Skip to comments.Bush Offers Conservatives a Reminder
Posted on 02/01/2006 2:50:05 PM PST by Aussie Dasher
If nothing else, this year's State of the Union speech, known inside the beltway as SOTU, served as a reminder to many conservatives why they are so darned displeased with much of President Bush's domestic agenda, but also why they had absolutely no choice but assure his re-election over Sen. John F. Kerry in 2004.
Fear is a powerful motivator. And unhappy conservatives in 2004 harbored a double-dose it as they trudged to the ballot box. Fear that John Kerry would be in charge of the war on terrorists. And fear that John Kerry would get to appoint Supreme Court justices. Their fears were well-founded and their decision was affirmed in President Bush's speech Tuesday night.
First, the easy part: SCOTUS. Which is Washington-speak for Supreme Court of the United States. The nation's two newest justices were featured and highlighted during the speech. Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito are clearly superior, well-qualified selections who will not be inclined to "legislate from the bench."
Had John Kerry been elected president in 2004, nothing close to these intellectual and philosophical judges would have been allowed within 200 miles of Democrat's short-list. We need no other evidence of this than the fact that John Kerry declared a filibuster on Sam Alito -- from, as a White House spokesman noted with tongue planted firmly in cheek, a five-star ski resort in Switzerland. Because of George W's re-election, the Supreme Court has now decidedly moved a large step in the "right" direction. That alone was probably worth the vote in 2004.
But more importantly, there's the war on terrorists. After 9-11, there was a very real danger that the American public, absent any immediate or further attacks, would be lulled back into a sense of complacency about terrorism. And it has. Fortunately, the president and his administration have NOT. It would be very easy for George Bush, faced with both public apathy and public opposition, to "go wobbly" on the war on terrorists. To his great credit, he hasn't. And he doesn't apologize for it either. That's the primary reason conservatives sucked it up and cast their ballot for him in 2004. And it was the right decision.
Can you just imagine John Kerry saying the following things in his State of the Union address had he been elected POTUS, which is Washington-speak for President of the United States?
"If we were to leave these vicious attackers alone, they would not leave us alone."
"There is no peace in retreat. And there is no honor in retreat."
"Fellow citizens, we are in this fight to win, and we are winning."
"The road to victory is the road that will take our troops home."
"(Decision to) decrease our troop levels (in Iraq)...will be made by our military commanders, not by politicians in Washington, DC."
"Hindsight alone is not wisdom. And second-guessing is not a strategy."
".(O)ur nation has only one option: We must keep our word, defeat our enemies, and stand behind the American military in its vital mission."
"If there are people inside our country who are talking with al-Qaeda, we want to know about it -- because we will not sit back and wait to be hit again."
Contrast those statements with John Kerry's professed belief that the United States should only use military force to protect its interests and citizens if it gets permission from the United Nations. Kerry is the king of "retreat and defeat" crowd. He's the head moonbat. Cut-and-run would have become official U.S. policy. The Kerry doctrine would be, to paraphrase a line by actor Jim Carey in the "Liar, Liar" movie, "Hit me again, bin Laden...and this time put some stank on it!"
So yes, this year's SOTU was a clear reminder of the wisdom of keeping Teresa Heinz's "squeeze" out of the Oval office. But it also reminded conservatives of what is driving them nuts with this White House.
Let's start with immigration.
Or I should say, ILLEGAL immigration. The "illegal" part is the key part. And while President Bush talked tough about tightening our borders, he continued to insist that any such legislation include an amnesty component, though he also continues to insist his "guest worker" program is NOT an amnesty program.
The White House doesn't have a tin ear on this issue; it's DEAF. And it isn't just conservatives who want stricter border control without the amnesty...er, guest worker program. Citizens from sea to shining sea of all political stripes simply won't support any kind of "guest worker" program until they FIRST see serious and dramatic changes in how the nation's immigration laws are enforced. Period. End of story.
But there was an even more outrageous statement made by the president on this issue in the speech -- and it shows that this White House still doesn't "get it," or doesn't want to get it. "We hear claims that immigrants are somehow bad for the economy," the president said.
Bull! This is a dishonest cheap shot at opponents of his amnesty proposal. No one has said that immigrants are bad for the economy. However, quite a few folks have said that ILLEGAL immigrants are a drain on local, state and the national economies. And they are. That one word makes a BIG difference. The president clearly was trying to infer that anyone who opposed ILLEGAL immigration is ipso facto anti-immigrant. That kind of false statement and tactic should be below the President of the United States. But it wasn't. How disappointing.
