The President has spoken. I watched the State of the Union address tonight, and thought Pres. Bush did a fantastic job. He artfully acknowledged Nancy Pelosi (though of course by doing so committed a sexist act...would he have specially recognized her if she were a man???) who sat behind him distractingly licking, sucking in and otherwise rearranging her lips. He grappled head-on with the Iraq issue, and did so in a way that ultimately got both sides of the aisle on their feet. Even the lip-smacker behind him managed to stand and applaud with poker-faced Dick Cheny nearly every time he rose.
I didn't like Bush's pledge to put even MORE into public education, which should be completely a local affair, and I completely disagree with his insistence on using my tax dollars for African malaria and AIDS programs (let Bill Gates do it) but over all, he confirmed again why I can pray for him every day sincerely--not just as the nation's leader, but because he is a humble servant of our country and God. He's well aware of his poll numbers, but unlike his predecessor in the same position, cares little about his legacy and more about our national security (remember that the first Trade Center attempt was ignored by Clinton). George Bush is a classy guy who "walks the walk" (and I don't just mean Walker...) by treating those around him in private with respect and kindness.
I saw him, briefly, in action this December, receiving, with Laura, hundreds of well-wishers...giving each one a two-handed handshake, personalized words, a response to their comments, and a warm smile as yet another photo was taken. The press--a liberal institution at this moment in history--may have taken to tsk-ing about whether or not Bush will be remembered as the worst president in history, but that isolated Beltway and Manhattan crowd also thinks the New York Times 'Style' section portrays real life.
It may be true that Americans are tired of sending our sons to get in the way of Shiites and Sunnis killing each other off. The Iraq situation at this point looks more like two religious gangs in a turf war where either side winning would be a temporary lull in a permanent grudge-match. And it's true that frustration with this scenario brings all the reaction back to our President. But what ARE the options? To pull out now means ceding that critical nation to the dirtiest fighters--sure to be the most radical Islamists--and thus providing a hatching ground for more potential 911 style perpetrators--or worse.
I'm not particularly political. I'm not especially knowledgeable on these issues. But maybe that's why my perspective matters...it just might represent lots of folks out there who cheered along with the crowds for the President tonight, and know in our heart-of-hearts that, Democratic majority aside, our nation is in good, strong hands for the next two years.
One touching thought for me...what is the "state of the union" but the idea of being united...one nation under God...and in the applause for the soldier, entrepreneur and hero in the stands with Laura Bush, it was clear we are infinitely blessed to BE in a land united by gratitude for our freedoms and our privileges.