September 03, 2004

I thought it was great

I thought the President did a great job last night. He made a forceful case for a more interventionist Wilsonian foreign policy, he saluted the achievements of the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Good delivery, good speech. I didn't agree with everything in it. He is not a small government guy. Never was. Never will be. But he does tie his spending to reform (I haven't seen the details for these seven million homes yet). But he is going to help the poor afford healthcare, not nationalize it. His educational spending has been tied to reform, although the legislators have eviscerated that part of it.

His reference to the FMA was vague and forceful in that way that only politicians can be. He will defend marriage from activist judges. Hey, I got no problem with that -- defend us all from activist judges.

In short, I'm on the team. There's a clear choice and I can easily tolerate my differences with the President. He is a million times better friend to liberty than Senator Kerry.

Of course, he didn't need to win my vote last night. He had it. But I thought it was an excellent speech. I'd happily have any undecideds watch it and think "that's what he stands for; that's why jk is supporting him."

Posted by jk at September 3, 2004 08:49 AM

Grace note: I really liked the short response to his personal critics. You see a "swagger," we call that a walk in Texas. If I'm too blunt, it might come from that grey haired lady up there.

Just right.

Posted by: jk at September 3, 2004 10:00 AM

When W said, "...unborn child" I screamed, "What are you doing!?" But that was all he had to say on the subject. "Because a caring society will value its weakest members, we must make a place for the unborn child." OK. I can write this off as lip service. Not that the President doesn't really believe it, but that he understands abortion can never again be forbidden by law. (If you think the proliferation of illegal gay marriages was bad, wait until you see the civil disobedient version of abortion rights!)

Those who are single-issue abortion voters should take heed: Abortion will never again be illegal in America (because, among other reasons, it can be justified on grounds of individual medical rights), but higher taxes and the French/Spanish/Russian approach to fighting terrorism are not just possible but PROMISED by a Kerry administration.

Posted by: johngalt at September 3, 2004 11:22 AM

I responded to W's comments about the unborn with either an "amen" or a "hell yeah!", as the two are frequently interchangeable. W's comments were not only correct morally, they were politically expedient. 8 million members of the much derided Christian Right stayed home in 2000; if they stay home in 2004 it is very possible that Senator Spitball will become President Spitball.

Posted by: sugarchuck at September 5, 2004 06:07 AM

I hope your analysis that it will produce more Bush votes than it kills is correct. Ever since my, then 56 year old, mother voted for Clinton on the single issue that Dole was anti-abortion I've been convinced that this was the single issue keeping the GOP from landslide victories every cycle.

It does seem that the war on terror has shown the ideological divide runs deeper and more evenly split than I had once believed.

Have we had the abortion debate yet on the blog? I can't remember.

Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2004 07:00 AM

We have flirted around the edges of abortion debate but I do not remember taking it head on.

Electorally, I think I have to go with Sugarchuck on this (aww, you guitar players always stick together!) Your Mom went democratic over it, yes; raised in a Catholic community, I know a few New-Dealer, yellow dog Democrat moms, who voted GOP. It's a trade that is at least even.

Johngalt: I am astonished that you did not mention seven million affordable homes, nor a Federal health care center in every county, nor more centralization and Federal spending on education. These all went right by, yet you were perturbed by this "bone" to the social conservatives. Just for politics?

Posted by: jk at September 6, 2004 10:30 AM

We tried extremely hard to give the benefit of the doubt. When we heard him mention initiatives that couldn't help but bloat the budget we yelled, "Spending alert!" Anything that had the slightest chance of being limited to a reform and reorganization of existing spending I said, "Not necessarily."

Hey, if liberals can ignore both reality and incontrovertable evidence I can at least ignore the probability of what happens to spending when congress gets involved!

Posted by: johngalt at September 6, 2004 10:05 PM

Wait until you see the civil disobedient version of abortion rights? Uh, illegal abortions were performed for years before Roe v. Wade and the results were generally not good. My parents, longtime Republicans, have also voted Democrat based at least partially on this issue, but I think JohnGalt and JK have voiced quite well that the GOP is not monolithic on this issue. Pro-choice Republicans share the credit for keeping abortion legal.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at September 7, 2004 10:06 AM

You are correct about pre-Roe abortions, but with the change in attitude about defiance of the government and the fact that abortion had been legal once before, I imagine we'd have back alley abortions performed on TELEVISION this time around. Talk about 'Reality TV.'

Posted by: johngalt at September 7, 2004 12:14 PM
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