"Schizophrenic"was the word NY Times columnist Frank Rich used to describe the Bush State of the Union message. The first section of the speech, devoted to to domestic issues, continued the administration practice of using rhetoric at odds with its actions to try to put a popular face on policies that favor an elitist few. The latter portion of the speech, which attempted to bolster support for Bush's adventure in Iraq, offered no new evidence, and seemed, as Salon.com suggested in the lead-in to Jake Tapper's piece, designed "to scare the bejesus out of his audience."
Bush did indicate that Secretary of State Colin Powell would present "information and intelligence" about Iraq's weapons program to the UN Security Council. Critics questioned why such information, if available, had not been provided to UN weapons inspectors.
Of the two items Bush cited as achievements, one -- creation of the Department of Homeland Security -- was opposed by his administration until political pressure made that impossible. The other, what he referred to as "historic education reform," was at the time of its enactment labeled by the Boston Globe "an evolutionary move down a path that education has taken for more than a decade." Moreover, civil rights groups have called the funds designated for education in the current administration budget "a sharp retreat" from the funding levels "trumpeted" when the bill was signed.
This article is Part I of The Dubya Report's three-part response to Bush's State of the Union message. See also: