Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Walking Through The SOTU-The best part of the speech was the bill of particulars the president laid out against Saddam; he laid it on a bit too thick and with a bit too much melodrama, but it was better to err in those directions. The one key issues that keeps us from an 80% majority for an attack is convincing people of the idea that we're better off attacking now while his stockpile of WMDs are a lot lower. People, including Ted Kennedy, keep dwelling on the idea that we shouldn't attack until we're in imminent danger. If you got a friend or family member who falls into that camp, get them to dwell upon this passage from last night-
Before September 11, 2001, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents and lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons, and other plans — this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take just one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that day never comes. Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.
Do they have a blogger on the White House payroll? That's pointed enough to be a bit of Rantburg yellow journalism. A few other good points from the speech, not necessarily in order of importance. (1) Project Bioshield-this will give a bigger bang for the buck than anything on the Homeland Security budget. Many of the bugs that will be targeted are naturally occurring and we might save lives from domestic non-terror causes as well. That $6B budget will need to be watched for pork or political favoritism, but the idea seems good. (2) Hydrogen Fuel Cell initiative-The dynamist in me is calling this unneeded industrial policy, but the clean air-lover and the Michigander in me both applaud the project. It does a number of things at once. It will make environmentalists happier. It will make Detroit happy, both the companies and the UAW. It strikes a blow for energy independence. But best of all, it's neat, both literally as it's waste product is water vapor and figuratively as something you'd expect for us to be doing in the 21st century. (3) Capping spending growth to GDP growth-I'd of liked it better if he linked it to inflation rather than paycheck growth, but it's a good start. (4) The tax cut.
Jobs are created when the economy grows; the economy grows when Americans have more money to spend and invest; and the best, fairest way to make sure Americans have that money is not to tax it away in the first place.
Preach it, brother! (5) The paeans of faith
Our fourth goal is to apply the compassion of America to the deepest problems of America. For so many in our country — the homeless, the fatherless, the addicted — the need is great. Yet there is power — wonder-working power — in the goodness, and idealism, and faith of the American people.
The reference to a old Baptist hymn was code that evangelicals got about Dubya's commitment to the moral high ground. Coming out against partial-birth abortions was also a crowd pleaser. There are some boondoggles here, like the mentoring programs and the AIDS project, but by and large, Bush was heading in the right direction.

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