Political Blogs, News & Views

« | »

A state of disunion

The pessimistic defeatism of an optimist

2006 State of the Union address

As I sat pondering why I’ve never been able to get on-board with the current administration after last night’s State of the Union address, it struck me like a bolt of lighting.

I strongly opposed Bush in the 2000 election. In part because I feared where he might lead us, but more so because I feared where he wouldn’t. But, he was our President and so I decided to keep a watchful eye on him.

The first few months passed, and aside from seeing some of my fears on environmental issues coming to fruition I didn’t see the nation sliding down the proverbial tubes to hell in a handbasket. I began to think that my worst fears about Bush weren’t really reasonable and that the country would continue to move forward, albeit at a slower pace in some areas.

Then, September 11th. And out of the ashes was born an opportunity. I know this because I was there. At that moment in time, like every other American I know who had opposed Bush in 2000, I was ready to follow. If I’d just been asked; I would have drunk the Kool-Aid.

But a week passed and I wasn’t asked. Not to help fight the terrorists, not to conserve oil, nothing. Then a month passed and still nothing. Finally, we sent troops into Afghanistan and I was asked to support them.

Absolutely I cried. What do they need? Money, stamps, meals, some spare boxers and socks? I know it’s been a while since we had a real fight and thought maybe the Army wasn’t prepared. Tell me what they need and I’ll do what I can–I want to do my part.

What’s that… a yellow sticker on my truck? Well, sure, but is that all I can do? Oh, you don’t say? Blind faith and a deaf ear on Iraq; but what does Iraq have to do with the Saudi funded terrorists who attacked us… I’m sorry, of course I want to do my part–but there’s a limit to how far I can go. It’s the line of reason and I think we’ve just leaped over.

And so was lost that golden opportunity to have a population of united Americans. I won’t debate where the blame lies here. Some will say I and others like me stopped short of doing ‘all we could’ by getting off at this exit, some will agree that the administration was over-reaching and sliding out of control. Regardless of where you stand on it; it is a question of philosophical differences that can only be answered in future History books.

The President spoke of our addiction to oil in his speech last night, and if he had asked on September 12th, 2001; the nation would have quit cold-turkey. But instead we were told to load up the SUV’s and go shopping.

So now, four years after that opportune moment and just months after Energy Industry executives were allowed to pen our nation’s Energy Bill, when he speaks of kicking the habit it comes across more like sweet-talk to attract independents and moderate democrats as the ’06 elections creep close than a sincere shift in policy.

When he spoke of acting “confidently in pursuing the enemies of freedom – or retreat from our duties in the hope of an easier life”, I can’t help but point out that I never asked for an easier life. In fact, by lunchtime on September 11th, 2001 I demanded anything but. I wanted to sacrifice, to give blood and sweat that could go along with my tears. I wanted to be led and to do my part.

I never received the leadership I–and so many others–desired when it was needed most. The President could have had me at hello if he’d just bothered to call. My worst fear of Bush had come true, the fear of where he wouldn’t lead us.

That’s why I’ve never been able to get on-board with this administration.

I had an internal debate about whether or not to publish this writing. It is slanted against the administration further than I would normally feel comfortable with in a publishing, and I prefer to comment on policy over individuals.

However, I think it could be insightful for some who lean to the right and/or support Bush. We live in polarized and energized times and I often observe that there’s a lack of understanding for eachother’s positions, which easily leads to a lack of respect for them and causes what should be civil discussions to turn heated quickly. Perhaps, at least on some levels, an understanding of how I and others like me lost confidence in the current administration would be helpful. Perhaps it won’t.


I’ve commented today, in slight, on my thoughts after watching the President’s 2006 State of the Union address. I believe it would be apprehensible to do so as a registered Democrat without including a sharp whipping to the Democratic members in attendance who displayed shameful and tactless behavior with their applause to defeating the President’s efforts to change the Social Security plan.

While I agreed in opposition to the proposed changes to Social Security and understand the desire some may feel to pat themselves on the back for their hard work in preventing them, the State of the Union address was not the appropriate venue and instead of showing strength and solidarity within the party–it looked as though Democrats were simply applauding failure. It was nothing short of embarrassing for this registered Democrat to watch.

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine gave an eloquent response from the opposition party, but saddened me by indicating that Democrats are going to continue to push for the government to steal earned profits from the oil industry. I know that it’s hard to reconcile for some American’s that we must pay such rising costs for heat and fuel while watching oil companies take in record profits quarter after quarter; but that’s how a free market works. Consumers are controlling pricing, not the oil companies. If consumers will pay $4 per gallon of gas, suppliers will charge $4 per gallon.

If consumers conserve and reduce their demand for the product, suppliers will lower prices to lure you back. It’s unfair and un-American to condemn a business or industry for succeeding, and I believe it’s unconstitutional as well as immoral to attempt to impose special taxes on success.

We’re the problem, not the oil companies. Most Americans won’t walk further than their driveways, and until we consumers change our way of thinking we’ll just have to keep crying about the costs of fuel over our $7 non-fat Caffe Lattes.

On the other hand, while the President did speak of lowering our dependence on oil and investing in future energy technologies, he’s done that in every State of the Union address he’s given since elected. The truth is, the technology already exists for reducing or removing entirely, our need for fossil fuels in most areas. Home heating and energy, transportation, the list goes on. The dirty truth is, America trails behind almost the entire world–even the third world–in shifting to reusable and renewable energy that doesn’t endanger the environment or require sending American dollars to governments and organizations that support terrorists.

Commissions, initiatives and investments are all good, but actual change, led by substantial legislation that punishes those businesses and individuals who oppose shifting our national energy model and rewards those who embrace it is what’s really required–the opportunity exists and the time is now.

In addition, I’d like to propose a bipartisan ban on Presidents using the State of the Union address to request any power or authority which has already been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Every President that I can remember has asked for Line Item Veto powers at least once in a State of the Union address, and in fact a Republican majority congress approved it in 1996 under President Bill Clinton. The power was challenged and found to be unconstitutional in a 6-3 decision by the Supreme Court two years later.

We get it, every President would like to have unchecked power over Congress, but it could lead to a stifling of the citizen’s representation in federal government or worse, become a corruptable leverage for sitting Presidents.

You (and I’m using the plural tense) can’t have it, so stop asking. It makes you look like spoiled children who aren’t getting their way.

Finally, I’d also like everyone’s support in a bipartisan effort demanding that all of our leaders stop requesting “bipartisan efforts” as long as what they actually mean is “bipartisan efforts and support that agree with this position”.

If you refuse to give credence to input from across the aisle then don’t make hollow requests for it. The whole point to having multiple parties is so that official positions and legislation will encompass more than a single minded and narrow view. So long as the leadership of both parties refuses to truly compromise with opponents and respect that there is no “one size fits all” ideology that’s right for America, there can be no “bipartisan efforts”; so just stop asking until you’re ready to start giving.

Technorati Tags: State of the Union address

Related Writings

Posted by Scott Bannon on February 1, 2006.



« | »

Recent Posts


About Political Blogs, News & Views

buxtohispano.com serves as an outlet for the political and social opinions of all who participate here. Every effort is made to keep the discussions civil and family friendly. This site will not be a shout-fest arena for anyone. We understand that passions can run high when debating important issues and questions that affect the lives [...]more →