Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

SOTU and Sen. James Web

Here is Michael Gerson take on Bush’s speech. I think the speech was mediocre at best, although delivered better than most. Gerson criticizes Sen. Webb’s short riposte. Maybe the criticism is fair, yet I thought that it was better than that (well written, for example) as well as revealing speech. In case anyone ever doubted that Webb is a real Democrat you just have to note his reference to, and appreciation of, Andrew Jackson: "In the early days of our republic, President Andrew Jackson established an important principle of American-style democracy – that we should measure the health of our society not at its apex, but at its base. Not with the numbers that come out of Wall Street, but with the living conditions that exist on Main Street. We must recapture that spirit today." Read (and see) the rest
here.

Discussions - 5 Comments

Well, we’ll see how "bipartisan" W will be now that the Senate Democrats have KO’ed his Iraqi surge proposal. I think it’s all he cares about at this point...this will be interesting.

The Iraq section of Webb’s speech was just like the man himself: nasty and shallow.

No way was Webb nasty or shallow in the speech. I agree that his refusal to speak w/Bush about his son was very disrespectful. Webb is that kind of hot-headed guy. After watching the speech, I thought that if Webb doesn’t get coopted by the liberal wing of the party he may be Presidential someday. Wow! You could tell it was not an ordinary political message, and I was not too suprised to find that he wrote it. Webb’s speech was quite clear and powerful. He said all the right things that Americans want to hear, and he said them in a way that seemed more principled than political.

Maybe I’m shallow or overly influenced by my wife, but didn’t he have, as they say, a really bad hair day.? The Jackson stuff is interesting, though, as Peter says. It’s also true that the paleocons are picking up on this Wall Street/Main Street stuff. There is SOMETHING, if not all that much, to it. The booming economy is not alleviating the economic insecurity of the average guy, and in some respects--as pensions, unions, families (in some ways), and the government safety net collapse--he’s more on his own than ever.

Peter L., You are exactly right about that last point. And that’s why I think that--at least in 2008--the man to watch is Edwards. (If the Democrats are smart and don’t go all Howard Dean in the end.) His old-fashioned class warfare stuff, when combined with some of Webb’s rhetoric, could cut into some of the Republican’s gains in the last two decades or so--especially in the midwest and South.

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