Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Don't Ask

The Moose reacts to the SOTU.

It was an unremarkable address and a lost opportunity. The State of the Union speech perhaps was evidence of an exhausted and humbled Administration. Whatever one thinks of this President, he used to deliver stirring speeches. Last night, he did not. It was a pedestrian address unworthy of the day.

It was George W. Bush lite. Less filling, tepid taste.

Even in his area of strength, national security, the President largely fell short. However, he should be given credit in actually naming the enemy - radical Islam. Far too many politicians, out of fear of being politically incorrect, shy away from specifically mentioning the enemy. But, on Iran, in particular, he failed to explain the nature of the threat to the American people. And the threat to the Iranian mullahs was remarkably weak,

"The Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions, and the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons."

The Iranian Hitler is probably not trembling in fear over the language that "the nations of the world must not permit". This is far from saying "this will not stand."

The President delivered the most spirited remarks in defense of the eavesdropping program and the Patriot Act. As the Moose has repeatedly pointed out, Democrats should have reason to be concerned that they are on the wrong side of this issue on both policy and political grounds. Democrats did not help themselves when sat on their hands and rolled their eyes when the President discussed these programs.

One can completely dismiss the President's comments on the domestic scene. It was largely boilerplate that could be delivered at a Lincoln Day dinner in Peoria. Even his comments about energy independence had a Jimmy Carter feel to it - all rhetoric and little substance.

Once again, the President failed to ask anything of the American people in this war against Jihadism. Of course, he gave an eloquent, heart-felt and most appropriate tribute to our courageous troops. But for the rest of the country, the President offered business as usual. It was not exactly an "Ask not..." challenge. If energy independence is so critical, what about an gas/SUV tax (or energy freedom tax) or CAFE standards? What about deferring tax cuts for the wealthy to pay for an expansion of the military? What about a major recruitment effort for both military and civilian service?

This speech will be quickly forgotten, and it should be. Yes, we should be "hopeful". But, there are gathering threats that require more of the American people and this Administration.

It was a don't ask, don't tell address.
-- Posted at 8:13 AM | Link to this post | Email this post