With Bush talking in last night's State Of The Union about all sorts of car-related issues, we thought we'd take a moment to walk you through what some of the talking heads said about the speech's salient auto-related subjects. Mostly because it's sometimes funny, and well, we were too busy trying to figure out how many drinks "wood chips" gets us to care about silly things like policy analysis and ramifications.
• MSNBC's Hardblogger Tucker Carlson supports bio-fuels because it's time to make the ethanol:
"Bio diesel! Bush said it. And suddenly the Kucinich connection is clear. Kucinich was the only presidential candidate in the 2004 primaries whose campaign bus was powered by bio diesel. It was an old school bus, as I remember. I saw it putt by in Manchester during the New Hampshire primary one day. Its exhaust smelled like Dunkin' Donuts. For that reason alone, I support bio diesel...That's a euphemism for ethanol, the corn-based gasoline so dear to the corporate farmers of the Midwest. When Bush announced that the federal government will encourage the use of (read: provide more subsidies for) ethanol, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa looked like he'd hit the lotto. Which he had."
""What we're not doing," a senior White House official told The Detroit News before the president's speech, "is trying to impose new mandates that will cripple Detroit. If you want a death sentence for American auto companies, get them in a bind where they can't sell their most popular cars." True enough...
...by themselves, the administration's proposals aren't a kind of corporate death sentence any more than the competing plans by Pelosi Dems and Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, to hold hearings on climate change and energy independence."
• As a counterpoint to Danny's White House man-love, the editors over at the Freep appear to swallow the Pelosi points hook, line and whatever. It seems they agree with the direction of Bush's speech, but believe domestic automakers need to come to the table to address climate change:
"this combination of agricultural carrots and a single-industry stick will take America only so far. The country needs innovative breakthroughs across the energy spectrum, and not just to reduce dependence on foreign oil. It may make more sense for the auto industry to come to the table on global warming discussions, as an increasing number of big firms have. That could give automakers more flexible options to drive efficiency rather than dickering over specific mileage standards — and lead to innovations that have yet to be conceived."
• I wanted to include comments from the conservative bloggers over at Red State — but they aren't talking at all about energy independence, fuel economy or bio-fuels. I wonder if this means Bush's base doesn't view this as a big deal. But, we were able to find one line over at Instapundit — it appears Glenn's in agreement with Tucker Carlson:
"Charles Grassley looks overjoyed at "renewable fuels." Pork marinated in ethanol?"
• The conserva-sphere wasn't the only place where bliss reigned this morning, The Washington Times decided to ignore the energy-related comments from the speech last night, and instead is focusing it's energies on going after the Democratic energy bill.
• The liberal bloggers on the other hand, are having a field day. For example, Bob Cesca over at The Huffington Post thinks Cheney had trouble stifling a laugh while Bush was talking about reducing gas consumption by 2017:
"Moving on. I had a really difficult time believing the president's plan to reduce gas consumption by 2017 with Vice President Hydrocarbon performing a spit-take in the background. I even turned the volume up really loud to see if I could hear his Penguin-ish, "Wah! Wahwahwah! That's rich." In case you missed it, when the president introduced this plan, the vice president, who was up to that moment practically asleep, almost laughed out loud. Big crooked grin across his face. Why? Because this is the same administration that helped to pull electric cars off the road. This is the administration that's subsidizing the oil industry with our money. This is a group of politicians who are allowing oil companies to drill on public land — for free. The Iraq invasion and occupation has been almost entirely about oil profits. If the vice president's LOL was any indication, there's no chance in hell they really intend to push this."
• Treehugger's got a timely post up about how we can all become Planeteers along with Captain Planet by seeking out stylish small cars.
• Presidential hopeful John Edwards had the best comment of the night of any televised political pundit — by saying the American people are "looking for — not to use a cliche here, but they were looking for Bold Moves(TM)" while on MSNBC after the speech.
So what did we learn last night? We long ago learned SOTU speeches are no longer meaningful, and rarely, if ever, provide "Bold Moves." But we did learn wood chips are apparently a good way to run our cars — and that we really do enjoy drinking games.