Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Our Dear Leader Speaketh

In spite of my better judgment, I just read the transcript from last night's State of the Union address. I am truly baffled, perplexed, completely fucking gobsmacked by the fact that any self-respecting, halfway intelligent person would vote for him in November. I know (and even like!) several Republicans, and even they emailed to say they were cringing last night -- the only thing that got them through the sad incoherent nothingness of the speech (perhaps he's embraced Zen, I wonder) was chanting their fight song: 'War on terror, cha cha cha, foreign terror, choo choo choo . . .' When the biggest selling point of a president is something that most Democrats readily support, albeit in a different, more rhetorically & diplomatically measured form, I really don't see the point of thinking this guy a good buy for your electoral money.

There isn't too much of substance in the speech, and what's there aren't really, in the most technical sense, lies. To use a crass metaphor: I guess it's more a matter of an inmate whispering to you, as his tattoo-scarred cadre of buddies grab your arms, 'I dropped my soap near your feet, can you pick it up for me.' If you don't know the disingenious set up by now, well, you very well will soon. In the case of this administration, it seems, most people who vote for Bush won't realize the effect until after he's gone, where they will then blame whichever Democrat has taken office.

There is, though, a particularly loathsome juxtaposition towards the end. Sets my blood ablaze:

A strong America must also value the institution of marriage. I believe we should respect individuals as we take a principled stand for one of the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization. Congress has already taken a stand on this issue by passing the Defense of Marriage Act, signed in 1996 by President Clinton. That statute protects marriage under federal law as a union of a man and a woman, and declares that one state may not redefine marriage for other states.

Activist judges, however, have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives. On an issue of such great consequence, the people's voice must be heard. If judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people, the only alternative left to the people would be the constitutional process. Our nation must defend the sanctity of marriage. (Applause.)

The outcome of this debate is important -- and so is the way we conduct it. The same moral tradition that defines marriage also teaches that each individual has dignity and value in God's sight. (Applause.)

Every individual has dignity and value in God's sight, just not the right to legalized love and companionship, insurance coverage, tax benefits, et al. Thanks for the dignity and value, God. As always, you come in handy once again.