State of the Union and George Bush

Hi Grit

At the risk of getting shot down in flames, I am going to comment on George Bush’s state of the union address, over which there has been a lot of criticism. There are those who say that it was weak or that it showed a turnaround in his opinions. However, I disagree with these comments. I have been comparing his speech this year with the one he gave in 2003 and have come up with some surprising results.

Domestic affairs

I can find little difference between what George Bush said this year against what he said in 2003. He is asking for issue such as health care and immigration to be placed at the top of the list in terms of social issues that the country needs to deal with. Is that wrong? As has been mentioned in many areas of the media and other posts here, the rich do seem to have an easier and less taxed ride that the ordinary populace. Of course, that comment applies to the UK as well.

Environment

Way back in 2003 Bush recognised the need for industries such as the automobile manufacturers to address environment issues. His latest speech asks the same of them. They have the money and technology to make the changes but failed to address the issue. Today he is asking the question again.

Business

In 2003, George Bush outlined the extensive steps that the government had taken to curb the abuses of business, referring to legislation such as the Sorbanes-Oxley Act. In 2007 he is asking for business to continue to improve their social responsibility efforts.

Terror

It appears from the 2003 speech that there was cross-party support to fight the threat of terrorism and, more importantly, the war in Iraq. Now all that appears to have changed. Has George Bush changed his stance on that? Not as far as I can see. If he is to be credited with nothing else, it appears to me that his consistancy has to be admired.  Again I would comment that the same position appears to have evolved in the UK.

Does his address this year reflect a change of emphasis? No I don’t think so, neither is it the speech of a “lame duck” President. In this speech he is reiterating many of the tasks that he set the US in 2003. The only difference is that now he is saying to the democrats “Okay, you have control, now use it to make our country better.” The problem is whether the new regime will take heed or not.

Whatever side of the US political divide people are on I personally think that they cannot label George Bush as either weak or inconsistant. However, from other political discussions that I have read, this is not a position that one can attach to all US politicians.

the Brit

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