<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: What we didn't hear in Bush's State of the Union address

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

What we didn't hear in Bush's State of the Union address

When George Bush delivered his State of the Union address, he had a big megaphone and the world's attention. He had the opportunity to regain some degree of credibility with the American people - more than half of whom disapprove of his performance as president. But he failed to answer the real questions ordinary Americans have about the state of our union:

• When will we have a new strategy in Iraq that protects American lives? Violence is increasing, not decreasing there and the mismanagement of this war has cost the lives of Americans and billions of dollars in fraud. And when will we secure our ports and chemical and nuclear plants, which remain vulnerable?

• When will the Republican Party put its responsibility to the people before its greed and thirst for power? The Republican culture of corruption in the executive and legislative branches has violated the law and cost taxpayers billions.

• When will President Bush and the Republican Congress wake up to the economic crisis tens of millions of Americans face? Good jobs are leaving this country, and many of the jobs that remain exploit working families by denying them adequate benefits. Millionaires and corporations receive tax breaks while Americans can't afford to save, and the gap between rich and poor continues to widen to levels unseen since the 19th century.

• When will we finally do something for the 46 million Americans who lack health insurance? Many have had their lives ruined financially when the worst happened, and many more no longer seek the care they need because they cannot afford it.
When will we make serious strides towards energy independence? We get a greater percentage of our oil from cartels and dictatorships now than we did in 2000.

• When will he take steps to further ensure retirement security for every American? Growing old with dignity is a right, not a privilege, and dismantling Social Security in favor of private accounts is the wrong direction for our society.

If Bush and the Republicans would bother to answer these questions, the answers would be simple. But they won't answer.

That's because the answer to each and every one is "Never." Never as long as they control our government, never as long as they can execute the same incompetent, dishonest and destructive government without paying a price at the ballot box. The answer will be "never" until we grow the operation and build the infrastructure to beat them.

- Howard Dean


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