03 February 2006

SOTU, part dos

This will be a short one, but I couldn’t let this news go by unmentioned. Remember that little speech Tuesday night wherein President Bush called on America to reduce its oil imports from the Middle East by 75 percent? You heard that number (assuming you stayed awake through SOTU), right?

Well, you apparently heard wrong, at least according to Samuel Bodman. Who’s he? (Disclaimer: I didn’t know either.) He’s the Secretary of Energy, you know, that Cabinet department that’s supposed to be doing things like, say, coming up with a comprehensive energy policy. Remember energy policies? We used to have one of those in the Carter administration…

Anyway, Secretary Bodman said that President Bush's words should not be taken literally. According to a NYT article:

In a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Bodman said the goal of replacing 75 percent of Middle East oil imports to the United States with ethanol and other energy sources by 2025, a headline from the State of the Union address, was "purely an example" of what might be done.

“Purely an example”? Uh huh. One wonders, an example of what? Perhaps an example of yet more empty rhetoric, or Orwellian doublespeak, from an Administration that thinks the American public won’t notice, or can’t be bothered to notice.

So, Mr. President, perhaps you owe the American people a “SOTU part dos”. I propose that President Bush make another prime-time, nationally televised speech, in which he explains to us all just exactly which of the things he said on Tuesday night are meant to be taken at face value, and which, on the other hand, are “purely examples” of ideas that really shouldn’t be taken all that seriously. Because after all, we wouldn’t want to start using the term “flip-flopper”, would we? That’s just so last campaign cycle.

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