Monday, January 28, 2008


As I tuned into the State of the Union address this evening, I had flashbacks of SOTU's past because George W. has been reciting the same old lines for the past seven years. And still, half of the chamber decided to rise and applaud several times during the speech in a sad display of pandering to the one guy that most Republicans are running from this election year. W, it would have been nice if you had just told the networks to play any of the SOTU speeches from 2001 - 2007 so that I may have better used my time watching Project Runway or the Oprah shows I've been recording all year.

You would think that being anywhere near George W. Bush is an icky place to be, but don't tell that to hometown Reps. Al Green and Sheila Jackson Lee or to Rep. Loretta Sanchez of California. What's the big freaking deal about shaking 43's hand on TV? Even Laredoan Henry Cuellar figured out that planting a smooch on the Prez - or letting him squeeze your squishy, puffy cheeks - doesn't provide for the best Photo Op in an election year. I didn't see Rep. Cuellar in the reception line tonight greeting Bush as he entered the House chamber, but I saw Sheila & Al and I guess that's the point.

I'm very glad that my congressman doesn't seek the spotlight and prefers to elevate his profile legislatively by providing for the people of his district. He also offered his own SOTU response that could only be viewed if you're a NASA scientist and pretty good at positioning satellite dishes and beaming lasers into outer space. I'm looking for the transcript and will update this post if and when I find it.

On another SOTU note, congratulations to Texas Senator Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio for her outstanding national role in delivering the Democratic response en espanol. Senator Van de Putte is the immediate past president of the National Conference of State Legislators and will serve as Co-Chair of the Democratic National Convention in Denver this summer.

Update: Statement from Congressman Gene Green, TX-29

WASHINGTON, DC – President Bush’s State of the Union address was nowhere near a home run, and I don’t know if it would be a single. He didn’t bring any new ideas to the table with Congress, instead suggesting policies that have been talked about for decades but never worked. We need more than medical savings accounts and minor tax deductions to remedy America’s ills.

Surprisingly, the President virtually ignored the economy, devoting only a couple of paragraphs to it. The economy may not be a sexy subject, but we need to get ahead of a potential downturn before it’s too late. We are capable of walking and chewing at the same time – while accomplishing our mission in Iraq, we have to make sure we have a growing economy, too. Managing meaty domestic policy is the hard part of government but the consequences for ignoring it are serious.

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