Monday, January 22, 2007

SOTU Tuesday night

Sid Blumenthal gives us some background for viewing Bush's State of the Union (SOTU) address Tuesday evening in State of indifference Salon 01/23/07, concluding:

Bush views his State of the Union speech as another occasion for declaring what he will do regardless of what anyone thinks (with Cheney's approval). His intention is not to report on the state of the Union. It is to express his state of indifference to the Union.
Blumenthal's article also gives a good snapshot of the current position of the two parties and about Bush's reliance on Dark Lord Cheney for guidance. And he reminds us of an important factor in Lyndon Johnson's thinking on the Vietnam War, the fear that "losing Vietnam" would promote a hard-right political backlash in the United States:

"Have you read about Lyndon Johnson in Vietnam? Do you draw any lessons from that?" a reporter from USA Today asked the president in an interview published Monday. In response Bush telescoped the entire tragic history of the Vietnam War and Johnson's agonies into slogans, slurring Johnson's patriotism in order to create a contrast with his own. "Yes, win," he replied. "Win, when you're in a battle for the security ... if it has to do with the security of your country, you win."

Johnson, indeed, worried that if he failed to commit militarily in Vietnam or that if that commitment faltered, he and the Democratic Party would be smeared as soft on communism. He operated in the shadow of fear of the recrudescence of McCarthyism. Bush's casual distortion of history and defaming of Johnson's motives only prove Johnson's political perspicacity about the incorrigible mentality of the right wing, if not his actions. (my emphasis)
Blumenthal also recalls the dramatic difference between Johnson's understanding of the seriousness of war and Bush's detached callousness toward it:

Iraq may bear similarities to Vietnam as a march of folly. But George W. Bush is no Lyndon Johnson, who was fully conscious and anguished at the disaster unfolding. Unlike Johnson, who listened to the counsel of his secretary of defense, ClarkClifford, who urged him to sue for peace, Bush has disdained Clifford's latter-day counterpart, former Secretary of State James A. Baker.

Tags: , , , , ,

No comments: