Pharyngula

SOTU prognostications

Well, Kevin Drum’s prediction about the State of the Union address is a bit vague and general:

Bush’s theme may well be that he’s right and his critics are wrong; and his vision may well be of a year of partisan trench warfare with congressional Democrats.

But Chris Mooney gets specific:

A while back I blogged about an idea floated by Morton Kondracke: That George W. Bush should try to become the “science” president by emphasizing, in his State of the Union speech, themes of global scientific competitiveness and the need to ensure that the good old USA is leading the pack. Well, it now seems official: According to the Boston Globe, in his speech tonight Bush plans to highlight Norman Augustine, a former Lockheed Martin CEO who “last year led a congressionally mandated National Academies team that issued a report warning that America is ‘on a losing path’ in the global marketplace.” Why are we falling behind? If you believe the NAS, it’s because of inadequate scientific and mathematical training for our high school students, not enough funding of basic scientific research, etc etc.

I won’t be watching it—I have a Cafe Scientifique to attend tonight, and if I want to watch an evil buffoon on TV, I have some Blackadder DVDs—but if Bush tries to claim he’s going to be the Science President, I’m going to laugh and remind everyone that Bush endorses Intelligent Design creationism. I’m also going to remember that he called himself the Education President, and what we got from that was an unfunded demand that everyone teach to the test.

Comments

  1. #1 coturnix
    January 31, 2006

    I will be at home, perfectly free to watch, but I don’t think I’ll be able to make myself turn on the TV. I’ll get the scoop on SOTU on blogs – good enough for me.

    Science President? Education President? Wartiem President? Compassionate Conservative? Bwahahahahaha!

  2. #2 coturnix
    January 31, 2006

    BTW, I like Mustang Bobby’s prognostications.

  3. #3 mark
    January 31, 2006

    Bush may claim to be the Science President, but no doubt he would insist that we analyze that thought critically and consider both sides of the question.

  4. #5 Seth Gordon
    January 31, 2006

    Ah, but you see, Bush is likely to set himself up as the Science President because he’s a total nincompoop on scientific issues. Like “compassionate conservative”, “saving Social Security”, and “Medicare prescription-drug benefit”, right-wing Republicans pay tribute to the popularity of Democratic ideas by how they name their policy initiatives, and then pay tribute to their corporate backers with the actual contents.

  5. #6 Duane
    January 31, 2006

    There’s an old marketing adage, “If you can’t fix it, feature it.” In this case, the saying might be better formulated, “If you refuse to fix it, feature it.” My guess is that this is an attempt to provide cover from scientists and others, like Chris Mooney, who know what is going on.

  6. #7 Will McKenna
    January 31, 2006

    Is there any way to fast forward to the 2009 SOTU?

  7. #8 Bayesian Bouffant, FCD
    January 31, 2006

    I’m sure whatever Bush talks about tonight, it will bring hte nation together, because he is a uniter, not a divider…

    He’s going to mention various energy-related things. Someone take notes, and tally up how many of them can possibly be implemented before the end of his second term. Meanwhile, oil compnay profits are at record levels.

  8. #9 kyle
    January 31, 2006

    New program:
    Faith-Based Science education.

    Or maybe they’ll do it through tax breaks:
    Tax breaks to Exon for R&D.

  9. #10 Skeptyk
    January 31, 2006

    No, I will not watch the imperial frat boy tonight.

    On the 28th he said: “My job is not only Commander-In-Chief but educator-in-chief.” !gack! We are SO in a handbasket without a paddle.

    I cannot bear to watch the SOTU, but I will not escape it unless I hide under headphones, because my beloved plans to watch it on CSPAN but with the audio from a couple of web commentaries, old new york lefties and old europe youngsters.

    Maybe we should do t-shots: Whenever Bush says “terror” take a drink and see if you can still stand and salute at his final bendiction.

  10. #11 Wil Nusser
    February 1, 2006

    Maybe we should do t-shots: Whenever Bush says “terror” take a drink and see if you can still stand and salute at his final bendiction.

    If you tried this, I hope you didn’t have to drive – the words “terror” and “terrorist” were said 27 times during Bush’s 51 minute speech.

    The word “economy” or “economic” was spoken 14 times.

    The word “energy” was only said 4 times.

    The word “education” was uttered once.

    “Science” was left out in the cold.

  11. #12 Wil Nusser
    February 2, 2006

    “Science” was left out in the cold.

    Oops, I made an error in the above comment… these figures are from the 2005 SOTU… 2006 figures are not incredibly inconsistent, though:

    economy/economic: 23
    terror/terrorist/terrorism: 20
    Iraq/Iraqi: 16
    child/children: 10
    energy: 8
    military: 8
    science/sciences: 7
    educate/education: 3
    environment: 1

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