Then there's the spending issue.
The president said, "I am pleased that members of Congress are working on earmark reform," a comment which caused Sen. John McCain to clap and bounce his head like Goofy on crack. "And we can tackle this problem together, if you pass the line-item veto.
No, Mr. President. We can tackle this problem if you would just use the veto power you ALREADY possess. You have yet to veto a single spending bill, including that earmark-loaded Porkapalooza highway bill last summer. You didn't need a line-item veto to erase the Bridge to Nowhere. All you needed was a Bic pen. You could have borrowed mine.
Then there was Social Security reform.
"Congress did not act last year on my proposal to save Social Security," the president said, receiving a hootin'-and-hollerin' standing "O" from the Democrats; his best line of the evening from their perspective. So what does the president propose to do about it THIS year? What any red-blooded politician would do in a similar situation, of course: Kick the can down the street by "creating a commission" to do the job our congress-critters were elected to do. That's leadership?
Back to spending.
Let's see, the president called for "a 22-percent increase in clean energy research," "to double the federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences," a new training program for "70,000 high school teachers, to lead advanced-placement courses in math and science," "add resources to encourage young people to stay in school" and "provide new funding to states" for AIDS medicines.
All fine-sounding programs. But here's the gazillion dollar question: Exactly how much are these new programs going to cost us, and what are the "offsets" going to be to pay for them? Or are we just going to keep adding new spending programs on top of new spending programs without cutting out some old spending programs? Which will mean one of two things: (1) Higher taxes down the road to pay for the new programs, or (2) Bigger and bigger deficits. Neither or which are acceptable to conservatives. So again, where are the offsets?
And finally, education.
The president called for math and science course which are "rigorous enough to compete with other nations." Laudable goal. But does he really believe our government-run public schools can accomplish that? As John Stossel ("Stupid In America") would say, "Gimme a break."
If the president wants "schools that teach every child;" if he wants American students to excel and be able to compete with their peers in other countries; if he wants to assure that American kids get the kind of education which will help them "succeed in life" and thereby "ensure that America succeeds in the world," then he has no choice but to abandon his top-down No Child Left Behind program and push for true, meaningful school choice which empowers parents and breaks up the monopoly and stranglehold the educrats and teachers unions have on our school systems.
And that includes vouchers for EVERYBODY'S kids, not just the kids in the worst of the worse public schools. No matter what Teddy Kennedy says.
So yes, this year's State of the Union speech was a big reminder. A reminder of why we didn't elect John Kerry in 2004. And a reminder of what conservatives need to look for in a new presidential candidate in 2008.
He passes with high marks, but will not be valedictorian until he closes the borders.
And a reminder of what conservatives need to look for in a new presidential candidate in 2008.
Absolutely. We need a conservative, a patriot, a leader, and a person WITHOUT an elitist agenda...international, or otherwise.
This guy thinks EXACTLY what I have been thinking for years. Bush would be a great President if he had the stones Reagan had on domestic issues.
He will never be great because of his fiscal liberalism.
Still too much spending, but it beats the alternative.
"Infer" should have been "imply". The hearer/reader infers; the speaker/writer implies.
On the balance, it was a very good SOTU. IMO.
"Bush Offers Conservatives a Reminder "
Yes, a reminder that he's not all that conservative.
True, that's why we need a fiscal conservative in 2008.
Uh, Bush, they tried that during the Clinton years and SCOTUS shot it down.
But you do have that veto pen, if it hasn't dried up like an Egyptian mummy by now from lack of use. Gerald Ford, for all we like to bash on him, vetoed the crap out of spending bills.
My sentiments exactly. Good article.
Muth in 08
I don't think that's a cheap shot at all. For example, it is my impression that many FR posters are opposed not just to illegal immigration but to nearly all immigration. Consequently there are many threads bashing H1B even though these immigrants are legal. Many other threads bemoan perceived cultural threats of immigrants regardless of their legality.
Wow! I must have made this point in at least three threads on Free Republic, two threads over at GOPUSA and one at FAIR before I saw this article. This article even repeats a few of my exact words. I'm wondering if I should be flattered?
President Bush was in rare form last night. I was almost proud again that I voted for him twice.
But this is an election year ...
"Uh, Bush, they tried that during the Clinton years and SCOTUS shot it down."
Two changes at SCOTUS.
Scalia, O'Connor and Breyer dissented. So that means it would still be 5-4 unless a new law satisfied some of the concerns of the majority.
