When I threatened not to vote for George W. Bush back in the fall of 2000, a friend of mine warned that a future State of the Union address would include proposals for reducing gasoline use by 20 percent, tougher fuel economy standards for cars and reducing “global warming” emissions.
My friend was right.
But it wasn’t because Al Gore got elected.
It was because George W. Bush was elected without my support, and re-elected four years later.
That future State of the Union speech took place last night.
Even this Bush skeptic has to pinch himself to make sure I’m not dreaming. This was a Republican presidential speech? What would be the major difference if it had been Hillary Clinton giving the talk – other than it being a little more shrill?
Really, I mean it. Check out these initiatives from Bush:
- Setting a mandatory fuels standard to require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels by 2017 – whether they are ready or not, whether they work or not and whether or not you want them.
- Raising the so-called CAFE standards (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) for cars and light trucks. In other words, mandate better and better fuel economy no matter how many lives it cost – and make no mistake, it always costs lives on the highway.
- Fight “global warming” by cutting the growth of carbon dioxide emissions in automobiles over the next 10 years. Yes, Bush concedes, Al Gore was right all along!
- Federal grants to states to provide medical insurance to everyone – presumably Bush’s illegal alien amigos as well.
- A temporary foreign worker program because, for heaven’s sake, we can never have enough illegal aliens in our midst.
- $1.2 billion more to fight malaria in Africa – not with DDT, which works, but with eco-friendly mosquito nets!
- More foreign aid in general.
- Blah-blah-blah-blah …
There was not one word about national security in the first half of the speech.
Are we at war or not?
Are CAFE standards more important that the threat of Islamic terrorism?
Is global warming a more serious national security issue than the enemy we fight in Iraq and Afghanistan?
I am appalled. I am repulsed. I am … feeling like I did in the 1990s, again.
When Bush did talk about the war, he misrepresented what it was about.
“What every terrorist fears most is human freedom – societies where men and women make their own choices, answer to their own conscience, and live by their hopes instead of their resentments,” he said.
It’s just not true. The terrorists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip voted their way into power. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the fanatical president of Iran, was voted into power. Terrorists are only too happy to use the voting booth as a mean to capture power just as Adolf Hitler, one of the great terrorists of all time, did.
I do agree with Bush on one thing – we can’t cut and run in Iraq. But the key to victory is not just more manpower. The answer is to restore the intelligence-gathering apparatus the U.S. military had in place at the beginning of the war – pre-Abu Ghraib. It’s time to start interrogating prisoners, again – not playing patty-cake with them.
All I can conclude is I was right not to vote for Bush in 2000. I was wrong to vote for him in 2004. I regret it, even though I am happy John F. Kerry was denied the White House.
That the Democrats got a chance to offer a rebuttal to this speech is a shame. The Republicans should have been given the opportunity – except that most of the Republicans in Congress have no more of a clue than Bush.
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