2007 State of the Union: A Translation

Here is my real-time analysis of G. W. Bush’s 2007 State of the Union address. This is a shortcut for anyone that did not watch the speech on TV or listen to it.

First, an omission. He did not say a word about Hurricane Katrina. That made me so upset that I nearly shed tears.

Madame Speaker…

This actually started well. Hearing this reminds me of how historic it is for Rep. Nancy Pelosi to be the Speaker of the House, the most powerful woman ever in the United States Congress. I wonder if Mr. Bush was sincere in his words to her during his opening remarks.

Decisions are hard, and courage is needed…The will to face difficult challenges…Congress has changed, but not our responsibilities…

These guarded statements are said to try and disarm his opposition within the Democratically-controlled Congress. What these statements basically mean is, “I will give lip service to working together, but expect nothing different out of me and my administration.”

3 Economic Reforms that deserve to be priorities…Balance the Federal Budget…We can do so without raising taxes…What we need is spending discipline in Washington…EarmarksEntitlements…Commitments of Conscience…Fix Medicare and Medicaid, and save Social Security…

This was the first “meat” of the speech. He spit typical conservative banter about “fiscal responsibility,” and it is simply banter because this administration has been arguably the most fiscally irresponsible administrations in history. A key example of this irresponsibility: Iraq. The “we can do so without raising taxes” part is consistent with Bush’s insistence on cutting taxes while we are at “war,” something that has never happened before.

The stuff on “earmarks” is a joke because those will not go away any time soon since Republicans and Democrats use them all the time.

Conservatives use the term “entitlements” to deceive people. They need to do this so that they can make you feel bad about the government doing things for you. They play up this farce so that people feel bad taking things from the government that they select & elect. Funny how there was no mention of corporate entitlements in the form of war profiteering or the Bankruptcy Bill a.k.a. the worst piece of legislation since the Patriot Act (which a certain person voted for, and that really bothers me).

The future of opportunity requires that all of our citizens have affordable and available health care…For all other Americans, private health insurance provides the best option…Standard Health Insurance Tax Deduction…Changing the tax code is a vital and necessary step to making health care available to all Americans

I don’t even know why this man fronts like he wants all Americans to have health insurance. If so, he would at least put a dent in the 40+ million people who don’t. He and his friends still think it is a bad idea to realize Universal Health Care through what’s called a Single-payer system. Basically, single-payer means that only one party negotiates for the price of health insurance and services: the government. Every citizen would then have their health costs covered through what they pay in taxes. This would result in higher taxes for the citizens, but those increased costs probably would not add up to the amount that people overpay for health services every day, month, and year. The idea of trying to get everyone to go private is as ridiculous as the privatize social security plan that he had a while back (and still has). This is also consistent with the way that the “war” in Iraq has been privatized. These pro-business, anti-citizen types always think private is the answer so that they can take money away from public institutions and services.

Extending hope and opportunity in this country requires an immigration policy that is worthy of America

I won’t say much on this. I think that Bush’s guest worker idea sounds a whole lot like new school indentured servitude. For those that don’t know, this was the precursor to slavery in this country. I do not think that the parallel is coincidental.

Reduce gasoline usage by 20% in the next 10 years…

How??? His mandatory fuel standard statement was weak at best, especially in the midst of his administration and its energy policy.

Global climate change…

He can’t say global warming because that does not exist. So rather than being a flip-flopper (we know how much he hates those), he has decided to use a different term: global climate change. This is his backwards way of admitting that there is a problem. I guess a small first step is better than no step at all. Is the next step for him to watch this?

To win the war on terror, we must take the fight to the enemy…

This was the opening statement to his surprisingly long section on Iraq, Iran, and foreign policy. There was too much B.S. here to sift through. Take a look at some of our analysis to get an idea of the truth. Suffice it to say that this strategy is questionable at best.

Darfur…Fight AIDS on the continent of Africa…Dikembe Mutumbo…

He really mentioned Darfur? That’s a surprise. Too bad he didn’t refer to it as a genocide. Again, I guess a small step is better than no step at all.

It is sad, but the “fighting AIDS in Africa” phrase is being rendered absolutely meaningless. It gets paid so much lip service that people forget that there are actually humans living on the continent of Africa who exist for reasons other than making someone feel good being a philanthropist.

One Love. One II.

Foreign Policy
State of the Union
So-called “War on Terror”


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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at MoveOn.org. I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

4 responses to “2007 State of the Union: A Translation”

  1. "The Consigliere" says :

    Yo, I will just be glad when this nightmare is over. I thought his first term was bad, but this is absurd. Who writes this stuff anyway?

  2. Nikki P. says :

    It was a bunch of mess. I was already tired when he started speaking. It was really hard for a sista to stay awake. Now, I wish I had just gone to bed.

    Why the heck were people standing up like he was really saying something? He really was not.

    Did anyone notice Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick when the camera’s zoomed in on her? Her expression was priceless! I thought she might throw a tomato at him.

  3. Garlin II says :

    You are right Nikki, it was painful to watch. But the way I see it, it is necessary to watch so that you can see the lies for yourself. I commend you for sitting through it with me.

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