Big day for politics, of course. Last night was the annual Running of the Broken Promises, a yearly speech by the president, as demanded by the Constitution, in which the main man avers that the country is doing fine, and then makes a bunch of suggestions on how it could be even better, without actually intending to follow through on any of them.
But, before I get into the standard liberal blogger response of going through the State of the Union line by line and offering snide commentary (which, unfortunately, will have to come tomorrow because of excruciating deadline crunches), there's a few other notable items I should point out.First, John Kerry has abandoned all hope and will not seek the presidency. In my blog entry on the presidential contenders, I rated him as a "maybe" to run. But we all know he's been done since the botched joke incident.
This puts Kerry out of the presidential runnings entirely. Only a complete dolt would put Kerry in the V-P slot on a presidential ticket. It's not as though Democrats need a northeasterner to haul in the Northeast vote. And while Kerry has a lot of experience, especially in issues of foreign policy, there are other possibilities that make the Massachusetts senator wholly unviable. Take Bill Richardson, a man who has arguably more foreign policy experience, and is also from the Southwest and Hispanic.
Stick a fork in Kerry. He's done.
Of course, he'll still make a fine senator, and he's already said he's running for re-election there. Once Kennedy retires, Kerry should be one of the Senate's elder statesmen, a role that the sonorous fellow has always seemed destined for.
As for the State of the Union, the hell with it. If you saw it, you know what a mockery it was. Bush touted the exact same domestic issues he has brought up every year — energy independence, healthcare and education — and just like every other year, he won't do a damn thing about them after making a few photo ops at factorys, wearing hard hats or goggles and talking about "hard work" or "uniquely American" things like working three jobs.
The energy independece bit was particularly laughable, with Cheney suppressing a smirk in the background as Bush talked about reducing gas consumption by 20 percent in a decade, as well as rely more on American solar, wind, nuclear and clean coal power. A laudable goal, certainly, but Bush saying that he wants to do anything that will adversely affect Big Oil's bottom line is the same thing as him saying he wants to bite himself in the ass. George Bush is Big Oil. Dick Cheney is Big Oil. The Bush Administration is Big Oil. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something.
I thought Jim Webb's response to the SOTU went quite well, but was particularly impressed when I learned that he wrote the speech himself after discarding the one handed to him by Democratic leadership. Given the ballsy nature of the ensuing oratory, that's just the sort of chutzpah the Dems are going to need in the coming months.
If all goes well, the new symbol of the Republican Party will look something like this:
Actually, a really, really sad thing, what happened to that elephant.
Speaking of animal cruelty, how about that guy that was partially swallowed, head-freaking-first, by a Great White Shark, and lived to tell the tale? Awesome.
Look for a more complete analysis of the SOTU tomorrow. So many deadlines hit at once today that a full accounting was impossible.