21 January 2004

bush's state of the union address last night was, as expected, a total disgrace. i called his language "orwellian" here a few days ago, but now i'm wishing there were some stronger word for what i heard last night.

back in the dim distant past, presidents often spoke in the SOTU addresses about things that were at least related to the country's experienced reality. now bush appears authorized to ramble about nothing for an hour and be considered a statesman of sorts. or worse, authorized to tell half-truths (and even a few outright whoppers) in order to project some sort of positive image of himself and his administration.

were i to fully discuss any of the myriad problems with that speech, i would be writing all day. also, my head might explode. so let me just make a list: continued conflation of war on terror with war on iraq; claims of success in iraq; claims of international cooperation in iraq war; claims of success in afghanistan; claims that women will be "fully equal" in the "new afghanistan;" no child left behind labeled effective; testing called only way to identify and help low-achieving students; anti-drug message, apparently first written for bush's unsuccessful seventh grade student council run; abstinence education labeled effective; will support constitutional amendment re: "sanctity of marriage;" more championing of "faith-based" social services...the list goes on.

later, i got all sputtery on the phone to my mom -- she probably thinks i'm nuts now. but honestly, i haven't any idea how i would deal with another four years of this homicidal bungling. what would i do? where would i go? could i responsibly leave the country? the solution, obviously, is to make sure he doesn't get reelected. i just wish i knew how to make my energy serve that purpose.

a final note: where have all the exciting leaders gone? pelosi's and daschle's responses were as unsatisfying as bush's speech was horrifying. and kerry, while he was classy as hell, didn't excite me either. i acknowledge the importance of grass-roots opposition, but i think the grass-roots opposition is in serious need of a charismatic leader. just...who the hell is that going to be?