In his last State of the Union Address, President Bush started to close the door on his time in office. The speech touched on the main issues of his tenure, summarizing actual and would-be accomplishments. That he offered no new bold initiatives for his final eleven months is a blessing. After all he has brought about (No, we are not better off than we were three or seven years ago, to put it in Reaganite terms.), America doesn’t need any more bright ideas from its leader. All we can ask is that President Bush not further muck things up before he gracefully accepts his place in the annals of history alongside Millard Fillmore and Herbert Hoover.
The Democratic response to the address was given by Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, and it was disturbing. In an election year in which the Democrats have a chance to gain the Presidency and add to their majority on Capitol Hill, Governor Sebelius spoke with all the zeal and passion of a drug tester at a Valium factory. To paraphrase: “We are all Americans. Let’s hold hands. All will be well.” The Hangover was waiting for the Governor to promise us two S’mores in every pot.
Governor Sebelius did manage to invoke the term “heartland” three times into her short speech. Perhaps if she had challenged those nice “folks” in the red-state heartland to examine issues and candidates with critical thought, they might be able to help “chart a new course” for America. Sitting around the campfire singing “My Country ’tis of Thee” is not going to get it done.