Comment thread: The President’s State of the Union address and the Dem response to it

Drudge has ‘exclusive’ copies of both tonight’s SOTU speech and Senator Jim Webb’s upcoming response to it. The President will be on to give the speech in just a few mins.

I’m going downstairs to watch it and I must say I feel slightly nauseous at the thought of potential Dem childish antics tonight during the SOTU, but maybe they’ll be on their best behavior since they’ll be on national TV.

Allah calls SOTUs in general the biggest non-event of the year. For those unable to watch the speech, Captain Ed and Mary Katharine Ham are liveblogging it.

Update: Fox is reporting that Michael J. Fox is in attendance and is either sitting in the First Lady’s box or very close to it.

Update II: Anyone else notice how the Dems didn’t stand up en masse and applaud when the President talked about the pursuit of victory and security in the WOT? Telling, but not exactly ‘revealing’ to most of us.

Bryan Preston:

Still, it’s revealing that the Democrats stand up when the President mentions Darfur–where there are no US troops and won’t be any US troops–but sit on their hands when he mentions Iraq–where there are US troops and where there will be US troops fighting hard for a while to come. What possesses a group of people to take Sudan more seriously than Iraq as a crisis? What possesses a group of people to rank the importance of international crises in an inverse relationship to those crises’ effect on US national security? I already skewered one Democrat over this phenomenon last month, so I’ll just apply that post to the entire Democrat party minus Joe Lieberman. What a bunch of unserious buffoons.

I won’t stick around for Webb’s response, though, again it’s telling who the Democrats picked to deliver it. Webb has a son in Iraq, but he’s a Sheehan on the war, and is most recently famous for being rude to the President. What a guy!

I’m not watching Webb’s ‘response’ either.

Lawmakers with family serving in Iraq

The USA Today published a piece today about members of Congress who have loved ones serving in Iraq:

At least nine members of Congress have sons or daughters who have served in Iraq, according to the U.S. Senate Library. A tenth, Sen. John McCain, faces the possibility that his youngest son, Jimmy, will go there this year.

Like other Americans in similar situations, the lawmakers are torn by powerful emotions. “We worried every day, but that did not take away from our pride,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., whose stepson, Douglas Lehtinen and his wife, Lindsey, are Marine fighter pilots. They ended an eight-month tour of duty in Iraq last year; Lindsey Lehtinen may be headed back there this year, Ros-Lehtinen said.

It’s difficult to determine exactly how many lawmakers have had relatives in Iraq because some don’t want to talk about it. In part it’s because they don’t want to appear to be seeking special treatment; in part it’s out of security concerns. “When Perry was actually in Fallujah, I didn’t want to mention the location to make him some sort of higher-value target,” Akin said.

The number of lawmakers with relatives involved in the war is probably lower than in past conflicts, congressional historians say, in part because there are fewer soldiers involved. Compared with Vietnam, Korea and World War II, “this is a fairly limited conflict,” said Ray Smock, director of the Robert C. Byrd legislative resource center at Shepherd University.

Members of Congress with Iraq veterans in the family are as divided as the rest of the country over the war. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., cited his niece and nephew, who both enlisted in the Marines, in a speech where he expressed misgivings about the president’s plan to send more troops to Iraq. Baucus and Webb are also against it.

Others say they will support the Bush plan — with varying degrees of enthusiasm. “I’m a reluctant supporter,” said Rep. Kenny Hulshof, R-Mo. The congressman’s brother-in-law, Ryan Howell, is an Army major. Howell is back in the USA, and Hulshof said their talks over the family dinner table helped persuade him to back the Bush plan as a “last-ditch effort” to stabilize Iraq.

Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., whose son Sam is scheduled to return to Iraq for his second tour of duty this spring as the head of a Marine scout sniper platoon, is less equivocal. Bond said his son has convinced him that “pulling out early downgrades and denigrates the sacrifices that we’ve made.”

Rep. Charlie Rangel back in December 2006, in response to questions about his intentions to introduce a bill that would advocate reinstating the draft, said:

Rangel, who opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, also said he did not think the United States would have invaded Iraq if the children of members of Congress were sent to fight.

Rangel has repeatedly made such assertions, but is apparently too lazy to find out for himself that at least nine members of Congress (and probably more) DO have loved ones in harms way in Iraq, and the Republicans mentioned in the USA Today piece do support the mission even with that in mind. I’m sure this article will have no effect on his poorly-informed belief that members of Congress who support the war must not have loved ones in harms way anymore than it will stop the BS “chickenhawk” arguments made by people who believe that if you don’t have a loved one serving in combat then you have no business advocating war to begin with.

Hat tip: Jules Crittenden


Last night’s “24”

If you have not yet watched last night’s episode yet, please don’t continue reading this post as it contains spoilers.

Ok, I’ve got a couple of questions for long-time “24” watchers: is this the first time Jack’s father and brother have been in an episode? If not, has his relationship with the two of them been explained? It doesn’t appear to be your typical family relationship, that’s for sure.

Also, do you think the FBI took Whalid into custody specifically for him to be a mole?