This is true. I can't speak for everyone, but as someone who is generally a Mexo-phile, I should say that the problem as I see it is not merely illegal or legal immigration, but in what numbers. We are admitting, between illegal and legal immigrants, something like a million and a half per year. This is a big country, and the fact that we still have the lowest unemployment rate in the world tells us that they are being absorbed into the economy. But that is a number sufficient to cause visible cultural changes, rather than the slow-motion cultural changes that would be caused if the numbers were smaller.
Most people who favor immigration, which is most people, favor it in numbers at a level that can be assimilated without noticeable changes to the culture. Since the classic-liberal/conservative culture that makes America what it is, is not explicitly taught in schools, it has to be inhaled or absorbed through direct contact. It is the fear of losing that element of our culture that drives the fear, not of immigration, but of million-and-a-half-per-year-immigration.
What is the right number? Its frankly never been discussed publicly. Its a decision that is made behind closed doors, and we simply accept the outcome. Another reason people are a little annoyed.
Now to push this thread a little farther, its interesting to note that we abort a million-plus people per year, which means that our immigration rate approximately equals the numbers we abort, which may explain how we can absorb so many and still have a very low unemployment rate. The newcomers are replacing Americans who were not born. Which might imply that, as we replace Democrat babies with immigrants, these cultural changes are an inevitable consequence.
Still, our political class has not consulted us, its a debate we've never had. So we're having it now.
"Scalia, O'Connor and Breyer dissented. So that means it would still be 5-4 unless a new law satisfied some of the concerns of the majority."
Well obviously you know more about it, then I do.
But if Clinton and Bush both think it would be worth doing, I should think it might be in the category of "the right thing" also.
So there must be plenty of lawyers and lawmakers, to get it done.
I don't think it is primarily a question of the numbers of immigrants but rather of who they are (another reason to oppose illegal immigration - they have no respect for the law). Our government should always be striving for policies with the greatest possible net social benefit. We have no such strategic immigration policy.
And I think you are exagerating.. Most on here are not opposed to legal immigration. Most just want the the current laws enforced. Most are opposed to the current amnesty bills being offered for that reason. I certainly see nothing wrong with entering legally.
While I agree that most here are not opposed to legal immigration, that is not the word I used - I said many and I used that word purposely. You do understand the difference between many and most, don't you?
That said, am I "exagerating" when I say that many posters here are opposed to even legal immigration? I don't think so. Don't you agree that there is a lot of opposition to the H1B program? That is legal immigration, isn't it? Furthermore, even on general immigration threads I note a distinct hostility by many to immigrants irrespective of their legal status. At least one other poster on this thread has agreed with me. I guess maybe we're both imagining this attitude but I doubt it.
All right, I won't quibble as to the numerical difference between "many" and "some". Also I haven't the slightest idea what H1B is. Is that the legal term for "anchor babies"? If so, The law should allow the baby and one guardian only.
BTW, why no reply to my prior post? You're not one of those who're never wrong (i.e. *can't* be wrong) are you?
That post was for you (oh, and I never make mistakes either)
"But does he really believe our government-run public schools can accomplish that?"
But neither can schools whose academic standards are set by local or even state leadership.
I've watched to many of my kids' friends get hanked out of the tough math and science classes by parents who want them to have more time for extracurricular activities or so they will "enjoy being a kid."
I've also watched the improvement in Texas school standards over the past 15 years or so, since "no-pass, no-play" and mandatory testing were enacted. Bush's "No Child" ideas came from what was being done here, and I've seen first-hand, from the inside, how much better our schools are now.
I speak as the parent of three kids who either have, or soon will, degrees in engineering from top-notch university. The youngest will get his degree this year and continue graduate studies in quantum optics.
And he'll be doing with as a minority, his white ancestors on these shores since the 1600s, his classmates from nations who are overtaking us in technology.
Folks, this is important. Literacy and competence in math and science is vital to our nation's economic security, much as is energy independence.
Get behind the President on this. The guy's a visionary, he's right on this, and he only has a few years remaining to do what he can. Don't slow him down.
And please forgive the typos. I need to learn to proofread!
Fascinating post. Interesting perspective.
You had your say, I said mine, both of us are expressing opinions, you're very proud of yours, fine. All I know is the only entry to the United States I dislike is criminal entry. The second thing I dislike is rewarding that criminality. The third thing I dislike are euphemism's for amnesty, as in "Guest Workers".
Guess what? You're the first Non-Liberal I've run into who, claims they never make mistakes. Who could have known?