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Sullivan's Reaction to the SOTU
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Andrew Sullivan also found the foreign policy aspects of the President's State of the Union address the better parts, while disliking most of his domestic social commentary. And he made this notable observation as well:

Bill Clinton's State of the Union addresses were often derided as laundry lists of new proposals without any larger, unifying theme. But last night George W. Bush seemed to do him one better (or, rather, worse): A laundry list of past achievements. The tax cuts, No Child Left Behind, the Patriot Act--all of these could reasonably be described as notches in the president's belt. But they're not much as an agenda for the future. Even the speech's high point--the president's aggressive defense of the war against Saddam and the war on terror--was extraordinarily backward-looking. It's not exactly the best strategy for kicking off an election year.

He's right. It was a very backward-looking speech. I hadn't really noticed that aspect of it.

But I had noted this:

On social issues, he shifted to the hard right: abstinence programs rather than contraception; an assault on gay couples and families; and millions of dollars in order to subject children to mandatory drug testing in schools. This is not Reaganism. It isn't Gingrichism. It's Big Government Moral Conservatism: fiscally liberal and socially conservative. It will please the hard right and the base. And it will alienate libertarians and moderates.

Exactly. I had mentioned this to a friend today, that he seemed to really be appealing to the hardcore Right, while I would have expected him to shift to the center going into an election year.

His base is going to vote for him damn near no matter what he does. But people who think like me, but are in swing states where their vote really matters, could be pissed off enough to either stay home or even roll the dice on national security with a Democrat.

Sullivan is right...the speech overall, it's lack of vision and it's push to the Right, was politically dumb.

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