By Nicholas Allanach
Predictably, the President chose a more optimistic tone for the State of the Union this midterm election year than he has for previous evaluations. “Cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable energy alternatives” are a welcome (and surprising) proposition from this Texas-Oil-Man-and-Chief. Furthermore, both sides of Congress can (assuming a strategy exists) support “a clear plan for victory in Iraq.” Unfortunately, by choosing fantasy the President wasted another opportunity to realistically confront the nation’s problems.
Environmentalists could thank Bush for intervening in our “addiction to oil”; unfortunately, more will protest this as too little too late. After all, it’s easy for Bush to acknowledge “our” problem with a grin while Congress applauds him; however, it’s another to solve the crisis. How can one not scoff? Eight-hours earlier, Exxon-Mobil reported record-breaking earnings; furthermore, a “22 percent increase in clean-energy research at the Department of Energy” is a weak road to recovery from any “addiction.” Perhaps 22 percent is satisfying; unless it demarcates one’s job-approval rating (which I suspect Mr. Bush’s will soon plummet).
Addressing his critics, Bush recognized many see his aims as “misguided idealism.” Unfortunately, nothing the President said will discourage such disapproval. His evaluation offers false hope to the troubling realities of growing trade-deficits, exporting American jobs, and mounting resentment towards US foreign policy. Bush’s agenda is fiction not reality. Sadly, the American people suffer from these “misguided” ideals. To counteract such impracticality we can follow Harry Reid’s advice and recognize this is all “Bush doublespeak…whatever he said, think the opposite.”