A failed State of the Union speech

Bush inadequately addressed the war in Iraq and focused his speech on domestic policy.

After a disastrous year during which his popularity plummeted, George W. Bush set out to impress last Tuesday in his seventh State of the Union address. However, his remarks did little to sway Democrats, an increasing number of Republicans and a country left disillusioned by the man in charge. As a nation, we have been held hostage in an inescapable state of disarray and disaster due to the decisions of Bush and his posse, and by the looks of the speech, this next year won’t be different.

Bush used the majority of his speech to outline domestic concerns in attempt to steer the conversation away from his continued pursuit of an unpopular war. His plans, including attempts to combat climate change and soaring health care costs, effectively address the current wave of public sentiment, but they fail to offer any real solutions. Bush’s proposal to alter the federal tax code to subsidize people in need of health insurance while penalizing those with expensive, employer-provided policies is heavily flawed. His proposed $15,000 income tax deduction for middle-class families would jeopardize both Medicare and Social Security while not providing enough money to purchase real health insurance. Furthermore, employers would be encouraged to bail out of the health care system even faster than they are today.

Most surprising and disappointing, however, was Bush’s failure to adequately discuss the war on Iraq. By only addressing the war for a short period of time at the end of his speech, the president demonstrated he has not listened to Americans’ single greatest concern. With the overwhelming majority of the American people, military leaders and a bipartisan coalition in Congress now in opposition to the war and Bush’s expansion plan, it seems the president has forgotten that he is ultimately responsible to the American people.

His failure to properly address the unpopularity of his plan to increase troops in Iraq has enraged the nation. After last Tuesday, it is very unlikely the American public will embrace Bush in the same exuberant manner as Rep. Michele Bachmann’s lips.