Bush's State of the Union Speech, Annotated

January 20, 2004



(The italics below are a transcript of barely-audible comments during the applause.  The voice was undeniably the president's.  Curiously, the other media didn't report them.)




Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:


There are bad guys out there in the world!  Stick with me in November.  I'll protect you!  Democrats will hurt you.  They're bad! :


We have faced serious challenges together - and now we face a choice. We can go forward with confidence and resolve - or we can turn back to the dangerous illusion that terrorists are not plotting and outlaw regimes are no threat to us. We can press on with economic growth, and reforms in education and Medicare - or we can turn back to old policies and old divisions.


Democrats want you to stop being scared.  Stay scared!  But don't worry; I'll protect you! :


Twenty-eight months have passed since September the 11th, 2001 - over two years without an attack on American soil - and it is tempting to believe that the danger is behind us. That hope is understandable, comforting - and false. ... The terrorists continue to plot against America and the civilized world. And by our will and courage, this danger will be defeated.


And those unpatriotic Democrats, just like terrorists, will be defeated too!


Key provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire next year.


Goddamn Democrats!  You're not supposed to applaud now!  I'll have Ashcroft lock you up!


And the men and women of the American military - they have taken the hardest duty. ... We have seen the joy when they return, and felt the sorrow when one is lost.


And when 500 of them are lost, ... well, democracy is untidy.


Clinton was weak against terrorists, (and maybe to blame for 9/11?):


I know that some people question if America is really in a war at all. They view terrorism more as a crime - a problem to be solved mainly with law enforcement and indictments. After the World Trade Center was first attacked in 1993, some of the guilty were indicted, and tried, and convicted, and sent to prison. But the ... terrorists were still training and plotting ...


Some Democrats are against liberty and freedom!  Can you believe it? :


Some in this chamber, and in our country, did not support the liberation of Iraq.


Liberals were skeptical we'd find WMD :


the Kay Report identified dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities and ...


See!  Weapons-related program activities!  I told you we'd find 'em!


Here's one for you, Dad:


For all who love freedom and peace, the world without Saddam Hussein's regime is a better and safer place.


We know who doesn't love freedom: Howard Dean and his kooky liberal friends!


The USA -- we're multilateralists.  But if you cross us, we'll pound you!  Axis of Evil, watch out!  And France and Germany, you better shut up! :


From the beginning, America has sought international support for our operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and we have gained much support. ... America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our country.


I've got the answers for that whole Israel-Palestinian thing:


So America is pursuing a forward strategy of freedom in the greater Middle East. ... To cut through the barriers of hateful propaganda, the Voice of America and other broadcast services are expanding their programming in Arabic ...


Maybe I should talk about domestic stuff now:


And because you acted to stimulate our economy with tax relief, this economy is strong, and growing stronger.


That's why our economy is so much better than it was three years ago.  Heh, heh.  I think it's about to surge!


And jobs are on the rise.


Yes, we created 1000 new jobs nationwide last month!  That's 20 per state!  Heh, heh.  When the rich get more tax cuts, things are really going to take off!

These numbers confirm that the American people are using their money far better than government would have - and you were right to return it.

Taxes are bad!  We should privatize everything!  Let's starve the government beast!

Congress has some unfinished business on the issue of taxes. The tax reductions you passed are set to expire.

Stop applauding!

A government-run health care system is the wrong prescription. ... preserve the system of private medicine that makes America's health care the best in the world.


I've heard that Canadians flock across the border to get our health care!


Let's see ... better say something about education:


... tonight I propose an additional 23 millions for schools that want to use drug testing as a tool to save children's lives.


And maybe check for terrorists while we're at it!


Sorry, there just isn't time to talk about deficit reduction, the environment, abortion, or Mars tonight; instead:


...tonight I call on team owners, union representatives, coaches, and players to take the lead, to send the right signal, to get tough, and to get rid of steroids now.


Young Americans should be as moral as you congresspeople and me:


We will double federal funding for abstinence programs, so schools can teach this fact of life: Abstinence for young people is the only certain way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases. ... All of us - parents, schools, government - must work together to counter the negative influence of the culture, and to send the right messages to our children.


Everyone who ever engaged in premarital sex, applaud now.  Hah!  Suckers!


Religious right, I'm nervous about the Democrats.  A few of you didn't vote for me in 2000.  I need you in November!  Hear me: I hate homosexuals, too:


Congress has already taken a stand on [marriage] by passing the Defense of Marriage Act, signed in 1996 by President Clinton. ... Activist judges, however, have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives. On an issue of such great consequence, the people's voice must be heard. If judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people, the only alternative left to the people would be the constitutional process.


I heard YOUR voice, Tom Delay and Rick Santorum!


The same moral tradition that defines marriage also teaches that each individual has dignity and value in God's sight.


Did I say that right, Karl?


OK, time for the crescendo!

My fellow citizens, we now move forward, with confidence and faith. Our nation is strong and steadfast. The cause we serve is right, because it is the cause of all mankind. The momentum of freedom in our world is unmistakable - and it is not carried forward by our power alone. We can trust in that greater power who guides the unfolding of the years. And in all that is to come, we can know that his purposes are just and true. May God continue to bless America.

What we're doing is right, because God is on our side!  Feel the power!

Did they like it?  Did God like it?  Wow, cool!  I did it again!



Paul Heckbert