Thursday, February 02, 2006

The New Republic has some terrific commentary on the SOTU.

Ryan Lizza writes, "His 'addicted to oil' line will garner lots of headlines, but his actual oil-independence plan is so modest--tens of millions of dollars in a two trillion dollar annual budget--that it is barely worth mentioning." That's the fool-ya, play with words that Bush (Rove) use frequently. They'll state a $300 million increase in clean energy research -- which sounds HUGE to Joe Shmoe -- but really it barely pushes the needle when compared to the size of total federal outlays and when you look at the amount of $$ granted as corporate subsidies.

Lizza: "In the surprise of the night, conservatives became Bush's target.... Bush's isolationist-bashing was really aimed at the growing ranks of Buchananite Republicans. In fact, later in the speech he took a second swipe at them on immigration: 'We hear claims that immigrants are somehow bad for the economy--even though this economy could not function without them. All these are forms of economic retreat, and they lead in the same direction--toward a stagnant and second-rate economy.'"

Of course, this slap against many right-wingers had Bush finally (and rarely) uttering some truth. Is this a hopeful trend?

Also in TNR, James Forsyth writes about this same unexpected attack on Republicans. He reminds that at the 2004 GOP Convention, a NY Times poll "found that 48 percent of delegates didn't really endorse the idea that America should 'try to change a dictatorship to a democracy where it can.'" In other words, nearly half are against nation-building -- or what GW originally ran on in 2000.

By the way, the Washington Post pointed out that while Bush implored we should cut our dependence on foreign oil, "since Bush took office, net foreign imports have risen from 53% to 60%." More empty rhetoric.

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