Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 28, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

SOTU LIVEBLOGGING....This just doesn't seem it's likely to be a very exciting State of the Union address, does it? I mean, the big talking point earlier in the day from the White House was that Bush was going to focus on earmark reform. Yippee!

But hey — we're professionals around here. When the CinC gives a speech, we're here to liveblog it. So on with the show.

Wrapup: So that was, what? About 55 minutes? It may have been dull, but at least it was short!

And now CNN's Jessica Yellin pipes up to tell us that at one point Senator Obama looked over his shoulder to see if Senator Clinton had stood up to applaud. Sigh. They just can't help themselves, can they?

Ed Henry: "The White House spinners set low expectations and I think the president met them." That sounds about right.

10:02 — Finally. The state of the union is strong. I was beginning to think my slam dunk prediction at the beginning might actually be wrong.

9:55 — Here it comes....wait for it....Yes! "We need to know who the terrorists are talking to." Etc. etc. Bottom line: Pass the FISA extension and give telecom companies immunity by Friday or else everyone watching tonight will die.

9:47 — Jeez, Bush is really trying get credit for bringing the surge troops home, isn't he? You'd hardly know that it had been planned ever since the surge began.

9:41 — We're ten minutes into the foreign policy part of the speech and it's....completely lacking in substance so far. Terrorists bad, surge good, yadda yadda yadda.

9:30 — Well, everybody's in favor of keeping the United States the most dynamic country on earth. Good to know. But what's Pelosi reading? A copy of the speech? Everybody seems to have one, so I guess so. Are they reading it to make sure they don't get snookered into clapping for something they shouldn't?

9:25 — If we don't pass a bunch of trade agreements, "we will embolden the purveyors of false populism in our hemisphere." Obviously he meant Hugo Chavez, but I'd guess that less than one person in a hundred watching at home figured that out.

9:20 — Man, it's the same old hectoring Bush. Congress must do this. I'll veto that. But jeez, he can't even get applause from Teddy Kennedy for a call to extend No Child Left Behind.

9:17 — What are Pelosi and Cheney chatting about?

9:12 — "Wages are up, but so is the price of food and gas." Translation: adjusted for inflation, wages are down.

9:10 — Ah, an appeal for bipartisan unity. Heartwarming.

9:05 — I predict that the state of the union will be "strong."

9:03 — A bit of inane chatter on CNN about who's shaking Hillary Clinton's hand and who's not.

Kevin Drum 9:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (79)

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Comments

Kabuki! Where did I put the popcorn...

Posted by: dojo on January 28, 2008 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

Is it just me or does it sound like he wrote it by himself.

Posted by: B on January 28, 2008 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Hey -- Cheney looks alive

Posted by: Bob OReilly on January 28, 2008 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

A bit of inane chatter on CNN

A bit redundant, no? Much more interesting was this headline I just saw on Yahoo:

U.S. woman abducted in Afghanistan. A Taliban snatch?

Idiots!

Posted by: Keith G on January 28, 2008 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

They are talking about the vacation plans

Posted by: Bob OReilly on January 28, 2008 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

I would stand up and turn my back to the Demon.

Posted by: elmo on January 28, 2008 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

This guy really does think he's doing a great job. Amazing.

Posted by: LT on January 28, 2008 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

Did someone warn Cheney about our drinking game? It's 9:20 and I'm already feeling tipsy. Last year he didn't blink at all.

Posted by: B on January 28, 2008 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

All this talk about energy, and no love for switchgrass!

Posted by: Switchgrass! on January 28, 2008 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

SOTU? STFU, GWB.

Posted by: lampwick on January 28, 2008 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

"The new scientific discovery of turning adult skin cells into stem cells enables us to get past the divisiveness of the past... embryos are human and you're murderers."

Posted by: George W Bush on January 28, 2008 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Switched games. Now he has to catch a fly with his tounge. Otherwise I'll run out of beer.

Posted by: B on January 28, 2008 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

Nothing like a good smirk when uttering the word oil.

Posted by: gary on January 28, 2008 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

Spreading the bullshit opps I meant the hope of freedom

Did he say Afgansitan America

Posted by: Bob O'Reilly on January 28, 2008 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Obviously he meant Hugo Chavez, but I'd guess that less than one person in a hundred watching at home figured that out.

That's good, Kevin, because there are probably only a couple of hundred watching at home, anyway. I mean really... who watches the SOTU?


Posted by: pol on January 28, 2008 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

Keith G: the headline is duplicated from the article's source, The Christian Science Monitor. It seems odd to me, too.

Posted by: idlemind on January 28, 2008 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

I had to get drunk just to watch this shit...

