This State of the Union Address
(The Rules of Engagement.)
By Mark Kilmer Posted in The White House — Comments (10) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
The State of the Union. Do you remember this one? In 1986, things were not all wine and roses, and the loss of the crew of The Challenger springs to mind, but we were given this:
I have come to review with you the progress of our nation, to speak of unfinished work, and to set our sights on the future. I am pleased to report the state of our Union is stronger than a year ago and growing stronger each day. Tonight we look out on a rising America, firm of heart, united in spirit, powerful in pride and patriotism. America is on the move! But it wasn't long ago that we looked out on a different land: locked factory gates, long gasoline lines, intolerable prices, and interest rates turning the greatest country on Earth into a land of broken dreams. Government growing beyond our consent had become a lumbering giant, slamming shut the gates of opportunity, threatening to crush the very roots of our freedom.
Twenty-one years later, by all accounts, this Republican President will promise us a government growing beyond our consent and becoming a lumbering giant, slamming gates of opportunity, threatening to crush the very roots of our freedom. Why? Is it Karl Rove who thinks that the President should tell us about his version of socialized medicine? We're at war, Karl. You are not in control.
Abroad, we could lose the only war which matters right now: the war on terror. Iraq is a part of that war, in manifold ways, and we could lose that and all that connects with it. Tell me about this, Mr. President. Be dramatic, not apologetic or seemingly caught in the glare of the enemy's spotlight. What are the stakes?
Domestically, Congress is controlled by those who would spit on President Reagan's grave, who would fashion a lumbering monster which would make both Mary Shelley and Boris Karloff blush. The gates of opportunity would be slammed shut, the very roots of our freedom saturated with the pesticides of power. Tell me about this, Mr. President.
The state of the nation is good. The Democrats and their allies in the media are spreading the message of malaise, like Jimmy Carter except without the actual sick feeling of unease. This one is a broadcast malaise, the product on media conditioning. Is is one with no basis in fact. Tell me about this, Mr. President.
Or don't. It is your Presidency to lose. It will take more than a speech to cause us to win or lose the rest, of course, and tell us about this, Mr. President.
The situation calls for a defiance of the doctrines of "prevailing wisdom" and "known facts." It calls for a no nonsense paradigm, which can begin here. We are the United States, Mr. President. You are the President of the United States. You can change the rules of engagement for our troops in Iraq to let them do their jobs. Change your own rules of engagement, Mr. President, and do yours.
Do you get it? I want a President who can look at the political forces arrayed against him in this country and in the world and with resolution say: "As of now, and for the next two years, I am in control here in the White House." Teddy Kennedy and Chuck Hagel are United States Senators and they should act like what they are, not like what they wish they could be. As important as these ladies and gentlemen are, this President has a war to conduct and a nation to lead through its prosperity and to defend.
Tell us about that, Mr. President. Digging up the second President Roosevelt can only distract. This speech had better be about the state of our nation.