WHAT ABOUT THE THE STATE OF THE UNION?
Despite trepidations, I listened to the State of the Union message, word for word. I watched the fiasco that our government has become, the Republicans leaping up to cheer the president's every word, the Democrats only applauding certain phrases, sitting dourly in their seats in glum silence at other times. I wondered if any Iranians were watching that cheering horde of Republicans. If so, they probably spurred their efforts to hurry the bomb!
It was a boring speech, really, a speech that high schoolers probably wouldn't have listened to without shooting a few paper wads or passing a few notes around, or making faces at each other. There was really no humor in that speech and it was exceedingly humdrum. There was the requisite family of the fallen hero, obediently smiling and nodding at the honor of losing their son or daughter. There was Laura Bush, dressed to the nines in a suit that was not bought off the racks at Sears. She was smiling, but then, I have never seen her when she wasn't. I think she glues it on.
The vice president sat obediently on the podium. He is such a scowling fellow, with that slash of a mouth and those chubby cheeks. He looks, if I may be so bold, like your average neighborhood dishonest banker, as though he is the silent shadow behind his protege, making sure he says the right words. At any moment, I expected him to pop up and tell us that there certainly WERE Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, yessiree, Bob, had to be!
I am not sure they aren't all mentally unbalanced, from the top to the bottom clerk working in some obscure office. They seem to have some plan that they are not telling the rest of us, and I doubt very much whether it involves spreading Democracy around like butter on bread. Frankly, I just don't think the application of the ideals of Democracy in Iraq has been quite as successful as they seem to think. But they do have a habit of calling Black White and White Black. They can take Defeat and call it a Victory and no one dares oppose them or expose them.
I am saying all of this while I can, because I am convinced that, in years to come, no one will be able to say the things I am saying without being arrested. Altready, people condemning unnecessary wars are being called treasonous. What comes next, midnight raids and obscure prisons?
Because the president...and his Veep...and the others in control of our government want no opposition. They will accept no adverse reactions, no political opponents, no objections. There are no protestors allowed at their speeches or appearances. Any objections to their behavior are hidden behind the curtain of the War on Terror or simply ignored. And most of them risk violent attacks by the loyal constituents, Swift Boating, Dixie Chicking, ridicule and contempt!
Cindy Sheehan, her son a victim of the War in Iraq, has waged what began as a One Woman Campaign for truth, which has since grown into a movement. Sheehan obtained an invitation to the State of the Union address and chose to wear a T-shirt listing the number of war dead. She was carted away by Security and arrested.
This was fine....and was probably planned, until the wife of a Republican Senator threw a monkey wrench in their plans. She also wore a t-shirt, proclaiming "Support the Troops". She was hauled out of the building, but not arrested, probably because it pays to have friends in high places these days.
So, both women were given apologies by the Chief of whatever security force handled this event. But, the question remains, would Sheehan have received that apology had it not been for the Senator's wife? I think not.
We spent a great deal of time during the president's speech talking about our "addiction to oil". Addiction to oil? Duh! This president has mentioned this problem in every State of the Union speech since his non-election. Not much has been done about the problem and the price of oil goes up at the same rate the profits of the oil companies rocket upward along with it.
What wasn't mentioned in this State of the Union address was the problems of the jobless, the millions of Americans without Health Care, the dwindling paychecks, the service jobs (mow your lawn, powerwash your house, shovel your snow) that are now called the growth of small business. And that $8 to $12 hourly job that replaces your halfway decent employment now hiring the Japanese workers is called Job Growth.
President Bush finished a State of the Union message without covering the state of the union. He said we are winning the War in Iraq, which He may know, but is unknown to the rest of us who have heard men like Jack Murpha call for an end to a losing game. He said that "Freedom is on the March!....oh! oh! Does that mean more Shock & Awe? But he failed to mention the plight of the American working family, the layoffs, the disappearance of manufacturing, the loss of good jobs, the lowpaying jobs, the illegal immigrants taking jobs, the slashing of social programs helping the poor, the sick and the elderly, the high price of everything, the abundance of Chinese goods, the unfair trade laws, the New Orleans homeless, the crumbling cities, etc. In truth, the true state of the union was largely ignored by George Bush.