HereÂ’s another one, quote, Â“The war against terrorism will not be finished as long as [Saddam Hussein] is in power.Â” End quote. And hereÂ’s the way another Democratic leader summed it up, quote, Â“Saddam Hussein, in effect, has thumbed his nose at the world community. And I think that the President's approaching this in the right fashion.Â”The troops need to hear this from their Commander-In-Chief! Especially words like these:
As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them. Our troops deserve to know that this support will remain firm when the going gets tough. And our troops deserve to know that whatever our differences in Washington, our will is strong, our nation is united, and we will settle for nothing less than victory.H/T: Michelle Malkin
November 11, 2005
I mean, clearly the Democrats sound like fools trying to spin their revisionist history about the lead-up to Iraq. But if you let someone repeat the same lie over and over again, eventually people start to believe it. If I had my way, I'd have the President go on Primetime television with statements like this:
"While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began. Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war. These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgments related to Iraq's weapons programs.The Democrats want to start the 2006 campaign right now and make it all about these bullshit accusations. Well, the President may not be running for anything but he owes it to the men and women currently risking their lives overseas to refute these lies at every step. It's time to go on the offensive, not to gain political advantage but to prevent Democrats from trying to endanger the mission for the sake of their political advantage. It's high time Republicans call them on these shenanigans, which amount to irresponsibility at least and treason at worst.
They also know that intelligence agencies from around the world agreed with our assessment of Saddam Hussein. They know the United Nations passed more than a dozen resolutions citing his development and possession of weapons of mass destruction. And many of these critics supported my opponent during the last election, who explained his position to support the resolution in the Congress this way: "When I vote to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein, it is because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat, and a grave threat, to our security." That's why more than a hundred Democrats in the House and the Senate Â— who had access to the same intelligence Â— voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power.
The stakes in the global war on terror are too high, and the national interest is too important, for politicians to throw out false charges. These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will. As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them. Our troops deserve to know that this support will remain firm when the going gets tough. And our troops deserve to know that whatever our differences in Washington, our will is strong, our nation is united, and we will settle for nothing less than victory."
Am I questioning their patriotism? You bet your ass I am. When politicians deliberately try to sabotage U.S. military operations by undermining our troops and emboldening our enemies - all for the sake of politics - they deserve to have their patriotism questioned. The stakes are too high to be playing these games.
Instapundit has a round-up of reax from around the 'sphere.
October 21, 2005
1) Withdraw Harriet, nominate Edith (Jones)
2) Go to Baghdad
3) Nail the Greenspan succession
4) Embrace the (spending) sequester
Read his arguments here. Sounds like a plan to me.
H/T from Powerline
September 22, 2005
I never understood compassionate conservatism to mean, and I don't know anyone who understood it to mean, a return to the pork-laden legislation of the 1970s. We did not understand it to mean never vetoing a spending bill. We did not understand it to mean a historic level of spending. We did not understand it to be a step back toward old ways that were bad ways.The Republican base - whose guiding principle is fiscal restraint - has been more than patient up to this point. How much farther will that patience last? Hard to tell. And since Bush isn't running for anything, he won't have to worry for his own future. It's the next wave of Republicans that will be taking sides over this contentious debate...assuming of course that there even IS a debate.
I for one feel we need to go back to conservatism 101. We can start with a quote from Gerald Ford, if he isn't too much of a crabbed and reactionary old Republican to quote. He said, "A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have."
The administration knows that Republicans are becoming alarmed. Its attitude is: "We're having some trouble with part of the base but"--smile--"we can weather that."
Well, they probably can, short term.
Long term, they've had bad history with weather. It can change.
September 08, 2005
Even some Republicans thought the president should have met with her again. I disagree. President Bush has met with the families of fallen soldiers to an extent that exceeds that of his predecessors. But perhaps he should write her. I suggest a letter along the following lines:Maybe it would. But more likely as not Sheehan and her handlers would call a press conference and call the President a "coward" for not expressing these words to her face. They probably have a plan in place for just such a scenario.
Dear Mrs. Sheehan:
I have been shown reports confirming that your son, Casey, died bravely on the field of battle in Iraq.
I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic he died to save.
I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
George W. Bush
Of course, this is a paraphrase of LincolnÂ’s letter to Mrs. Lydia Bixby of Massachusetts, whom Lincoln believed to have lost five sons in the war that still raged in 1864 (it was actually two Â— as if the number matters). When Lincoln sent this letter, he had no idea that Mrs. Bixby was a Confederate sympathizer Â— in other words, that she favored the cause of those who killed her sons. I believe that even if Lincoln had known, he would have sent it anyway.
Unlike Lincoln in the case of Mrs. Bixby, President Bush knows that Mrs. Sheehan sympathizes with her sonÂ’s killers. She has expressed her sympathies publicly on more than one occasion. But the president should send such a letter anyway. Maybe it could shame Cindy Sheehan into separating her political agenda from her sonÂ’s honorable sacrifice and enable her to grant Casey Sheehan the dignity and respect that his sacrifice deserves.
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