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The Bush-Pelosi Blow Against Terrorism

And tonight I have the high privilege and distinct honor of my own to begin the State of the Union message with the words ‘Madam Speaker.’

These are the mellifluous words President George W. Bush used to praise Speaker Nancy Pelosi, after she used similar words to introduce the president of the United States. Thus began the big Bush-Pelosi blow against terrorism.

I know that Bush's speech was roundly criticized by Senator Jim Webb who did the Democratic rebuttal and by legislators and journalists on both the left and the right. I myself agree with virtually nothing the president proposed. Yet, I believe that the performances of both Bush and Pelosi, and both Republicans and Democrats, on this American occasion, did more than many of our military actions to reduce the number of terrorists bent on destroying America.

Bush and Pelosi demonstrated to the watching world what democracy is really about. Last year their parties fought each other ferociously. They fought with words, some very nasty, but only with words. Nobody was killed. No sectarian - Republicans vs Democrats - violence occurred. When the ballots were counted and winners announced, everybody accepted the verdict, some glumly and some happily.

Furthermore, at the State of the Union, both Democrats and Republicans acted decorously. Pelosi introduced the president with a flourish and Bush replied with an even greater flourish. Everyone applauded wildly. Two contenders. Great bonamie. Though Democrats strongly disagree with many of Bush's proposals, not a boo or catcall was heard. Both Republicans and Democrats applauded when they agreed and refrained from applause when they did not agree with something the president said.

Foreigners tuning in received a first-class lesson on democracy. Not only did they learn how diverse people can live together in harmony and peace, they saw United States at its best. One picture of a State of the Union event demolishes terrorist propaganda about us. Of course, it will not change many minds at first. But if we feed them with similar messages about America, eventually they will realize that they have been misled by the terrorists and that America stands for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for all peoples.

Why do we not do it? Why do we not answer Al Qaeda's propaganda about death, murder and martyrdom? Why do we not communicate to the world our ideals? Why do we not demonstrate for all the world to see what our democracy is like? We don't need propaganda. All we need to do is present examples of factions in our government working together, and our people helping others, both at home and abroad.

Criticism is OK. But there are times when we need to muffle the criticism so that the American message can come clearly through. We need to strike many more Bush-Pelosi-type blows against terrorism.

Posted by Paul Siegel at January 24, 2007 5:22 PM
Comment #204855


You are great. No greater partisan, no more magnanimous opponent, no greater patriot. We rarely agree on politics, but I think we agree on being American. I have liked you recent posts.

Posted by: Jack at January 24, 2007 6:43 PM
Comment #204863

Great post this is the second time I totally agreed with you.

Posted by: KAP at January 24, 2007 7:32 PM
Comment #204868

I dream of a day when we can all hold hands, Democrat, Republican, Independent, and solve our pressing problems, together, without the distracting, circular, partisan warfare that pits voters against each other.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 24, 2007 7:59 PM
Comment #204880

Sorry, Paul, I have to disagree on this one. I wish you were right, but that is not what I saw.

The entire first quarter of the speech Bush laid out plans for more tax cuts to help people afford more private health insurance. This nearly silenced the Democratic side through the entire first half of the speech. They firmly believe that the government can do it better, and they were squirming. They did not look happy at all. Surprisingly, Jim Webb said nothing about Bush’s plans.

About the only thing he responded with was more of the same old economy on the worst shape he’s ever seen it, the Bush War was based on a lie, Democrats have a better plan (without divulging what the plan is), Corporate execs make too much money, etc.! I was really disappointed with the same old Democratic anti-Bush rhetoric, and no ideas of their own. I thought the Webb response was cold, reading it right off the teleprompter. There was little mutual agreement on anything. I think the Dems were furious that the President displayed two African Americans as heroic invited guests to his State of the Union Speech. I think they were even more furious at the reception that the African Americans gave to Laura and President Bush. This was a Bush knockout punch in my opinion. One of the best speeches he has ever delivered without any doubt!


