US President George W. Bush began the 07 State of the Union Address with fulsome praise for Nancy Pelosi and the "Democrat" Party.
Bush's statement about the Democrat Party is a slip of the tongue to be sure, but it is a revealing slip. Bush is the most partisan President of modern times; he appears at some 140 GOP fund-raising functions each year. In those speeches he uses the term Democrat Party as a derisive term intended to raise Republican partisan ardor to a fever pitch.
He campaigned strenuously against Democrats in appearing personally in Georgia, Utah and Nebraska and throughout the country as recently as October.
For the President to use the derisive and partisan term Democrat Party in an official speech, and in an ostensibly reconciliatory moment must be noted.
Since he harbors such intense partisanship, The President's bipartisan bona fides must be shown in deeds.
George W. Bush, after six years in office has yet to show he is more than the advocate in chief of the Republican agenda.
Beyond the corrosively partisan terminology the President employed toward the Democrats is the cynical manipulation of public opinion.
Bush made an appeal for an energy policy that reduces US dependence on imported oil.... where have we heard that before?
Just last year, the President noted in his State of the Union that America is addicted to foreign oil. After making this astute observation Bush failed to act constructively upon it.
Last spring and summer pitched political battles were fought over emissions reductions, fuel economy, atmospheric pollution and CAFE standards for vehickles (as the President pronounces the word) manufactured in the US.
Bush opposed every single proposal made. Hence no energy policy has been passed at the federal level. The good sense and effectiveness of these proposals is proved by their adoption in several states, many of whom had GOP governors that are the home of almost 60% of the population.
Bush talked about immigration and a pathway to citizenship. Yet he has failed to use the powers of his office to keep his word.
The White House ignored the Senate bill sponsored by Senator Kennedy, the legislative codification of the President's proposal when it was introduced and debated last spring. The measure was defeated. This was a splendid opportunity for the President to demonstrate constructive bipartisanship.
In a nation where every major city has open enrollments, the President calls for the diversion of public funds into private schools.
At a time when schools are becoming more, not less racially segregated, the President calls for reforms that will accelerate these trends.
At a time when the minority drop out rates are nearly 50% the President deceitfully states the achievement gap is narrowing.
Minorities are a greater percentage of the student population than they are in the general population. But minority college attendance and graduation rates are lower than for whites and dropping, a sure sign the achievement gap persists.
The President's remarks on education are just outright Orwellian.
The President stated that this Administration has deflected al Qaada plots to destroy buildings and attack domestic sites.
This claim is spurious. The Administration would have touted these successes to the hilt, but they didn't.
The press reports on thwarted plots, deferential to the government as they are, always call into question the validity of the government's claims.
There have been few prosecutions for terrorist related crimes and fewer convictions.
One cannot forget the many Code Orange alerts that mysteriously occur only in election years, but somehow never seem to happen at other times.
The Bush Administration's record in Afghanistan and Iraq are both records of dismal and abject failure.
Failure to properly interpret intelligence, failure to act on intelligence, failure to send the requisite number of troops to secure Iraq after the invasion.
The US Department of Defense (DoD), in unclassified documents, recommends a ratio of 20-25/1000 in forces to civilian population to subdue and occupy a country. The Bush Administration deployed less than 1/3 that number, even with the total Coalition forces taken into account.
There has been no public disclosure of a plan to bring forces up to the levels doctrine requires. The training and equipping of the Iraqi armed forces has resulted in a great number of weapons being placed in unreliable hands.
There is no reason to believe that the Surge strategy is anything more than an assertion of Presidential prerogatives on the part of the President. The surge is much too small to affect conditions in Baghdad, let alone in Baghdad and Anbar province together.
Bush entirely glossed over discussion of the Saudis in his exposition of the future of Iraq.
It is hard to conceive of al Qaada being able to hide its leadership, grow its rank and file and indoctrinate its cadre without substantial assistance from foreign governments.
Past experience would indicate a high level of support for al Qaada in rogue elements of the Saudi and Pakistani governments. Bush ignores this and praises these governments as staunch allies.
Saudi Arabia shares the longest international border with Iraq. The Saudi government has publicly stated its concern for the fate of Sunnis in Iraq and its intention to protect them if the US withdraws without establishing protective organs (militias) for them in Iraq.
Is it such a stretch to believe that the Saudis are aiding the Sunnis or at least allowing porosity in the border that benefits them?
Such a factor is a major strategic element in the Coalition's success or failure in Iraq, yet Bush refuses to discuss it. One cannot help but wonder why.
Overall in his remarks on 1/23/07, Bush used his office to launch a partisan disinformation campaign against the Democrats, substantially exaggerated the success of the Administration's counter terrorism efforts, called for a bad change in policy and demonstrated a studied silence concerning the strategic aspects of the war in Iraq.
Predictably, many pundits are referring to this as an effective Presidential performance.
Should the Democratic leadership seek comity with Bush after such a speech the rank and file and independent voters will desert them as spineless lackeys.