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Modicum of Dissent Seen in State of Union Speech

At one point early in Bush's last State of the Union speech, Bush noted that key provisions of the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act are due to expire next year. A noticeable round of applause ensued, exactly where one SHOULDN'T have been, if one was following the script. For a very brief moment, Bush looked shocked.

Of course, he simply continued reading his scriptwriters' remarks and the scripted applause of half of the audience continued as planned.
Yes 20.Jan.2004 20:01


It was a queer moment. Yes when things almost made sence.

That Was HILLARIOUS! 20.Jan.2004 20:05

E. Combatant

I have to give the Dems a bit of credit for that one. Not only did they applaud unexpectedly when Bushco mentioned that PATRIOT Act provisions were due to expire this year, but they similarly applauded when he mentioned that the tax cuts were due to expire, causing the Chimp to struggle to regain his momentum.

Additionally, many of the Democrats sat on their hands for the majority of the speech, Ted Kenedy was shown stroking his jowels, frowning, and shaking his head on multiple occasions. Also, Congressman Charlie Rengal was spotlighted, and I swear he was sound asleep!

Not exactly a geurilla action, but at least they didn't hail the fuhrer like a bunch of automitons, as they have in the recent past.

I saw the applause and something else 20.Jan.2004 21:31


I saw the applause it was the Free Speech Zone of the address. And as if planned the next line assumed it would happen and the apes beat their chest for war. But I saw something else in that room of overfeed people in very expense clothes. I saw no one who didn't belong in prison. I think the difference between a Republican and a Democrat is the length that their sentence should be.

my thinking too 21.Jan.2004 00:40

re: prison

i also kept thinking, "you know, with bush talking about terrorists and thugs and assassins, isn't it convenient that so many of the world's most dangerous are right here in this room?"

i could imagine during some of the handshaking and backslapping in the room before bush read his teleprompters, many of these people might have been better off saying, "see you at the trials!"

Partisan Discretion 21.Jan.2004 11:47

North Portlander

At first I was irritated and appalled at the persistent, sheeplike applause which constantly interrupted the pResident's delivery. But I was heartened by a growing demonstration of critical response. The block sitting in front of the pResident and to his left were obviously Republican officeholders, staff members, spouses and "pawns" such as the Iraqi guest, and military personnel. Those on the floor to the right of the speaker were probably Democrats or bi-partisan guests.

The Republican supporters rose and applauded almost everything. Other members of the audience sometimes stood and applauded and often remain seated. The body language of some, shown on camera, clearly demonstrated their exasperation and disagreement with what the pResident had to say, or the way in which he was couching his wording.

The applause which greeted the statement that the Patriot Act would expire if it were not renewed obviously took the speaker by surprise and he hurried to his next statement about the need for renewal because there would be more terrorist attacks, at which time, the Repub block rose to its feet and applauded. Surreal indeed!

That part of the audience had the capacity to applaud only when the message was appropriate and meaningful while the other half applauded across the Board left me feeling sad and frightened at the same time. Must our elected Republican officials support the pResident at all times, no matter how inaccurate, myopic, or inadequate the content of his message?

Rather than air an official Democratic rebuttal with only two speakers, as seems to be the tradition, I would welcome a brief roundtable rundown of the speech -- point by point -- with a small group of Democratic and bipartisan scholars who are not necessarily Senators or Representatives but could be anything from businesspeople to economists. Such a group would not have to couch their critique in a way that would enable them to work with Republicans in Congress afterwards and they would not present the same target for criticism.

I've already mentioned Mr. Bush's closing impassioned cry for religion in politics in his last three comments, relating to sanctioned same sex unions, mentoring of ex-cons by "members of faith based initiatives" with financial help from the government, or his tribute to God (without actually using the deity's name) as inspiring our every move and being on our side ("continues to bless America"). I find this push to merge the affairs or church and state highly disturbing, given that our country has always maintained a careful separation between the two, while upholding the rights of all kinds of the former. Why is there not more hue and cry about the inappropriate pronouncements . . . particularly by faith based groups which -- considering the tax breaks they receive -- are often in a better position to fund their own outreach programs than struggling non-religiously affiliated community programs trying to help the unemployed, feed the hungry, or aid those with housing, drug or relationship problems?

This SOU speech was a whitewash, designed to kick off Campaign 2004 with barely a nod to the vast number of unemployed and a budget and a financial future, neither of which are as rosy as Mr. Bush would paint them.

PS - Anyone else think that darling little black girl snatched up and cuddled by the pResident on his way down to the podium was a plant? How many other children were in evidence in that audience? I only noticed one other young boy.

remember wellstone 21.Jan.2004 13:47


You would limit your response to seatted appause too if you knew what would happen if you stood up.

Paul Wellstone was an example to all who would oppose the regime.

The fact that Kennedy was shaking his head in disbeleif is HUGE. It's about as radical, in that context, as screaming FUCK YOU to the pres.

To actually do that would be to garentee the death of yourself or your loved ones.

I personally hate the Dems. but I think that there are a few good people in the party. I also think that they are stuck in the Democrats political aparatus and can't really do shit.

What we need is one of the progressives in congress to leave the country, get protection from a foreign governemnt, and then tell the world what he or she thinks about Bush's tyranny.

good idea 21.Jan.2004 13:51


Hey, if you think that there should be a point by point rundown, why don't you organize it? Contact folks for commentary or use the commentary that is coming out today and tomorrow of left and progressive analysis of the speech.

If you make an annotated version, post the website here and at other IMCs and we'll get the word out.

rock on...

... point served 21.Jan.2004 18:44


"What we need is one of the progressives in congress to leave the country, get protection from a foreign governemnt, and then tell the world what he or she thinks about Bush's tyranny. "

The world knows alot about the caplapse of america, but your idea is great. I've been encouraging friends in Europe to organise to seek out americans in their lands and explain what a failure to the human race and what a threat to the world they have become as a people. Make them feel like a neogermans. Not to attack as much as to say go home and clean it up, hold a mirror up to them.