State of our Union?

It's Groundhog Day, and like every year for the past four years (ugh), George Bush has popped up out of his hole to tell us what to expect in the coming months. As all Presidents do, he will tell us that "The State of Our Union is Strong."

So... what do you think? Is the state of our union strong? What should be our national priorities? What matters? What doesn't?


  • (Show?)

    Last coupla years I did a statistical breakdown of the SotU. In anticipation of tonight's big shew, here they are:

    SotU by the Numbers 2003

    Total length of speech: 5,400 words Percent devoted to tax cuts: 10% On legislation to combat African AIDS: 6%* On the war on terror: 5% On hydrogen cars: 3% On race and affirmative action: 0%

    Axis of Evil Percent devoted to Iraq: 25% Korea: 4% Iran: 1%

    Number of times "Saddam Hussein" was uttered: 19 "Osama bin Laden": 0 "God": 4


    *Initiative as a percent of projected 2003 budget: .1%

    SotU by the Numbers 2004

    Length in words: 5,206

    Percent of the speech devoted to Iraq and terror: 42% - health care: 10% - economy: 8% - faith-based initiatives: 5% - jobs: 5% - gay marriage: 4% - steroid use by professional athletes: 2%

    Times the President used the word "terror" (terrorist, terrorism): 20 - "Iraq" (Iraqi, Iraqis): 24 - "Saddam" (Saddam Hussein, Hussein): 5 - "Afghanistan" (Afghan): 6 - "Osama bin Laden": 0 - "kill" (killing, killers, killed): 11 - "God" ("Greater power"): 3 - "gay": 0

    Number of times the President used threatening language: 13*


    *Examples: "And it is tempting to believe that the danger is behind us. That hope is understandable, comforting -- and false."

    "Some want to undermine the No Child Left Behind Act by weakening standards and accountability."

    "Unless you act, millions of families will be charged $300 more in federal taxes for every child.... For the sake of job growth, the tax cuts you passed should be permanent. "

  • Eric Berg (unverified)

    Don't do the SotU alone. Thanks to the Bus Project you don't have to:

    State of YOUR Union. It's that time again... time to watch the State of the Union by President George W. Bush.  Watch it with the Bus over pints: meet up at ACME pub (SE 8th and Main) by 6pm.  Email [email protected] with questions.

  • (Show?)

    Or, if SE is not convenient to you, just don't do the SotU.

    Not like I need Dubya to lie to me about how it is. Besides, I'll read it at my leisure from the transcript later, along with the Democratic pre-response and re-response (Obama! Pick him!) and Lost is a rerun this week, anyway.

  • Sid Anderson (unverified)

    The 'State of the Union' is turning into a GOP pyramid scheme

  • Jon (unverified)

    Among the many sub-plots to watch for in Wednesday's State of the Union address will be President Bush's appropriation of the words "freedom" and "liberty" for his agenda and the GOP.

    As I've written before, the Republicans have dominated American policy debates through their manipulation and control of language. Whether through message discipline or superior framing (to use Lakoff's term), the GOP has won a succession of victories spanning tax reform, Medicare, environmental policy, and more.

    Bush's 2005 State of the Union will be no exception to this strategy. Across both domestic and foreign policy, President Bush will position the Republicans as the party of "choice", "liberty" and "freedom." The dangerous and unneccessary privatization of Social Security through "personal accounts" will provide Americans greater freedom and control over their retirement security. Irresponsible and inequitable tax cuts will give Americans freedom to spend their money. School vouchers empower parental choice. New proposals for the Bush "Ownership Society" will free individuals to control their financial destiny. And that is just the beginning.

    For more, see:

    "Hijacking Freedom"

  • Jon (unverified)

    FYI, here's a flashback to my write up of the 2004 SOTU. Though written with the 2004 elections in mind, I think the basic analysis still applies.


    Even with his shaky State of the Union address and dipping approval ratings, President Bush unfortunately remains in a strong position for the 2004 election. Saddam is captured, GDP is surging, and his reelection war chest has a staggering $100 million in the bank. And while his Democratic foes battle each other in primary contests across the country, Bush used his prime-time address to the nation to unveil his future for America, one grandly titled the "Ownership Society."

    The administration's Ownership Society vision, a theme that along with wartime leadership will highlight his reelection drive, seeks to address the president's vulnerability over the jobless recovery. It aims to create a new American homo economicus, armed for battle in the new economy. Faithful to the GOP's twin mantras of rugged individualism and free markets, the plan is to consolidate an array of federal programs with tax incentives for personal saving, retirement, job training, and health coverage, among others. Thus, the president will call on Americans to unite behind his dual crusades against terror abroad and joblessness at home.

    Ironically, it is the public's growing realization that it is American national unity itself that is under attack by the GOP during a time of war that presents Democrats with their best chance for victory in 2004. In reality, the president and his party are creating an "Opt Out Society," a nation where Americans, while standing shoulder to shoulder against foreign foes, are divided and pitted against each other by an ideology of market worship, the privatization or abandonment of traditional government roles, and a radical individualism. Their Opt Out Society encourages Americans to withdraw their support from their country, their government, their communities, their schools and each other...

    To read the whole piece, see:

    "State of Disunion: A SOTU 2004 Flashback"

  • Eric Berg (unverified)

    "Or, if SE is not convenient to you, just don't do the SotU.

    Not like I need Dubya to lie to me about how it is. Besides, I'll read it at my leisure from the transcript later, along with the Democratic pre-response and re-response (Obama! Pick him!) and Lost is a rerun this week, anyway."

    That's how I felt about the inaguration. Other than watching the Daily Show a few times, I spent about three days in an inaguration coverage-commentary black out.

    Turns out I can't make it to the ACME. I'm leaning towards watching the last three episodes of the second season of the X-Files since the DVDs need to be returned to the library by Friday.

    I told my dad today that if he watches the SotU, he should turn the sound off and place a a Post-it™ under the screen with "He's Lying" written on it.

  • (Show?)

    Not really on topic for Blue Oregon, but I let go with an uncalled-for attack here. Okay, it was called for, but it wasn't polite.

  • (Show?)

    Belatedly...a little British reaction to the State of the Union. You know, I really miss the days when the idiot monkey president was against nation-building.

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