Thursday, February 03, 2005

Misstating the Union

Right-wingers are complaining about Democrats yelling "No!" during the State of the Union speech. Of course, they should compare their own treatment of Clinton during SOTU speeches. The Rude Pundit (caution: contains language considered rude by many) dissects the President's attitudes: "yeah, I'm lying--I dare you to do something about it!", and "I'm brave because I say so!"

It is not "bold" to target gays for isolation and denigration in the Constitution; it is not "bold" to cut domestic programs that mainly help those in poverty so that massive tax cuts can be made "permanent;" it is not "bold" to say that you want to create a Social Security system that no longer guarantees a retirement benefit for seniors and that cuts benefits to others; it is not "bold" to hinder scientific developments under the veil of "protecting life;" it is not "bold" to declare that that we should make sure that people on death row are actually guilty; it is not "bold" to imply that you will use military force to impose your political will on other nations. If this is what passes for "bold" in this America, then, indeed, cowards should hold their heads high and declare that their pusillanimity is actually "bold" retreat. Or maybe such "bold" people will just ink their fingers purple in solidarity with Iraqi "voters." Or the truly "bold" will dress in purple (like Condi).

As the Rude One says, the Repos are trying to co-opt FDR's words while killing off FDR's accomplishments. Roosevelt said, "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." Bush is crying "wolf!" about a system that's not broken, and his solution to the nonexistent wolf is to make things worse. This puts him in direct opposition to FDR: Bush wants to add to the abundance of the wealthy and the stockbrokers by taking away what little most of us have.

But you know what? We're all over this. "We won't get fooled again." As just a tiny sampler of the folks calling "bullshit!" on Bush, ThinkProgress fact-checks the SOTU budget claims:

[H]ow can the president credibly claim he will cut the deficit in half by 2009 when the figures he is using exclude: 1) funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan; 2) the administration's $2.5 trillion proposal to extend tax cuts; and 3) the administration's $2 trillion Social Security package?

Fact-esque picks apart the SOTU and the Social Security piratization plan. Choice tidbit:

God, he has no shame.

Some of our servicemen and women have survived terrible injuries, and this grateful country will do everything we can to help them recover.

Except pay for their meals. For their phone calls home. For underwear...

It can all be summed up thus: The Republicans' top priority is protecting their position, not promoting the general welfare.


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