Wednesday, February 01, 2006

State of the Union

There have been a lot of state and local developments today, including the delay of John Ford's extortion trial by a federal judge, while another one attempted to dictate to the Tennessee Senate what standards it should set for seating its members. Perish the thought that the legislature should tell the federal government where it can take its big nose.

This orgy of federal nosiness comes against last night's State of the Union address, which I have to give mixed reviews. Briefly, here are three things I liked and three concerns I have in the wake of the President's remarks.

The Good:

1. Iraq-Whatever we thought about the war beforehand, it does America little good in the eyes of the world if we go to Iraq and pull out when things get tough. If we were to pull out of Iraq now, I really fear we would end up with a blow to the national psyche matched only by the blow suffered after the catastrophic end of the war in Vietnam. America can never afford to repeat that kind of national nightmare again.

2. Ending foreign oil reliance-If the President is really serious about this, it is a wonderful development. I know it isn't traditional Republican or conservative orthodoxy, but we as a nation need to do serious research into not only alternative fuels but ways to build engines so that they guzzle less gas.

3. Educational standards-I am not a mathemetician by any stretch of the imagination, but I do understand the need to get ahead of the rest of the world in math and science. I also think that while we're at it, we need to set higher standards for history and civics.

The Bad:

1. Excessive interventionism-The President's constant railing against "isolationism" would have made George Washington spin in his grave, not to mention the other founders. Part of the reason we have ourselves in a collective national mess is that between 30 and 50 years ago, we decided to poke our nose into a few places where it would just lead to a bigger fight. I'm not suggesting we cut ourselves off from the world, just that whenever it is possible, we ought to leave well enough alone.

2. Failure to deal with excessive and illegal immigration-All the President really said to me last night was essentially that illegal immigration is a bad thing. He then explained that we need a "guest worker program" that is going to invite more illegals to come here and sponge off of our country.

3. No solutions to deficit-The President said he wants to cut the deficit in half. He did not do much to tell us how.

With Congress on the block in the fall, someone needs to remind the President that a heap of Republican seats are riding, in many cases, on the actions he takes.

I realize that this is a late post, but I want regulars to know that late posts or posts at odd times will be a reality for some time to come. If you check in and I haven't posted just yet, know that timely commentary will come in a fashion that is equally timely for me.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you keep coming back.


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