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January 21, 2004

Worst. President. Ever.

At least in my lifetime. I'm going to front-load this entry with some odds & ends and then get to President Bush's State of the Union address to wrap things up.

My love for Dan Savage and his column occasionally knows no bounds. Here's an excerpt from today's piece:

Q: Just out of curiosity, are you married yourself? Because if you're not, where do you get off telling married people how married sex should/could be? – Amy K.

A: Maybe you missed the reference to my boyfriend and the Finnish men's swim team in last week's column, Amy K., but I'm a huge homo. Which means, of course, that I can't be married – at least not now, at least not in the U.S. Allowing me to marry my boyfriend would imperil lasting, stable heterosexual marriages, like the one Britney Spears enjoyed for 55 hours earlier this month.

Amen, brother Dan!

Here is a brief news item about the bomb scare that put us on lockdown for several hours yesterday morning. There were about 10 police cars, two news helicopters and sheriff's helicopter circling the area for about an hour, resulting in one of my coworkers asking why "Black Hawk Down" was being filmed behind our building.

And then there's the people who just really suck. Although kudos to the bystanders who tried to get the crazy lady to stop. I think I would have tackled her, myself. I also think that animal cruelty charges should be felonies, not misdemeanors.

So now, let's talk Bush. All you really need to know is that the man talked about steroids in baseball in his STATE OF THE UNION address. The hell?

Anyway, I purposely did not watch the speech as it was broadcast, because I felt like it would piss me off more to hear all the half-truths being told than just to read them the next morning in news stories and transcripts and spot-on editorials (I watched America's Next Top Model on UPN instead). And I was right! Because after Top Model was over I flipped over to NBC to catch the end of the speech, just in time to hear Bush blather on about he will support a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage ... and then I was infected with RAGE!

I'm reading the transcript I linked above, and it's quite entertaining. It fills me with glee - GLEE, I say! - that Democrats gave APPLAUSE when Bush spoke of the Patriot Act's expiration. And this quote just jumped out at me: "For diplomacy to be effective, words must be credible. And no one can now doubt the word of America." By "no one" you mean "everyone," right Mr. President? Seeing as how your main reasons for invading Iraq - the existence of weapons of mass destruction and a verifiable link to Al-Qaeda - have been shown to be fallacies.

And more: "And because you acted to stimulate our economy with tax relief, this economy is strong and growing stronger." Only someone completely out of touch with reality would call the U.S. economy "strong."

I enjoy this dichotomy: "These numbers confirm that the American people are using their money far better than government would have..." Good, I appreciate you being honest about how the government has no idea how to use the money I pay in taxes. But wait! That statement is followed shortly thereafter with: "And we should limit the burden of government on this economy by acting as good stewards of taxpayers' dollars." But you just told me that you're NOT good stewards of my taxpayer dollars!

"Our nation must defend the sanctity of marriage." Especially the 55-hour ones.

This quote elicited my biggest freak-out moment from the end of the speech: "By executive order, I have opened billions of dollars in grant money to competition that includes faith-based charities. Tonight I ask you to codify this into law so people of faith can know that the law will never discriminate against them again."

Okay, first - faith-based organizations (FBOs) are LEGALLY ALLOWED to discriminate in hiring based on any number of factors (race, religion, gender) that a public business would be barred from using to deny employment. Second, they can also discriminate against any group of people when it comes to who they choose to provide services for. An FBO gets a contract to provide job training in your county to unemployed workers? They're not legally required to provide it to all eligible workers, unlike most federal service providers; they can limit their service to all heterosexual, married men if they want to.

So the bottom line is that FBOs who want to provide federal services aren't the people that need protection against discrimination - it's the people who need those services that need to be protected.

At the end, Bush related a letter he received from a 10-year-old asking if there was anything she could do to "save our country." Bush seemed heartened by this, but I've got to disagree - if the 10-year-olds think your nation is screwed and needs saving, things must be pretty bad.

But anyway, Bush said there were a few things she could do: "Study hard in school. Listen to your mom and dad." Wouldn't it be a gas if little Ashley had two moms? Or was born out of wedlock? I'm sure, though, that Bush had his people make sure that the kid actually had a mom and a dad who are married heterosexuals.

From the Overg am Smrt files:

HWG: I'm not even gay and that whole "amendment to ban gay marriage" pisses me off
HWG: that's not what the Constitution should be used for
HWG: ever
HWG: to do so is, to me, anti-American
Overgme: oh, I find that laughingly asinine
Overgme: there is just no way to justify it on anything other than a "moral" basis
Overgme: i.e., it's right because it's right
Overgme: 1. there is no institution to "protect"
Overgme: exhibit 1: Britney Spears
Overgme: 2. even if there was an institution to protect, there is nothing about it that is threatened by gays participating in it
Overgme: exhibit 2: Danny and his boyfriend
Overgme: there are two types of people who would want to ban gay marriages
Overgme: 1. assholes who were taught that homosexuality is wrong, and are too fucking stupid to actually think about it . . . in other words, dogmatic nitwits
Overgme: 2. people who think that gay sex is "icky"
Overgme: the first group is the one I'd like to wipe off the face of the earth
Overgme: the second is just stupid, and shouldn't be allowed to vote
HWG: I think that the idea that Bush is having sex is completely icky, but you don't see me pushing for a Constitutional amendment to ban it
Overgme: right
Overgme: that's why the second group is so dumb
Overgme: the thought of a lot of people having sex is icky
Overgme: what's that got to do with marriage?

Posted by Highwaygirl on January 21, 2004 11:48 AM to the category Political Rants

I like this commentary from Tom Shales of the Washington Post -- it's the kind of things that I noticed (hey, he's wearing a red tie, not a blue one!). I just like Shales overall, and he went to college with my journalism professor!

Posted by: Nancy at January 21, 2004 12:32 PM

Whoa. I could have SWORN he had a blue tie on last night. Because I ALWAYS comment on his stupid blue tie. 'Cuz when he wears a red one, it means he's angry. And then WRAUGH WRAUGH WRAUGH, he goes!

And thus endeth my political commentary.

Posted by: Teem at January 21, 2004 05:37 PM

""And because you acted to stimulate our economy with tax relief, this economy is strong and growing stronger." Only someone completely out of touch with reality would call the U.S. economy "strong.""

No...only someone who's too stupid to actually DO THE MATH would characterize our economy as "strong." Wouldn't it be great if Jed Bartlet (Nobel Laureate in Economics) really was the president?

Posted by: Ka Ching at January 21, 2004 07:22 PM
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