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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

State of the Union - The Defining Issue


A clipping from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22878539/ regarding last night's state of the union address. Bush names international terrorism as the defining ideological struggle of the 21st century:

But Bush cautioned against weakening American resolve in the struggle against international terrorism, which he called “the defining ideological struggle of the 21st century.”

“The terrorists oppose every principle of humanity and decency that we hold dear,” he said. “Yet in this war on terror, there is one thing we and our enemies agree on: In the long run, men and women who are free to determine their own destinies will reject terror and refuse to live in tyranny.”


But despite the fact that this is the "defining struggle," what gets all the attention in the speech? The economy, stupid:

With the campaign to succeed him threatening to push him to the background in his last year in office, Bush devoted the bulk of his address to the economy, heeding opinion polls that indicate that it has surpassed the war as Americans’ foremost concern.

While the president went to bat for his military “surge” in Iraq, he devoted most of his speech to the economy, confronting Congress on two fronts, taxes and spending.

13 comments:

ktismatics said...

"But despite the fact that this is the "defining struggle," what gets all the attention in the speech? The economy, stupid""

There are many who regard the one struggle as a subset of the other. It's convenient not to have captured Bin Laden: now the American army can move across the Afghani border into Pakistan to track him down.

daniel said...

I agree, Kt.

This speech seems to position Bush as more conscious of his position in the global political economy than he has been given credit for. All the cliched invective about his supposed "stupidity" has masked this to his own advantage perhaps. It remains to be seen if the person who succeeds Bush as president of the US will have such clear vision.

Regardless of whether or not one agrees with him, Bush has been consistent and built a global consensus that is fast forwarding the consolidation of what he now calls the "defining ideological struggle".

Very clever.

Jonathan Erdman said...

K: It's convenient not to have captured Bin Laden: now the American army can move across the Afghani border into Pakistan to track him down.

Maybe we did capture Bin Laden; maybe he's being held in some obscure location.....

ktismatics said...

The subprime mortgage default fiasco was the result of overspending, both by homebuyers and by the banks. So why are the President and Congress so concerned about stimulating the economy via a "spending package"? Is it to make the average taxpayer feel better about the government bailing out the banks and their shareholders? This same thing happened 20 years ago with "the Savings and Loan Crisis." GW Bush's little brother Neil was at the center of that storm, on the Board of the Silverado S&L which stimulated a run of subprime mortgage lending in the Western states before it tanked, costing taxpayers something like $1.2 billion to bail it out.

Jonathan Erdman said...

K: So why are the President and Congress so concerned about stimulating the economy via a "spending package"?

political cya

ktismatics said...

I'd forgotten that McCain too played a significant role in the Savings and Loan Crisis -- he was one of the Keating Five.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Which led to McCain's guilty conscience and the need to clean up his image....which led to McCain–Feingold.

What do you think of McCain-Feingold, Ktismatics?? Were you in favor?

And what do you think of McCain, in general? Obviously, you would disagree on the Iraq issue, I imagine.

ktismatics said...

You first.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Ugh

ktismatics said...

FYI, my daughter's h.s. freshman govt. class held a mock election today. Results: 21 Obama, 4 Clinton, 2 Huckabee, 2 McCain, 0 Romney.

Jonathan Erdman said...

So, was it your daughter who voted Huckabee?

Obama is definitely an inspiration to the youths of America. I think that it is for this reason that he needs to lose, because then we will remember him like JFK: an ideal visionary who was tragically not allowed to change the world. If Obama wins, then we will tear him apart and he will leave the Presidency as a shadow of the man he used to be.

ktismatics said...

I wonder what would have happened to Jesus' reputation if he'd lived to a ripe old age and died in his sleep a few years after the Romans destroyed the Temple?

Jonathan Erdman said...

But that's not possible. The tragic fall of the hero is always destined and prophetically foretold.

For example, Nostradamus prophesied the assassination of JFK.