SOTU hopes

As the President prepares to deliver his State of the Union address tomorrow, I have two major hopes for his speech:

1) That he will provide at least one example of a meaningful step America will take to move our nondemocratic allies like Egypt, Uzbekistan, and Saudi Arabia towards democracy and away from the tyranny that the President himself said was a threat by its very existence. Alternatively, he could announce that the United States will support the long held and overwhelming desire of the Iraqi Kurds for full independence. Either move would convince the world that we truly support liberty and democracy even when they conflict with our interests.

2) That he will announce some gesture to indicate that he is honestly willing to listen and work with his critics. Not the “Here's what I'm doing – be with me or against me�, but real dialog and compromise when necessary. Since he expects the Shia and Kurds of Iraq to work and compromise with the Sunnis who butchered them in the tens of thousands, surely the President and his party can offer meaningful cooperation to Democrats and others who may share their goals (a safer country, taking care of the most needy), but have different ideas to get there.

Comments

Okay

1. Elections in Iraq puts real and serious pressure on all those countries you mentioned and then some. And while I'm a fan of the Kurds, letting them secede from Iraq I think would be a disaster.

2. Bush spent a lot of time at the beginning of his first term reaching across the aisle, to Ted Kennedy specifically, much to the chagrin of us Republicans. Teddy's horrid speech last week shows where that got him.

Bush got a heavy mandate in November and the Iraq election was a pretty large success as well. Where's you're willingness to listen?

Howard Dean Quote

How do you reach out to a party that is going to elect Howard Dean as the new DNC Chairman. This is the same Howard Dean who is quoted last week as saying, " I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for."

Howard Dean, speaking at a DNC Forum, Jan. 29, 2005. This was reported in the NY Daily News.

Re:Howard Dean Quote

Congratulations on being the first Anonymous Patron to make a comment on my journal!The short answer is that you find any existing areas of agreement. Pass legislation based on those areas. Next work on issues where your disagreements are relatively minor and do not threaten your party's base. Listen to each other, test each other's facts, and either come to a compromise or agree to drop the issue.I can't say this often enough -- if the Republicans and Democrats can't work together, despite mutual suspicion in the peaceful environment of the United States; then we have NO BUSINESS WHATSOEVER expecting the ethic/religious/tribal groups in Iraq to work together. We're not divided by death, destruction, and decades of dictatorship. They are.

Re:Okay

Let's take your last point first."Where's you're willingness to listen?"You've read my journal for a year and you don't know? I've complimented the President in this journal, I've defended him elsewhere on LISNews on several issues, including the false charge that public monies were being spent on inaugural parties.I've also denounced Democrats in general and Kerry in particular on numerous occaisions in this journal. I base my opinions on people's IDEAS and ACTIONS, not their political party.I believe that I'm far more open to listening to the President than you are to listening to anyone outside the Republican Party. If you've got contrary examples show me. Until then, stop confusing me with Terry McAuliffe."Elections in Iraq puts real and serious pressure on all those countries you mentioned and more"They don't seem to feel any in their public statements and why should they? For decades under both parties our message has been "Work with us and what you do to your people is your business, aside from the occiasional verbal protest." If you've seen something that suggest our repressive allies are feeling the heat, I'm listening."And while I'm a fan of the Kurds, letting them secede from Iraq I think would be a disaster."So much for "Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way. ". If freedom, liberty, and self-determination were our REAL goals, for the world, we wouldn't hesitate to support Kurdish independence with military force. HOW? Just withdraw all our Iraq forces into Iraqi Kurdistan. I guarantee they'd REALLY welcome us with flowers."Bush got a heavy mandate in November and the Iraq election was a pretty large success as well."Bush did get some kind of mandate in November. Was it for Iraq, Homeland Security, Anti-Abortion, Anti-Gay Marriage? Who really knows? Plus his margin of victory was small. This entitles him to a leading voice in policy conversation, but doesn't relieve him of the responsibility of listening to the 49% of Americans who did not vote for him. You elected him, but he is the President of all the people.About Iraq - isn't it too early to declare the ELECTION a success? The voting surely was a sucess. It was far less violent than anyone expected. The President deserves a lot of credit for sticking with the January 30th date. I don't think any useful purpose would have been served by delay.Voting was done relatively peacefully over the whole country. This isn't the end of "The Election" there are still steps left undone before we can say whether this election was successful:1) The vote needs to be fully counted.2) Any electoral challenges have to be dealt with in a fair and transparent way.If these are met, then yes, the election was successful. But then the truly hard work begins. Can the Shia, Sunni and Kurds overcome decades of distrust, hatred and mass murder to form a single state? Given our failure to work together in Washington where no such history exists, I have my doubts -- hence my support either for outright Kurdish independence or an extremely loose federal system like Switzerland. Still, I pray for the Iraqis most days and wish them well.

re: Where's you're willingness to listen?

