State of the Union

In preparation of the big Sales Pitch, err, State of the Union Speech tonight, we turn to pre-released excerpts from the address. On Social Security:

“One of Americas most important institutions, a symbol of the trust between generations is also in need of wise and effective reform. […] Fixing Social Security permanently will require an open, candid review of the options.”
Interesting choice of words, that, a symbol of trust, coming from a man whose very strategy to dismantle the existing system is based on fear-mongering and the continually repeated lie that there is an impending crisis that must be immediately addressed. Let’s revisit their playbook again, shall we?
The president says that "the crisis is now." That comment has inspired a lot of fairly tedious semantic debate. Let's just say that we have a serious problem. It is true that we do not have to fix it immediately. (p22)


The campaign will use Bush's campaign-honed techniques of mass repetition, never deviating from the script and using the politics of fear to build support -- contending that a Social Security financial crisis is imminent when even Republican figures show it is decades away. (p33)
That doesn’t sound to me like “an open, candid review of the options,” but instead like the misinformation campaign and cynical inducement of panic that led us to war. The Democrats have said they will not provide the votes necessary to enact the privatization scheme proposed by the administration. I desperately hope they come through on this one. I hope they have learned by now that this president and his associates are not to be trusted to be honest or fair.

On national security:
“We will pass along to our children all the freedoms we enjoy – and chief among them is freedom from fear.”
Unless, of course, generating fear is a useful means to an ideological end—like Social Security reform.
“In the next four years, my Administration will continue to build the coalitions that will defeat the dangers of our time.”
Don’t forget Poland!
“In the long term, the peace we seek will only be achieved by eliminating the conditions that feed radicalism and ideologies of murder.”
Just a thought here, but a good start might be rescinding the nomination for Attorney General of the architect of our torture policy. Rewarding a man who found the Geneva Conventions quaint, and sought to find loopholes allowing us to torture suspected enemy combatants, with the highest position of law enforcement in the country seems to be creating exactly the kind of condition that feeds radicalism and the ideologies of murder. Not only will we be seen as radical and endorsing a murderous ideology, but appointing Gonzales is sure to invoke the same sentiments in those who have fallen victim to our wanton disregard for human rights and decency under his direction.
“The only force powerful enough to stop the rise of tyranny and terror, and replace hatred with hope, is the force of human freedom.”
It never ceases to amaze me how he can deliver such lines without the slightest trace of irony.

Enjoy the show. We’ll no doubt have lots to talk about tomorrow.

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