Hands Down Winner
I had a hockey game tonight and was unable to take in the State of the Union in its entirety. I watched the first fifteen minutes at home, listened to the next half hour in the car on the way to rink, and caught the last fifteen minutes on a replay at home after the game. For detailed blow by blow analysis, check out Hugh, John, and Ed.
Overall, I was quite happy with what I heard. There was not much pandering by SOTU standards and Bush was clear about where he stands on the major issues of the day. And there wasn't much of the "reaching across the aisle" crap either, at least not where it really counts.
I know that there are some who feel that his plan for Social Security reform is a side show. And obviously, compared to the war it is. But for me it is a critical matter that has not been given the attention that I feel it deserves. Now that the President is making it one of his major policy initiatives, it gives me one more reason to back him.
In the past my support for Bush has rested mostly on his conduct of the war and his tax cuts. Social Security reform has become a third strong pillar of support.
The main problems that I have with the Bush administration are domestic spending and immigration, with immigration fast becoming my main concern. He talked the good talk on spending tonight, we'll have to see if he walks the walk. Unless I missed it, there was nothing in the SOTU on immigration which I suppose is okay since every time Bush opens his mouth on the subject I find myself wincing.
Three on one hand (the war being the biggest), two on the other. Advantage GW.
Oh, that little ink on the fingers thing by some of the Republicans? Cheesy, really cheesy guys.
UPDATE: John a.k.a. PolicyGuy, points out that Bush did briefly touch on immigration in the SOTU:
America's immigration system is also outdated -- unsuited to the needs of our economy and to the values of our country. We should not be content with laws that punish hardworking people who want only to provide for their families, and deny businesses willing workers, and invite chaos at our border. It is time for an immigration policy that permits temporary guest workers to fill jobs Americans will not take, that rejects amnesty, that tells us who is entering and leaving our country, and that closes the border to drug dealers and terrorists.
(wince) Not calling it amnesty doesn't mean that it's not.