Liveblogging The State Of The Union Speech

(9:01) Here’s the thing that disappoints me about this speech going in. George Bush is missing a real opportunity to do a turn-around here. We’ve already got a new plan for the war, Bush is doing some good things on fiscal conservatism now — if only he would bend on illegal immigration.

Imagine his announcing that he doesn’t support citizenship for illegal aliens, that he’s pardoning both those border patrol agents, and that he’s not going to support a guest worker program until the wall is built. It could be the start of a political earthquake.

(9:07) I already have 3 or 4 press releases from congressmen in my email on their reaction to the State of the Union speech. They’re all, “Embargoed Until Delivery.” Why not just wait 35 minutes and send them out?

(9:09) Dennis Kucinich wants to shake hands with the President. That’s always silly. They want their face time with him on camera and they’ll be shredding him as soon as the speech is over.

(9:11) You know what would look great right now? An Atlanta Braves style tomahawk chop in Congress.

(9:13) Madame Speaker….that was gracious, but still ***gag.***

(9:16) I care which side of the aisle you sit on!

(9:17) 41 months of job growth.

(9:18) The Democrats don’t like that bit about not raising taxes.

(9:19) Earmarks, huh? Take a bow, porkbusters, and Tom Coburn. This part of the speech is because of you.

(9:20) Cut the number and cost of earmarks in half by the end of the session. Good stuff!

(9:20) Ted Kennedy is already nodding off. He probably had a few before this got started.

(9:21) Where are the No Child Left Behind statistics? They’re impressive. He should have used them.

(9:22) A call for vouchers. Good!

(9:25) A standard tax deduction for health care, 15k for families. $7,500 for singles. This will benefit self-employed people. Very good. Loving it. He left out the tax increase on people with company sponsored health plans that are very expensive.

(9:26) Grants to states? Not sure that’s a good idea. Health savings accounts and association health plans? Fantastic! Price transparency and medical liability reform? Excellent!

(9:27) Illegal Immigration? Boo!

(9:28) Oh, yeah, a guest worker program will solve our problems — until people figure out they can get illegals cheaper than the guest workers.

(9:28) Our amnesty plan isn’t amnesty because we don’t call it amnesty. Gag.

(9:30) They always say this stuff, hippy fuels (which don’t work) and clean coal and nuclear which Democrats oppose.

(9:31) Reduce gas by 20% in the next 10 years. Ok. 5 times the current total of ethanol, switch grass, etc., etc. — I’m not sure that’s a good idea.

(9:32) Double the strategic petroleum reserves? Good idea. They should triple or quadruple them.

(9:33) Yeah, that’s right! Vote in our judges, you Democratic jerks!

(9:35) To win the war on terror, we must take the fight to the enemy. That question has been settled? Don’t tell the Democrats that. They’re in favor of cowering and appeasement.

(9:36) Al-Qaeda was going to use anthrax against the US and fly a plane into a West Coast building and we stopped them? Wow. They should be talking that up more often.

(9:40) Al-Qaeda, bad guys. They want us to retreat and abandon the cause of liberty. Shia extremists like the Iranians. Hezbollah = evil. The dangers have not ended. Oh, come on, the Democrats are clapping for that? Like the Democrats support protecting the American people from terrorists. Since when did they decide to veer away from their, “curl up in fetal position and blame any attacks on Bush,” strategy?

(9:41) We are advancing democracy and, woah, Condi looks mad! What’s up with that?

(9:42) Need proof McCain is too old to run for President? He’s asleep!

(9:44) It’s not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it’s the fight we’re in. We wish the war were over, but it’s not. It’s still within our power to shape the battle in Iraq; let’s win it! Democrats aren’t standing for winning the war.

(9:45) The Iraqis need our help to stop sectarian violence. Lot of Republicans clapping for sending troops. That’s good.

(9:48) They have to send more of their troops into the fighting, stop giving breaks to Shiite extremists, meet the benchmarks, lift restrictions on our troops, and take over every province. We’ve talked about this from every approach. It provides the best chance for success. We must not fail!

(9:49) If we run, a real civil war could start in Iraq that could draw in the whole region and it would be an enormous opportunity for Al-Qaeda. It would invite another 9/11. We must succeed in Iraq. Nancy is not clapping on succeeding in Iraq.

(9:50) This is a generational struggle. A special advisory council from both parties? Does anyone in the Democratic Party want to win the war on terror other than Joe Lieberman?

(9:51) 92k more troops in the next 5 years. That’s a lot of troops. I like it.

(9:53) We won’t allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons! Nancy clapped on that? Please…give us a break.

(9:53) Polite applause on the peace in the Middle East line. Nobody thinks that’s right around the corner anymore.

(9:54) Let somebody else save Darfur. We’re saving enough people as it is.

(9:54) Now we’re responsible for curing hunger, poverty, and disease, too? Give me a break.

(9:56) Have any of the leaders of these African countries thanked us for helping them fight malaria and AIDS or for the expanded debt relief? Sure, we may be showing generosity, but as far as I can tell, not a soul appreciates it.

(9:57) Dikembe Mutombo is doing great stuff in the Congo? Perfect. That’s exactly what should happen. Private citizens, private organizations doing that sort of work.

(9:58) How long is Bush going to spend on this mamby pamby stuff? Who cares about Baby Einstein? How many people put malaria and AIDS in Africa on the top 25 issues that matter the most to them?

(9:59) Now, Wesley Autry? He’s pretty cool.

(10:00) Ok, we could do without all the hand gestures, Wesley.

(10:01) Sgt. Rieman — now that’s cool, too. A Silver Star winner.

(10:02) We have been through a lot together…God Bless. Nice close.

(10:05) Sheila Jackson Lee and Jesse Jackson, Jr. sucking up to Bush and asking for autographs. Gag.

Quick Final Thoughts: Very good delivery — for Bush anyway. The speech was a little short on detail and could have used some more oomph, but it was better than I thought it would be overall. Overall Grade: B-

Update #1: The James Webb rebuttal:

(10:16) There are two big differences between Democrats and Republicans. We like socialism, Republicans oppose socialism. Republicans want to fight terrorism; we do not.

(10:18) The proletariat realizes that the bourgeoisie is robbing them blind and only by giving the workers power through the Democrats, can we level the playing field.

(10:20) My family and I served in the military, so when I say to surrender to Al-Qaeda in Iraq, you can trust me!

(10:21) The President recklessly took us into this war. No one wanted to go except him (And the majority of Democrats in the Senate).

(10:22) We’ve got to move forward in the war on terror by surrendering — strongly!

(10:23) Oh, good grief, now he’s comparing today’s situation to when the robber barons and monopolies were running industries.

(10:23) Dwight Eisenhower didn’t cut and run in Korea, despite what Webb seems to think.

Quick Final Thoughts: Still, James Webb did better than the average Democratic rebuttal — although that’s not exactly hard.

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