Webb on SOTU: We owe them loyalty, we owe them sound judgment

I must be hon­est and admit that I’ve always found Pres­i­dent Bush’s State of the Union speech­es unbear­able. The dis­tor­tions and half-truths are infu­ri­at­ing and the unearned con­fi­dence of a draft-dodging rich kid turned failed mil­i­tary adven­tur­er just sends my blood pres­sure through the roof. I wish I could be detached enough to lis­ten at least to the art of fine speech-writing but the mes­sage gets in the way.

Bet­ter then to lis­ten to the Demo­c­ra­t­ic response, giv­en by Sen­a­tor James Web. The tran­script is over on the NYTimes and the video is over on YouTube. Here’s a taste.

Like so many oth­er Amer­i­cans, today and through­out our his­to­ry, we serve and have served, not for polit­i­cal rea­sons, but because we love our coun­try. On the polit­i­cal issues ­ those mat­ters of war and peace, and in some cas­es of life and death ­ we trust­ed the judg­ment of our nation­al lead­ers. We hoped that they would be right, that they would mea­sure with accu­ra­cy the val­ue of our lives against the enor­mi­ty of the nation­al inter­est that might call upon us to go into harm’s way. We owed them our loy­al­ty, as Amer­i­cans, and we gave it. But they owed us ­ sound judg­ment, clear think­ing, con­cern for our wel­fare, a guar­an­tee that the threat to our coun­try was equal to the price we might be called upon to pay in defend­ing it.

Worth a look: Josh Mar­shall over at Talk​ing​PointsMemo​.com had the neat idea to set up a YouTube group for peo­ple to give their own video respons­es to the State of the Union.