Re: Where's you're willingness to listen?

9-11

rules changed

Re:Okay

I'm not confusing you with Terry McAuliffe but when you speak in favor of the President its because you already agree with him, not because you've changed your mind on something you disagreed with him about. At this point in time Iraq is a success and regardless of what other Arab leaders are saying, their people are seeing something they'd like to have. We did the right thing going in. Do you agree? And are you ready for Iran to be next?

No, I don't think he has a responsiblity to listen to the 49% or the 51% for that matter. He has to stand by his beliefs first but he can negotiate when necessary working from what he says. I strongly disagree with him on immigration and would certainly fight against him on it. Hopefully he can be 'negotiated' more in my direction. If it happens it won't be because he changed his beliefs but because he felt it was the option most likely to succeed.

As far as the Kurds go, they are as free as the Texans who are now Americans and all the Southern states that tried to succeed. Having your own border isn't the equivalent of freedom.

Absolutely the election was a success. They voted under threat of death and they did so in large numbers. That experience will carry them a long way.

Re: Where's you're willingness to listen?

Outstanding article! Thanks! I've saved it for future reference.

9/11

"9-11rules changed"Changed. Not eliminated. Not a blank check for preventive war.One thing hasn't changed since 9/11. We still have an obsession with countries not working with al-Qaeda (Iraq, Iran, Syria), and continue praising countries (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt) whose societies (and in some cases parts of gov't) provide al-Qaeda with ideology, foot soldiers, money and possibly weapons.

Re:9/11

Did you listen to the speech last night? And yes, if 9/11 was anything it was a blank check for preventive war.

Re: Where's you're willingness to listen?

Oh I see.Hmmmmm, Lets play a guessing game! How many of the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqi? Can you guess?
  Don't worry, its kinda hard ;)

Was it?1. 15 Saudis, 4 Iraqis.2. 14 Iraqis, 3 Saudis, 2 Yemenis.3. 15 Saudis, 1 Egyptian, 1 Lebanese, 2 from union of Arab Emirates.4. 14 Iranians, 2 Afghans, 2 Lebanese, 1 Iraqi.

If you guessed #3. You're right!None of the hijackers were Iraqi!So tell me again, why does 9/11 have *anything* to do with our invasion?Go peddle your flag-draped hypocrisy elsewhere

Read his speech

"Did you listen to the speech last night?"I read the State of the Union speech, as the Founding Fathers intended.You can read my comments in journal entry "SOTU Reaction". It included my points of agreement before my points of disagreement.Do you agree on anything with people outside your party?

re: Do you agree on anything?

(Blake doing an impression of GregS*)There's another party?That's like asking the Borg if they wanted to come over to watch the superbowl!

asking the Borg

That reminds me of how happy I am that Enterprise was cancelled! Never could take that show with its paternalistic Vulcans. IMO it was a cheap effort to cash in on the ST tradition. I'd rather watch Voyager, which means a lot coming from me!A friend has lent me the DVD of the NEW Battlestar Galatica mini-series, so I may have nicer things to say about it once I see it from the beginning.

Re:Read his speech

"I read the State of the Union speech, as the Founding Fathers intended."

Well now that's a snobby answer. You should have watched, you missed the hug.

"Do you agree on anything with people outside your party?"

I think Zell and Leiberman are stand-up guys, Tony Blair is the bravest politician on the planet. I heard good things from Moynihan (RIP), I believe he coined the phrases "defining deviancy down" and "benign neglect" (the 2nd in reference to race).

Re: Do you agree on anything?

You filter ascii art?

xP''''''''''

Re:Read his speech

"Well now that's a snobby answer. You should have watched, you missed the hug."If it was good enough for Jefferson and Lincoln to send a SOTU letter for Congress to read, it's good enough for me."I think Zell and Leiberman are stand-up guys, Tony Blair is the bravest politician on the planet. I heard good things from Moynihan (RIP), I believe he coined the phrases "defining deviancy down" and "benign neglect" (the 2nd in reference to race)."My question, asked in frustration, is withdrawn.I like Moynihan myself and must agree that Tony Blair shows political courage for his stands. Although I do have to wonder how democratic it is for a leader to take his nation into a non-defensive war when a majority of his people opposed it. They opposed it before the invasion, I think support for the war tipped briefly in into the 50s in the first few months after and then slid further into strong opposition.

Re:Read his speech

"My question, asked in frustration, is withdrawn."

I don't think you get it. We both like Moynihan because of things that agreed with us. Zell is more Republican than some Republicans and Lieberman more of a hawk. This whole idea of reaching out is just another way of saying "come sit down so I can talk you into my way of thinking."

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