Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Bulls**t Pulpit

Cruising the blogosphere in the aftermath of the SOTU address, I was amazed by the number of progressive bloggers who did not bother to watch W speak. They read the transcript, maybe watched a few excerpts for color, but as one they claimed no desire to watch the prez lie to the American people on national television. Personally, I love watching the speech, if only to thrill my children by screaming and throwing things at the boob (tube).

What a speech it was, too. So many lies, so little time. Bush started with, and peppered throughout, a call for bipartisanship and civility in government and across America. This, of course, is some cosmic joke invented in the small of the night by WH speech writers, high on koolaid and giggling like hyenas. Very Rovian actually for the people who invented swiftboating to call for civility in a national speech. And it is the GOP who defined partisanship when they pushed to impeach a president for lying about a sexual affair, but chose to ignore this president's continued lying and lawbreaking on matters of national security.

On the issue of Iraq and the Middle East, I'd suggest reading Juan Cole, who does a fine job of refuting the administration's claims of success in the region. Cole points out Bush's hubris in claiming self-rule for Iraqis when his administration continues to make all decisions, backed by American armed forces. This was how Syria allowed Lebanon "democracy" for 25 years, though as Cole shows, there had been true representative government in the area for quite some time, independent of American intervention. He also identifies the fallacy inherent to Bush's highlighting democratic movements around the rest of the Middle East, as they are all rebukes to American influence in the region.

For a bit of reality on Bush's domestic policies (what few of them there were), Brad DeLong quotes MaxSpeaks who quotes someone else, but the conclusion for all three is the same. The country can not afford any domestic advances because of uncontrolled spending by the GOP majority. Any claims to the contrary are...lies. While claiming to support education, his budget has cut student loans and spending to pay for NCLB requirements. His ridiculous call for competitiveness in maths and sciences is belied by his ongoing support for ID and, in a fine coincidence of juxtaposition, his call to curtail biotech research in the same speech. Read Pharyngula for an explanation of what the edjumacation president was asking for when he called for a ban on embryonic experimentation.

The biggest whopper of the evening was the president's decrying America's addiction to foreign oil and his call to reduce dependence by 2025. Bubba will have to supply us with an analysis of the proposal, not that it will ever amount to anything. Even W's own people jumped in to say he didn't really mean what he claimed so forcefully during the SOTU. It is an odd thing when you get right down to it. This speech is the most vetted the president will give all year. The lies he tells are there for a carefully constructed reason and traditionally fall into the category of spin. When the administration's own people jump to correct something the prez says, like in this case and in the yellow cake uranium story, there is more to the lie than just falsehood. I wonder what it will be this time?