(Cross-posted at the Daily Gotham)
Just got back from a nice little SOTU party in Manhattan - I was planning to go to one of the shindigs sponsored by the various New York grassroots progressive groups - including the one I'm part of
- but ended up heading to a friend's party instead.
So, unfiltered by media reaction - my own initial thoughts:It was boring.
Bush, who has turned the notion of being a "war president" into a fetish, opened with a tedious - if technically relevant - discourse on domestic economic issues. Within the opening minutes he was talking about earmarks. That'll definitely keep them from switching over to "Best Week Ever."
Nonetheless, Bush presented himself well.
He seemed subdued, far less awkward or arrogant than usual. One of the few times I've watched him and not had the distinct impression that somebody quite stupid was actually condescending to me. So props for that.His health care proposal was a definite wedge.
Conservatives seem to be deserting him in droves, but they may be interested in his crappy little health plan. He mentioned "private insurance" more times than I could count. There's no question that his health proposal was designed not for the purpose of getting more people insured, but primarily to reinforce the idea that private insurance is the way forward in health care.
His global warming bit was less than I expected.
I mean, it's revolutionary that he even used the term "global warming." So maybe the Kremlinologists can read something into that. I was expecting some discussion of emissions limits. Did I miss that? I didn't hear it.Jim Webb ate Bush's liver
with some fava beans and a nice chianti. I mean, I haven't heard a Democratic response so invigorating since the Bush era began. Sure, Webb came across a little stiff. But his words were fierce. And his conclusion was devastating. Webb ate Bush for lunch.
Now I can read other reactions and see how many people totally didn't see it how I did...Update:
Bush did talk about alternative energy, which I suppose is related to global warming. It's a wood-chips-based future! Anyway, it was mostly a sop to the ethanol lobby. You saw how slobberingly happy Chuck Grassley (R-Where the Tall Corn Grows) looked.
Labels: George Bush, Jim Webb, State of the Union