Posted by: elmo on January 28, 2008 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

i want to puke. this guy is a evil stain on the history of life on earth. and all these elitist clapping shits should all spend some cold winter nights sleeping under overpasses. i'd really like to see disruption. people yelling him down, disrespcting him intensely, parlaimentary fisticuffs.

thank the heavens this is the last time we'll have to see this horrible horrible man do this.

Posted by: Trypticon on January 28, 2008 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

Eh....
The Italian Job is on FX....

Posted by: pmh on January 28, 2008 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

"Jeez, Bush is really trying get credit for bringing the surge troops home, isn't he? You'd hardly know that it had been planned ever since the surge began."

Oh and brings us back to where we were before the surge.

Posted by: Bob O'Reilly on January 28, 2008 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

I think Cheney is gazing lustily at Condi

Posted by: Bob O'Reilly on January 28, 2008 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: "This just doesn't seem it's likely to be a very exciting State of the Union address, does it?"

One word: Whatever.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 28, 2008 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney isn't programmed to lust.

Posted by: blah on January 28, 2008 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

"companies believed to have assisted in the efforts to defend America"

Posted by: blah on January 28, 2008 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

I really think he is going to break out in laughter.

Moving towards a rousing close-- I really hope so

Posted by: Bob O'Reilly on January 28, 2008 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

I couldn't last past his third paragraph....thank heaven you're professional! TV talked about all these folks waiting hours to be in the front row where he walked past, and half of them were Democrats! And everyone yelling and clapping for 5 mins when he showed up like they really think he's SOMEBODY...when 75% of the country says he's led us in the wrong direction. I could see a bit of polite applause, but this is obscene!

Posted by: Nannyberry on January 28, 2008 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

I am proud to declare that the state of the Onion is Wisconsin.

Posted by: lampwick on January 28, 2008 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

I thought it was a fine speach. He made his points and sounded polished. Not the yammering bufoon you people make him out to be.

Posted by: egbert on January 28, 2008 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

Keith O. hit the speech spot on just after the pinhead finished speaking on MSNBC.

Posted by: elmo on January 28, 2008 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

The stock market crash has been delayed by the Federal Reserve until after the last SOTU address. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 28, 2008 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

Indeed. The ability to poke fun at himself helps him rise above the occasion, and the quotes from Chesterton and Aquinas were perfectly apropos.

Posted by: calling all toasters on January 28, 2008 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

That was Cheney's last chance to ask Nancy to the prom. Looks like he blew it again.

Posted by: lampwick on January 28, 2008 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

I guess that what Pelosi was reading was a copy of the speech, but I like to think it was "The Complete Calvin and Hobbes." It would more closely match the level of intellectual rigor in the speech's text.

Posted by: Tory on January 28, 2008 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

Why the Democrats didn't double-team tackle Bush, handcuff him and drag him off to the nearest federal penetentiary will be debated by future historians for hundreds of years...

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 28, 2008 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

From the SOTU response: "Here in the heartland, we respect and honor our troops..."

FUCK a whole lot of Kathleen Sebelius. I grew up in Connecticut and I now live in DC and I will beat the hell out of anyone who thinks that means I hate the troops.

My father fought in Vietnam, my grandfather died in WWII, my ancestors fought on both sides of the civil war. I've got your "the heartland is better" bullshit right here, bitch...

Posted by: Sean on January 28, 2008 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, I'm a Democrat and will be voting for Obama, but not because of any fucked up endorsement by scum-sucking Sebelius.

Posted by: Sean on January 28, 2008 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

Hah! Suckers! I didn't watch that filth so I'm not gonna die!

How can you watch that retarded chimp? How can you listen to his blather? You KNOW what he is going to say before he ever says it. It is ALWAYS the same chimpy shit over and over in a lecturing tone (as if a retarded chimp can "lecture" anyone).

Really, why watch it? Besides, if you skipped it like I did you wouldn't be in danger of dying because of a FISA shit bill non-passage by the end of the week.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on January 28, 2008 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

I like your spunk, Sean. You need to work on the direction of your rage, but we can work on that.

I hope it ain't all talk. The Revolution needs all the studs it can get...

Posted by: elmo on January 28, 2008 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, could you guys just drop that whole 'heartland' thing. This extolling of the homeland is not, repeat not, a road to travel... Note to Ms. Sebelius - We know this road; it leads in a wholly bad direction. Please change course.

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 28, 2008 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

The Chavez dig brings up a fascinating point. Ever notice how conservs precede a noun they hate (populist)with an adjective implying disingenuousness (false)? As if he would prefer a true populist. But they know they are at odds with public opinion on the basic legitimacy of these concepts, so they have to make the target appear to be phony. Dems don't have to do it as often. Sure, the fact that Bush is not a 'real' conservative reverberates happily thru the left sphere, but is it the same? Hmmmmm...