Posted by: JD at January 24, 2007 9:00 PM
Comment #204881

Paul, I have to say that the civility of the SOTU address is hugely impressive, and the mutual respect shown across the political divide. Of course, it seems the Dems are not prepared to actually cut the funding for Bush’s charade, despite the clearly expressed will of the American people last Nov. It’s really just show, isn’t it? Now, for us foreigners out it the world, US pre emptive war making speaks with far greater eloquence and power of Americas true values that a set piece circus in Washington. You speak of US democracy. Even in Israel the is vocal criticism of Israeli government policies and actions regarding the occupied territories and the Palestinians, including accusations of war crimes and ethnic cleansing. Curious how in the US there is no such mainstream criticism of Israel either from politicians or the media. Curious democracy. It seems to me that Americans have grown so used to patting themselves on the back regarding their democracy, that they have long since embraced a paradigm that they can no longer escape from, even tho at best, it is a very faulty paradigm.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at January 24, 2007 9:06 PM
Comment #204884

I agree that it was nice to see civility and respect during the State of the Union, but disagree strongly that it in any way “strikes a blow against terrorism.”

I think this is a dangerous attitude, not only when it comes to our domestic politics but our international relations—this attitude that simply projecting warm feelings and a pleasant go-along attitude makes any difference when it comes to handling states like Iran, North Korea, or non-state actors like Al Qaida.

And Paul in Euroland, Americans are equally curious as to why there is no strong criticism (and is in fact very little but abject acceptance)of propaganda against Israel from our European cousins.

You will find, especially after the Palestinians totally rejected the Israeli offer of an independent state with a captial in Jerusalem and instead launched the Second Intifada and waves of suicide bombers, that a lot of Americans simply don’t buy the view of the Israeli conflict that is embraced by the Europeans.

This is a situation where “refugees,” the vast majority of which have never lived in the areas they lay claim are used as pawns in an Arab strategic and propaganda war intended to destroy the state of Isreal. There are a million other issues involved here as well, but suffice it to say that a majority of Americans of both parties simply does not AGREE with the European point of view on this issue. What’s more, plenty of us see it as no virtue—and indeed, a grave fault, considering Europe’s history with the Jews—that Europeans see only one side to this question.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at January 24, 2007 9:47 PM
Comment #204889

LO, we can see when a people’s land is being stolen, contrary to UNSCR 242, which the US signed up to, when they are being mercilessly and inhumanly treated, ejected from their own lands, their homes demolished, denied building permits while Israelis have no difficulty getting them, that a vicious racism is being practised. You see, we don’t have a controlled media, and funny enough, neither does Israel. There are many Israelis willing to speak the truth, and it is reported in their media. How come it’s not reported in the US media?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at January 24, 2007 10:14 PM
Comment #204906

I love this, all these people ignoring the content of the speech and falling for the masquerading decorum. I actually had a few hopes still left for Democrats until I read this and the comments.

Americans have come so far in replacing the books with movies, that the appearance between Pelosi and Bush speaks so much louder than the speech which spelled economic doom for our nation. Must be all those new and expanded spending programs Bush spoke of that entranced Democrats like Paul to fall for the image without questioning the content.

Democrats don’t question spending - its like that other manna from heaven, tax revenues, ever increasing tax revenues without end. Democratic heaven is such a pretty picture. Bush painted a beautiful one for Dem’s on the spending side. It was so pretty, all that new and expanded spending on foreigners, African hunger and disease, NCLB, Millenium Fund, expanding the military, and environment. It was all so good, Democrats, dreamy eyed never even heard him say, no tax increases.

I am amazed!

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 24, 2007 11:37 PM
Comment #204916

JD, I have to agree, that this was the best speech I’ve heard from W. Of course with the bar being so low, its not suprising that after 6 years he has managed to come across as less than an idiot. So I will say “good job on delivery W”. However, as far as content, just more of the same old same old, subterfuge with no substance.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 25, 2007 2:01 AM
Comment #204919

Sounds good Paul. And if the democrats has boo’d or taunted, wouldn’t you be here, now, praising them for it?

The thing that really stood out to me, besides the strange thing Pelosi was doing chewing and blinking….was when Bush linked funding the troop on the ground with funding the surge troops…Democrats all got up and applauded, not only applause, a standing ovation! Not the signal that a group of people who are about to kill funding to a surge would do.

