Bush says the economy is strong. It is if you're wealthy. Bush says that we will win the mismanaged war. But what does he know?
Webb: 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.
Regarding the economic imbalance in our country, 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.
As I look at Iraq, I recall the words of former general and soon-to-be President Dwight Eisenhower during the dark days of the Korean War, which had fallen into a bloody stalemate. "When comes the end?" asked the general who had commanded our forces in Europe during World War II. And as soon as he became president, he brought the Korean War to an end.
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."
Meanwhile, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi had this to say about the SOTU (among other things):
"Unfortunately, tonight the President demonstrated he has not listened to Americans' single greatest concern: the war in Iraq. The overwhelming majority of Americans, military leaders, and a bipartisan coalition in Congress oppose the President's plan to escalate the war. Democrats, Republicans, and the bipartisan Iraq Study Group have offered the President a plan to end our open-ended commitment to Iraq, transition the U.S. mission, and begin the phased redeployment of American troops. While the President continues to ignore the will of the country, Congress will not ignore this President's failed policy. His plan will receive an up-or-down vote in both the House and the Senate, and we will continue to hold him accountable for changing course in Iraq."
I hope that congress will be paying attention.