Jan 202004
 
Authors: Jason Kosena

The war on terrorism, the economy, moral values and jobs were on

the agenda Tuesday night for President Bush’s annual State of the

Union address to both houses of Congress.

Up for reelection in November, Bush outlined the accomplishments

and future political plans of his administration during his third

State of the Union address.

An estimated 60 million people nationwide listened to Bush’s

address, according to CNN. This included some students and faculty

here at CSU.

“(The State of the Union) is an opportunity for Bush to do

several things at one time,” said Sandra Davis, an associate

professor in the political science department at CSU.

The State of the Union is a chance for any sitting president to

lay out the policies he feels are important to the United States

and, in an election year, a chance for him to campaign issues to

the American public.

“He is telling us what he thinks is important (in American

policy),” Davis said.

The Constitution requires the president to report to Congress

the state of the union and any measures he feels are important for

consideration.

“(Presidents) choose the areas that they have the most support

for and the areas that he wants to persuade people on,” Davis

said.

Josh Metten, the vice president of the CSU Democrats, an

organization in the process of restructuring, and a member of the

CSU Students for Howard Dean, found many issues about Bush’s speech

troubling.

“We need to see what Bush does, not what he says,” said Metten,

referencing Sen. Edward Kennedy’s remarks to reporters following

the address. “President Bush is asking for way too much in terms of

policy. He wants to make the tax cuts permanent and cut the deficit

in five years, but that will be impossible with all of his

programs.”

Not all CSU students agree with Metten though. Robert Lee, a

senior political science major at CSU and the state vice chairman

of College Republicans, said Bush’s comments on the relative

strength of the economy are important.

“He was especially good when he was talking about how the

economy is rebounding and how the tax cuts are working,” Lee said,

adding that Democrat attacks on Bush are more “nit-picking” than

anything else. “(The Democrats) have no real firepower against this

administration.”

Metten worries the Bush administration does not focus enough on

domestic security and believes there are critical issues that can

be dangerous to Americans being ignored domestically.

“Only 3 percent of all the cargo ships that enter into American

ports every day are being (checked). That is not very much and (is

leaving us vulnerable)” Metten said. “We should be more worried

about that than spying on people’s library records, which is in the

PATRIOT Act.”

Metten also found it interesting that Bush made no mention of

Osama Bin Laden in his speech, despite devoting such a large

portion of his speech to the war on terrorism.

“Osama Bin Laden is the main reason this war on terrorism began

and yet (there is no focus on him by the administration),” Metten

said.

Lee viewed the speech differently.

“I thought it was a pretty good speech all the way through,” Lee

said. “I especially liked when (Bush) spoke about America not

seeking permission to protect itself against the terrorists. Those

and others were very powerful quotes.”

Lee agrees that Bush did not mention Osama Bin Laden in his

address, but said that does not take away from this

administration’s dedication to the war on terrorism.

“Bush may not have mentioned Osama Bin Laden by name, but the

very nature of his speech mentions (him) in spirit,” Lee said. “He

did mention that 2/3 of the Taliban have been captured or killed

since the war began.”

Despite the difference of opinion among students and Americans

to the State of the Union address, staying active in the political

process is important for all, Davis said.

“I encourage all students to go and register, and to vote.

Students are certainly going to be affected by the (political

policies passed) whether they follow them and vote, or not.”

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