Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Senator Webb Responds

I didn't watch Bush speak, watched the beginning for the History, saw the end where he went into his Iraq rant, and the lie that To allow this to happen would be to ignore the lessons of September 11 and invite tragedy when of course Iraq had nothing to do with any lessons of 9/11, that would have been al Queda and the seething frustrations of millions of Muslims with no control over their lives, and our enabling of that loss of control for their oil. Then waited for Senator Webb.

When he started speaking I was transfixed. Finally, someone with confidence giving a proper response to the SOTU. None of the duelling laundry lists, none of the usual gamesmanship, none of the flowery rhetoric that adds nothing but padding to the speech.

From the first I saw a speech, a response, different than any other I've watched, and I've watched more than a few. I'm not sure what it was that was so different at first, but then it hit me. He's not trying to compete, or take the pundit driven nostrum to heart that how can a responder expect to match the pomp and circumstance of the U.S Government in all its glory. No, he's taking it straight to the heart of the matter. The State of the Union.

When one looks at the health of our economy, it's almost as if we are living in two different countries. Some say that things have never been better. The stock market is at an all-time high, and so are corporate profits. But these benefits are not being fairly shared. When I graduated from college, the average corporate CEO made 20 times what the average worker did; today, it's nearly 400 times. In other words, it takes the average worker more than a year to make the money that his or her boss makes in one day.

John Edwards' Two America's. The stock market tied to those who truly have reaped the benefit. Like Pfizer's $83 million pension benefit to their recently ousted CEO, or the Dick Grasso $140 millionpayout. Direct and to the point.

People have so lionized our troops, so enobled them, that none dare criticize them or their "mission." Sen. Webb simply cut through the crap to remind us of what the deal really is for the troops and the mission. As always, my highlights.

Like so many other Americans, ...we serve and have served, not for political reasons, but because we love our country. On the political issues — those matters of war and peace, and in some cases of life and death — we trusted the judgment of our national leaders. We hoped that they would be right, that they would measure with accuracy the value of our lives against the enormity of the national interest that might call upon us to go into harm's way.

We owed them our loyalty, as Americans, and we gave it. But they owed us — sound judgment, clear thinking, concern for our welfare, a guarantee that the threat to our country was equal to the price we might be called upon to pay in defending it.

Sen. Webb exposes the rot at the core of George W Bush. None of those things were done by the Bush administration. Did you expect anything less from Bush, a man seemingly bent on destroying this country so that he can save it? These failures are at the heart of the State of Our Union today.

Oh yes, this was a most damning speech, and he gave it so forcefully, so calmly, sitting on his stool in his office, in stark contrast to the fawning and public display for Bush, you could see yourself getting called into Dad's den to get a few things explained to you, couldn't you? Reality versus A Broadway Show, telling us, look, this is real, this isn't a pretty speech for the cameras, this is between you and me. Who looks better viewed that way?

The reckless man? The man who defied the predictable and the predicted (I told you so you drunken sot!)? The man who damaged our reputation and lost opportunities and spilled our blood? Or the man who has served his country with honor, whose son is doing the same, who speaks clearly and directly to the challenges and problems before us, and suggests that there is hope after all. (My bolds again)

On both of these vital issues, our economy and our national security, it falls upon those of us in elected office to take action.

...I am reminded of the situation President Theodore Roosevelt faced in the early days of the 20th century. America was then, as now, drifting apart along class lines. The so-called robber barons were unapologetically raking in a huge percentage of the national wealth. The dispossessed workers at the bottom were threatening revolt.

Roosevelt spoke strongly against these divisions. He told his fellow Republicans that they must set themselves "as resolutely against improper corporate influence on the one hand as against demagogy and mob rule on the other." And he did something about it.

These presidents took the right kind of action, for the benefit of the American people and for the health of our relations around the world. Tonight we are calling on this president to take similar action, in both areas. If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing him the way.

You know what we got tonight? A LEADER. And he's a Democrat. And he destroyed George W Bush, exposed him, him and all of his rotten pals for all to see.

Thank you, Senator, and all those who helped get this man elected. I helped a tiny little bit, so, I'm welcome!


iamcoyote said...

Fantastic recap of Webb's response, Duckman. You got me all misty eyed. And I almost missed it, too, as I chatted with the kids. When I realized it was on, I started listening, and at first, the measured tone sounded boring, but then the words started sinking in and I was transfixed. Finally! Someone telling the truth. I almost didn't recognize it. How bad is that?

Anonymous said...

Pretty powerful writing, Duckman--take a bow. This should be linked to by others.

It's good for bloggers to make explicit the profound criticisms of Bushism and "conservatism" Webb is making more obliquely.


Duckman GR said...

Thanks, and thanks to Mary. I just got home and watched the speech again, with Ms. Duckman, damn, it was brilliant. That part about TR and the Republicans, that has to leave a mark somewhere!

Seven of Six said...

My hat is off to you Duckman.
I had to review the video at C&L. My wife said Webb's speach was great. Your highlights are outstanding.

From a Ray-gun republican to a moderate Dem. How refreshing!

Webb knows this is no game and young soldier's lives are on the line. If only bu$h would!