Posted by: tokorode on January 28, 2008 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

Lamest of ducks.
Most shameful of Schmucks.
In Iraq we are stuck.
Damn the luck.
The Euro worth two bucks.
Rove, oil and muck
Green planet chucked.

2001-2009.

Posted by: Sparko on January 28, 2008 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

Oh. And Torture for yucks.

Posted by: Sparko on January 28, 2008 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK
I thought it was a fine speach. He made his points and sounded polished. Not the yammering bufoon you people make him out to be.

Posted by: egbert on January 28, 2008 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

It's "speech," you yammering "buffoon."

Posted by: phleabo on January 28, 2008 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

Sparko gets a gold star...

Posted by: elmo on January 28, 2008 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

phleabo gets a gold star too.

Posted by: elmo on January 28, 2008 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

elmo at 10:46 cracked me up.

Not to speak for the Gov, but I took the heartland reference as more of a "and this heartland ain't doing your dirty work in Iraq any more, Chimpy, and by the way, you personally turned a bloc of red states purple" kind of thing. But I was probably just fantasizing.

Posted by: shortstop on January 28, 2008 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, the irony shortstop!

Posted by: elmo on January 28, 2008 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK

how so, elm?

Posted by: shortstop on January 28, 2008 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

I was trying to be the mother meme figure you snark so eloquently when spanking me. Then you commented...(ok if that's not technically irony I apologies. ;))

Posted by: elmo on January 28, 2008 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

With my comments to Sparko and phleabo, that is...

Posted by: elmo on January 28, 2008 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

I was struck by how much applause Bush received. Even the Dems applauded many of his points. It goes to show that even an unpopular President can use the SOTU format to his advantage. Also I thought the speech was contrived to force applause.

E.g., he asked the Congress to show their appreciation of our forces in Iraq. Everyone had to applaud our military men and women, even if they totally disapproved of the Iraq mission.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 28, 2008 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter SOTU address:

"Suck it, bitches!"

Posted by: Jennifer on January 28, 2008 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

ex-stud, seriously, how many deferments did you have?

Posted by: elmo on January 28, 2008 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

I got BDS far far too bad to listen to this #@$%. So like Praedor I'm not at risk if we junk FISA!

Posted by: bigTom on January 28, 2008 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

egbert: "He made his points and sounded polished. Not the yammering bufoon you people make him out to be."

Take your daddy issues somplace else, clown.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 28, 2008 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

He made his points and sounded polished.

You can't polish a turd.

Posted by: Jennifer on January 28, 2008 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

elmo: "ex-stud, seriously, how many deferments did you have?"

Well, if you must know, all it took was dressing like Judy Garland in A Star Is Born, singing "The Man That Got Away" to the draft board, and Voila!

Posted by: ex-stud on January 29, 2008 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

The same stuff comes out of both ends of Bush.

I am astonished that even at this late date the president seems unable to adjust or learn from experience.

Posted by: Luther on January 29, 2008 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

Well, if you must know, all it took was dressing like Judy Garland in A Star Is Born, singing "The Man That Got Away" to the draft board, and Voila!

Come on! You expect me to believe you tried something that generic? Come clean, now-a-pansy...(that's Indian for ex-liberal)

Posted by: elmo on January 29, 2008 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

Bush tried to repeat his 2003 Iraq yellowcake warning only this time about Iran and nuclear weapons. This guy is in such a bubble, he doesn't realize that his own NIE has made this claim ridiculous. This clown was a waste of 8 years, a disaster for America and a joke walking.

In the meantime, here's a pic of Clinton shaking Kennedy's hand as Obama turns away. [Can't find full image yet]
This clearly shows who the grown ups are. While Clinton smiles and shakes the hand of a pol who just dissed her campaign, Obama turns away so because he can't even look at her, let alone shake her hand. How childish. And this is the guy who says he is going to bring everyone together?

Posted by: Mike on January 29, 2008 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

Glad to see the drugs are kicking in, Mike. If all you have is a picture of Obama not facing Hillary, well that speaks for itself. Maybe you could go after his haircut next.

Posted by: calling all toasters on January 29, 2008 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

here's a pic of Clinton

Good point. But look at her eyes. Oh my god, she's going to laugh! Help!!!!

Too late. My d@ck fell off.

Posted by: thersites on January 29, 2008 at 1:04 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe you could go after his haircut next.

Now that you mention it, it does sort of look like the kind of haircut that a black man might get.

I'm not saying that Senator Obama is black or anything. Just that his haircut is a black man's haircut.

And that he's black.

Posted by: President Bill Clinton on January 29, 2008 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK

Too late. My d@ck fell off.

You had a dick?

Posted by: elmo on January 29, 2008 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

President Bill Clinton, your title as a fake Bill says a lot about the size of your balls...

Posted by: elmo on January 29, 2008 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not exactly sure what you're saying about my testicles, but that does remind me of an interesting fact that I learned recently:

You know who else has testicles? Black men.