So that tells me that the democratic party will not stop the surge, will not stop funding to the surge. Bush has his last chance to salvage the middle east. I had wondered if the anti-surge group could win…but the State of the Union appears to have settled it, the surge will and actually is happening.

Posted by: Stephen at January 25, 2007 5:03 AM
Comment #204927

Stephen, your comment contains a gross misunderstanding. The funding for the surge has already been allocated in the general funding for the War in Iraq allocated by the last Congress. The surge is already underway and will continue its buildup through May. Any funding cuts from this new Congress in the form of an emergency supplemental to come before them in a few weeks, would only impact operations months from now.

Republicans and Democrats alike in Biden’s Committee indicated that if the surge goes forward, and the political results Bush seeks as a result of it has not occurred by fall and our casualties grow and the violence in Baghdad has not subsided, there will be serious consideration by a few Republicans and nearly all Democrats to cut funding for the continuance of the our troops involved in fighting the sectarian factions.

Gen. Petreus himself said, regardless of what his commander in chief says, he will himself inform the Congress if the surge does not meet expectations. This really is the last chance for Bush to fulfill his fantasy. If it does not succeed, the American people, the majority of the soldiers, and a majority in Congress will halt this President’s maiming and killing of troops for a dream of legacy.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 25, 2007 7:26 AM
Comment #204979

When the ballots were counted and winners announced, everybody accepted the verdict, some glumly and some happily.

Except for one county in Florida where some 18,000 votes for Congress mysteriously disappeared. Just because it didn’t determine the outcome of control of Congress doesn’t mean our pitiful ability to count votes should not still be a concern

Posted by: bobo at January 25, 2007 12:17 PM
Comment #205085


This congress could stop funding NOW, in a hEARTBEAT. All dollars could stop RIGHT NOW. Doesn’t matter what some other congress did or did not vote for. But they wont stop funding.

They wont and most liberals on Capital Hill are now admitting that. They are NOT going to vote to stop funding. They could, they wont. Bush has his last chance. He didn’t talk about funding the troops who are on their way for nothing….the President of the United States was well aware that congress could stop the flow of money today and his surge would be over. That’s WHY it was an issue he discussed in his speach. AND, Democrats got up and applauded funding the surge troops.

The movement to create failure in Iraq, surrender, cut n Run is growing, but it doesn’t yet have the votes in congress to stop Bush.

Posted by: Stephen at January 25, 2007 9:57 PM
Comment #205159

Stephen, you are right. They won’t stop funding. First, because it would not affect the surge taking place which has already been funded.

Second, because Democrats have never advocated cut and run. That was a moniker Republicans tried to pin on Murtha who called for phased redeployment over the horizon to reduce our visibility without impairing our ability to strike at forces attempting to overthrow the Iraqi government or to take out al_Queda encampments.

So, you got this one right. Democrats would not cut all funding for military action in Iraq. It was never a proposal made by the majority of Democrats in Congress. Kucinich is the only one I believe who advocated a complete withdrawal from the region. He is not a one person Democratic Party.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 26, 2007 9:54 AM
Comment #205210

We agree. This was a good thing, republicans and democrats getting along for once.

Posted by: Table1 at January 26, 2007 1:17 PM
Comment #205266

I wonder if Republicans are going to leak the itinerary of Pelosi and Murtha in Iraq. It sure would be convenient if a RPG hit their helicopter.

Posted by: gergle at January 26, 2007 7:04 PM
Comment #205338

As a conservative Republican, I have tried desperately to support this president. But he has made that task nearly impossible with his conduct of the war in Iraq.

The only thing that will be accomplished by sending more troops into that mess will be to give the Iraqi terrorists more targets.

The only thing the Iraqi people have demonstrated a penchant for is hating and killing each other.

With more than 3,000 Americans dead and thousands more wounded, many grieviously, and with any kind of honorable victory there impossible, it is time to get the hell out.

Posted by: vietnam_vet at January 27, 2007 1:06 PM
Comment #214632

Dear Paul, I just have to say that was very bipatisan and a well written speech. Guess that couldn’t have hurt anyone here. but perhaps helped? Great goin

Posted by: Paul Haucke at April 1, 2007 9:50 PM
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