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Re: Jim Webb's response

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  • Ram Lau
    Webb for President! Ram
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 24, 2007
      Webb for President!


      --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, Greg Cannon <gregcannon1@...>
      > http://www.democrats.org/a/2007/01/the_democratic_16.php
      > Below is the text of the Democratic Response to the
      > State of the Union address, as prepared for delivery.
      > Good evening.
      > I'm Senator Jim Webb, from Virginia, where this
      > year we will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the
      > settlement of Jamestown – an event that marked the
      > first step in the long journey that has made us the
      > greatest and most prosperous nation on earth.
      > It would not be possible in this short amount of
      > time to actually rebut the President's message, nor
      > would it be useful. Let me simply say that we in the
      > Democratic Party hope that this administration is
      > serious about improving education and healthcare for
      > all Americans, and addressing such domestic priorities
      > as restoring the vitality of New Orleans.
      > Further, this is the seventh time the President
      > has mentioned energy independence in his state of the
      > union message, but for the first time this exchange is
      > taking place in a Congress led by the Democratic
      > Party. We are looking for affirmative solutions that
      > will strengthen our nation by freeing us from our
      > dependence on foreign oil, and spurring a wave of
      > entrepreneurial growth in the form of alternate energy
      > programs. We look forward to working with the
      > President and his party to bring about these changes.
      > There are two areas where our respective parties
      > have largely stood in contradiction, and I want to
      > take a few minutes to address them tonight. The first
      > relates to how we see the health of our economy – how
      > we measure it, and how we ensure that its benefits are
      > properly shared among all Americans. The second
      > regards our foreign policy – how we might bring the
      > war in Iraq to a proper conclusion that will also
      > allow us to continue to fight the war against
      > international terrorism, and to address other
      > strategic concerns that our country faces around the
      > world.
      > When one looks at the health of our economy, it's
      > almost as if we are living in two different countries.
      > Some say that things have never been better. The stock
      > market is at an all-time high, and so are corporate
      > profits. But these benefits are not being fairly
      > shared. When I graduated from college, the average
      > corporate CEO made 20 times what the average worker
      > did; today, it's nearly 400 times. In other words, it
      > takes the average worker more than a year to make the
      > money that his or her boss makes in one day.
      > Wages and salaries for our workers are at all-time
      > lows as a percentage of national wealth, even though
      > the productivity of American workers is the highest in
      > the world. Medical costs have skyrocketed. College
      > tuition rates are off the charts. Our manufacturing
      > base is being dismantled and sent overseas. Good
      > American jobs are being sent along with them.
      > In short, the middle class of this country, our
      > historic backbone and our best hope for a strong
      > society in the future, is losing its place at the
      > table. Our workers know this, through painful
      > experience. Our white-collar professionals are
      > beginning to understand it, as their jobs start
      > disappearing also. And they expect, rightly, that in
      > this age of globalization, their government has a duty
      > to insist that their concerns be dealt with fairly in
      > the international marketplace.
      > In the early days of our republic, President
      > Andrew Jackson established an important principle of
      > American-style democracy – that we should measure the
      > health of our society not at its apex, but at its
      > base. Not with the numbers that come out of Wall
      > Street, but with the living conditions that exist on
      > Main Street. We must recapture that spirit today.
      > And under the leadership of the new Democratic
      > Congress, we are on our way to doing so. The House
      > just passed a minimum wage increase, the first in ten
      > years, and the Senate will soon follow. We've
      > introduced a broad legislative package designed to
      > regain the trust of the American people. We've
      > established a tone of cooperation and consensus that
      > extends beyond party lines. We're working to get the
      > right things done, for the right people and for the
      > right reasons.
      > With respect to foreign policy, this country has
      > patiently endured a mismanaged war for nearly four
      > years. Many, including myself, warned even before the
      > war began that it was unnecessary, that it would take
      > our energy and attention away from the larger war
      > against terrorism, and that invading and occupying
      > Iraq would leave us strategically vulnerable in the
      > most violent and turbulent corner of the world.
      > I want to share with all of you a picture that I
      > have carried with me for more than 50 years. This is
      > my father, when he was a young Air Force captain,
      > flying cargo planes during the Berlin Airlift. He sent
      > us the picture from Germany, as we waited for him,
      > back here at home. When I was a small boy, I used to
      > take the picture to bed with me every night, because
      > for more than three years my father was deployed,
      > unable to live with us full-time, serving overseas or
      > in bases where there was no family housing. I still
      > keep it, to remind me of the sacrifices that my mother
      > and others had to make, over and over again, as my
      > father gladly served our country. I was proud to
      > follow in his footsteps, serving as a Marine in
      > Vietnam. My brother did as well, serving as a Marine
      > helicopter pilot. My son has joined the tradition, now
      > serving as an infantry Marine in Iraq.
      > 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.
      > The President took us into this war recklessly. He
      > disregarded warnings from the national security
      > adviser during the first Gulf War, the chief of staff
      > of the army, two former commanding generals of the
      > Central Command, whose jurisdiction includes Iraq, the
      > director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
      > and many, many others with great integrity and long
      > experience in national security affairs. We are now,
      > as a nation, held hostage to the predictable – and
      > predicted – disarray that has followed.
      > The war's costs to our nation have been
      > staggering.
      > Financially.
      > The damage to our reputation around the world.
      > The lost opportunities to defeat the forces of
      > international terrorism.
      > And especially the precious blood of our citizens
      > who have stepped forward to serve.
      > The majority of the nation no longer supports the
      > way this war is being fought; nor does the majority of
      > our military. We need a new direction. Not one step
      > back from the war against international terrorism. Not
      > a precipitous withdrawal that ignores the possibility
      > of further chaos. But an immediate shift toward strong
      > regionally-based diplomacy, a policy that takes our
      > soldiers off the streets of Iraq's cities, and a
      > formula that will in short order allow our combat
      > forces to leave Iraq.
      > On both of these vital issues, our economy and our
      > national security, it falls upon those of us in
      > elected office to take action.
      > Regarding the economic imbalance in our country, I
      > am reminded of the situation President Theodore
      > Roosevelt faced in the early days of the 20th century.
      > America was then, as now, drifting apart along class
      > lines. The so-called robber barons were
      > unapologetically raking in a huge percentage of the
      > national wealth. The dispossessed workers at the
      > bottom were threatening revolt.
      > Roosevelt spoke strongly against these divisions.
      > He told his fellow Republicans that they must set
      > themselves "as resolutely against improper corporate
      > influence on the one hand as against demagogy and mob
      > rule on the other." And he did something about it.
      > As I look at Iraq, I recall the words of former
      > general and soon-to-be President Dwight Eisenhower
      > during the dark days of the Korean War, which had
      > fallen into a bloody stalemate. "When comes the end?"
      > asked the General who had commanded our forces in
      > Europe during World War Two. And as soon as he became
      > President, he brought the Korean War to an end.
      > These Presidents took the right kind of action,
      > for the benefit of the American people and for the
      > health of our relations around the world. Tonight we
      > are calling on this President to take similar action,
      > in both areas. If he does, we will join him. If he
      > does not, we will be showing him the way.
      > Thank you for listening. And God bless America.
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