Like Senator Obama.

Posted by: President Bill Clinton on January 29, 2008 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not exactly sure what you're saying about my testicles

I'm saying you don't have none, shit-for-brains.

You know who else has testicles? Black men.

I fucking triple dog dare you to play the race card with me...boy/and or girl...

Posted by: elmo on January 29, 2008 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

Huh? I am not playing the race card. I deny any intentional effort to stir the racial debate.

But I believe the fallout has had the effect of branding Obama as "the black candidate," a tag that could hurt him outside the South.

Posted by: President Bill Clinton on January 29, 2008 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

No More Mr. Nice Guy?

Sometimes the media narrative in the race infuriates me. After Iowa, the narrative was on "Did Obama and Edwards gang up on Hillary?" After that people started to wonder if the Nice Guy Obama thing was all a facade. Then, of course, came the infamous tears, leading up to Hillary's comeback in New Hampshire.

My point: When the media narrative becomes Obama being mean to, or mistreating Hillary Clinton, it provokes a backlash among [white female] voters. That is good news for Hillary.

So now, after the State of the Union, we may be seeing this again. There is an AP report, here, that describes Obama keeping his distance from Hillary. Over at The Swamp it is described as Sen. Obama turning away from Sen. Clinton as she went in to shake his hand.

I don't know if these are isolated stories, but if the media narrative becomes that Obama is acting in a petty manner towards Hillary he could be in for some trouble. Of course, the Clinton campaign will probably try to play up this perception, and I wouldn't be surprised if it comes out in their talking points in the next few days. Given the Clinton campaign's casual association with the truth, whether or not he actually did avoid her handshake, the Clinton people will be talking about it.

And it fits perfectly with their post-South Carolina strategy: take the focus off South Carolina! They have been doing this by accentuating the importance of Florida, but I'm sure they wont pass up the chance to propagate negative press for Obama.

Posted by: Sam on January 29, 2008 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

But I believe the fallout has had the effect of branding Obama as "the black candidate," a tag that could hurt him outside the South.

Black doesn't have two shits to do with it, poser...

Posted by: elmo on January 29, 2008 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

I agree that black doesn't have anything to do with it.

Speaking of "black", has anyone noticed that Senator Obama is black? Interesting fact.

Posted by: President Bill Clinton on January 29, 2008 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

Speaking of "pussy", has anyone noticed that conservatives are whack? Interesting fact.

http://blindintexas.blogspot.com/

Posted by: elmo on January 29, 2008 at 1:50 AM | PERMALINK

Not only are conservatives whack, but Senator Obama is black.

That rhymes. Popular black performers are known for their rhyming skills. Senator Obama is black.

Posted by: President Bill Clinton on January 29, 2008 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

I love this shit! Fake Bill, you need to come around more often, snowbird. Where is your stance on Reagan?

Still trying to play the race card? Check your street creds mother fucker...

Posted by: elmo on January 29, 2008 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

Come on! Go all Oak-Town on me!

You know me, but you stay in the shadows. Pussy.

Posted by: elmo on January 29, 2008 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

Glad you asked. My stance on Reagan is that Senator Obama is black.

Posted by: President Bill Clinton on January 29, 2008 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

The reference to our friends in Lebanon was the low point.

Posted by: Brojo on January 29, 2008 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

elmo,

Come on! You expect me to believe you tried something that generic? Come clean, now-a-pansy...(that's Indian for ex-liberal)

I'm starting to think our resident Republican blowhard may not have gotten deferments. He might have claimed butt pimples (like his hero Limbaugh) to get a 4F classification.

Posted by: Tripp on January 29, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK
.... If all you have is a picture of Obama not facing Hillary....calling all toasters at 1:00 AM
Obama acting like a petulant child snubs Clinton.


...Clinton leaned towards Kennedy over a row of seats and Kennedy leaned in towards her. They shook hands.Obama stood icily staring at Clinton during this, then turned his back and stepped a few feet away. Kennedy may’ve wanted to make peace with Clinton but Obama clearly wanted no part of that.
As president, Obama has said he would meet with the U.S.’s enemies without precondition. But making nice with Clinton apparently is another mattter after the increasingly angry fight the two have waged, with charges and countercharges, for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The sense in the press gallery was that Obama didn’t cover himself in glory. Someone even used the word “childish.”...

.... if the media narrative becomes that Obama is acting in a petty manner towards Hillary he could be in for some trouble.... Sam at 1:41 AM
The hyenas of the media have been strikingly anti-Clinton, trying to instigate invective and inject them selves into the narrative, but Obama was really being petty and childish. It's impossible to defend this behavior but 'bamabots will twist themselves in knots trying.


Posted by: Mike on January 29, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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