The Honeymoon is Over
By Kevin Robinson in News on Jan 24, 2007 2:50PM
Today we here at Chicagoist turn our broad gaze outward, looking far and wide to the rest of the nation, and recap some of the highlights of last nights State of the Union Address.
On this, their first date, Bush tried to make nice with the Democrats, congratulating Nancy Pelosi, and practically begging for a second chance. If the level of scowling over the president's left shoulder was any indication, she wasn't buying it. And here we thought only Dick Cheney could look that pissed off.
So here we are, the morning after, and the bloom is surely off the rose. Even that conservative stalwart, the Chicago Tribune, shook its head and hoped for the best, never really believing in this morning's editorial. If one thing is certain going into this congress, it's that the Democrats won't be giving Bush any breaks. Last night, for the seventh time, Bush proposed alternative energy, such as running our cars on agricultural waste and grass (Chuck Grassley liked this idea, but we aren't sure if we heard Bush right; we're hoping he doesn't want to use agricultural waste and Grassley to motor around on!) He also proposed a vague tax scheme as a solution to the lack of health care coverage that most Americans live with every day. And he touched briefly on immigration reform (something he may actually agree with Democrats on).
Most significantly, he urged more bipartisanship, now that six years of monopartisanship has been rejected by a majority of the nation. Leaving the best for last, he devoted the final 25 minutes of his speech to his favorite themes: Iraq and terrorism, urging a surge in troops and more fighting abroad. Virginia Democrat Jim Webb gave a powerful response for the Democrats, quite nearly framing the debate and offering real alternatives to Bush's plans for the war in the Middle East. Touching on a number of domestic issues here at home, Webb talked eloquently about class in America, and diplomacy, rather than escalation in the Middle East. He left Bush with this final thought: "Tonight we are calling on this President to take similar action, in both areas. If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing him the way."
In weirder developments, a press release sent out from Dick Durbin's office announced that he would be blogging his thoughts on the speech, hosted by DailyKos. He emailed readers from his Blackberry as he was heading out of the capitol and back to his office. In comments to the press, he noted that he is “wearing blogging clothes,” (a shirt and tie?) Settling in to answer questions from DailyKos readers, the Senate Majority Whip jumped into the comments section of the page periodically, but we didn't really find any answers. It seems that Durbin had only stump speech platitudes to offer last night, even though DailyKos readers had quite a few good questions to ask. In all fairness, handling over 500 comments from wonky Kos readers is probably difficult, but we would have liked to have seen deeper answers from Durbin to some of the questions posed.
If you've had it with this, and need to tune into some lighter fare, we'll leave you with this link to PETA's State of the Union Undress, a lighter look at the serious issue of animal cruelty, done in true PETA style (but don't click the link if you are at work!)