Thoughts on Dubya’s Last SOTU

If you’re the type of person who cares to watch the President’s annual State of the Union Address, I think the most important thing to remember is to turn the TV off immediately after the closing “…and God bless America!” I care what the President has to say; I do not care what Katie Couric has to say about what he’s just said. If it were possible to un-care, that would be how I feel about it.

So here we are, with a few of the things that stood out for me. To begin with, it was cool to see a familiar (if not exceedingly tan) face entering behind the President. Having grown up in Boehner’s district, I’ve volunteered for a handful of his events and have met the Minority Leader a time or two. Probably as close to fame as I’ll ever come. I never expected to be so happy to see John Kerry sitting in the audience. And, if I were a Barack Obama supporter (I’m with Derb on this one), the sight of him chumming it up with Ted Kennedy would have me concerned.

My favorite line was probably:

We have other work to do on taxes. Unless Congress acts, most of the tax relief we’ve delivered over the past seven years will be taken away.

Some in Washington argue that letting tax relief expire is not a tax increase.

Try explaining that to 116 million American taxpayers who will see their taxes rise by an average of $1,800. Others have said they would personally be happy to pay higher taxes. I welcome their enthusiasm. I am pleased to report that the IRS accepts both checks and money orders.

I’m glad the President was strong on earmarks, strong on entitlement programs, and strong on tax increases. If his actions through the rest of the year match his words from tonight, this will be a very productive lame duck year. I think he did a good job of highlighting successes and challenges in the Middle East – he’s probably too optimistic, but I guess somebody needs to be. All in all, the speech was strong at the beginning and end, with a little too much “compassionate conservative” mush in the middle.

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