arroyo, one hot mama pussyfooting gives the bitchiest SONA
we are printing her excerpts of the reactions on GMA’a SONA 2009 from the press.
as you can read from the materials, the columnists seem to be enjoying themselves. we think this creative fun that these journalists are taking was spawned by the use of the word “pussyfooting” by arroyo in her SONA and specific words and thoughts delivered by arroyo in her SONA which we think amounts to no more that 4% of all the words but the things we remember from her SONA. the balance 96% of the words and thoughts? well, we’re not sure what they were. will review later.
we like to know the speechwriter of arroyo’s SONA. it is an interesting word, this “pussyfooting”.
i have to be honest, i was shocked by the word. okay, okay so the shock might have come from my mind taking a fall into the gutter. i knew what it meant but somehow my mind kept going there. perhaps it was the spam emails i was trying to delete from my in-box right before i read the transcript that got my mind into the gutter. my blog email account all of a sudden got impregnated with porn email of all sorts from debbie going to a lot of places and this certain pill that was colored blue.
remote, but was it also because there was so much talk about arroyo’s breasts and the implants that were not but turned out they were? having these thoughts that are about on the same page gets you lucid on the possibilities.
it looks like i digressed from the topic. back to the topic…..
The ‘bitchiest SONA’
By Rina Jimenez-David
“The bitchiest SONA ever,” is a general, if somewhat cheeky assessment of Monday’s State of the Nation Address, which is expected to be the last of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s 9-year term.
Others have characterized it as her “payback SONA,” which gave her the chance not just to refute charges against her but to get back at her critics and opponents. Expectedly, the pro-Arroyo crowd greeted each barbed remark and pointed reference with laughter and applause, even if the targets remained unnamed. But the most telling indicator of the President’s intent was her own smug smile, displaying just how satisfied she was, having just poked and jabbed at people who had publicly castigated her.
That she should have used the occasion to deliver a valedictory, a summing up of her nine years of governance and an articulation of her philosophy of government, instead of a petty vendetta, seemed lost on her and her speech writers.
So when she side-stepped the issue of her leaving office by saying that the remaining year left to her term was a “long time,” she simply lent credence to speculations that she has plans of staying in power beyond 2010.
Never mind that the lasting legacy she leaves after “the bitchiest SONA” is of a leader intent on putting down those who dare cross her, more concerned with put-downs and insults than elevating rhetoric that should have prepared the nation for a new beginning at the end of her legal term.
No matter how tempting it was to use the SONA platform to respond to charges of corruption, incompetence and overweening ambition, the President should have resisted it, which is what true leadership is all about. Setting aside juvenile urges for the greater good and the sake of one’s legacy is a sign of maturity, after all. And that’s not what we saw that rainy Monday afternoon.
the title of today’s editorial at PDI:
She did this by means of trumpeting her achievements and more significantly deviating from the post-Edsa tradition established by President Corazon Aquino of making the last SONA of her term not merely a valedictory address, but also the formal start of the transition period from one administration to the next. Presidents Aquino and Fidel V. Ramos made such commitments in their final SONAs and categorically stated that they would hand over office to whoever was their duly-elected successor come June 30 of the following year. To borrow a word revived by Ms Arroyo, instead of following this democratic precedent, she pussyfooted around the question of handing over power on June 30, 2010.
What she didn’t pussyfoot around was the question of a transition. There will be none. “There is much to do as head of state, to the very last day,” she declared.
The President may have virtuously declared that she is more interested in governance than politics, but her determination to cling, limpet-like, to every single one of her presidential prerogatives makes her a compleat politician. Again, her apologists might object that every president is a politician, too, but there comes a time— specifically, the final months of a president’s term—when the politician must at least attempt to transform into a statesman.
This, the President refuses to do. She remains in campaign mode, demonstrating every indication that she intends to maintain a vise-like grip on her administration coalition and compete with her potential successors.
The result of the President’s pussyfooting around the question of her leaving office—not only when, but under what circumstances—will guarantee more politics, not less. It ensures that whatever governance takes place will be firmly subordinated to politicking since she will be aggressively ensuring that everyone continues kowtowing to her until high noon of June 30, 2010, not least because she refuses to commit to a specific role beyond that hour.
Mixed message in Arroyo’s SONA
By Amando Doronila
The speech disappointed civil society and political groups which demanded that she should use her last SONA to declare unqualifiedly that she is stepping down at the end of her constitutional term on June 30, 2010 in order to calm widespread public unease over her political intentions after she serves out her term. Instead, the President stoked public uncertainty with glib prevarications and double talk that indicated that she is not exiting but clinging tenaciously to office.
In a well-applauded segment of her speech, the President said: “At the end of this speech, I shall step down from this stage… but, not from the presidency.” She added emphatically, “My term does not end until next year. Until then, I will fight for the ordinary Filipino. The nation comes first. There is much to do as head of state—to the very last day.”
Stepping down after the closing bar of the SONA was not the clamor. The clamor is, “Quit on June 30, 2010. We have had enough of you.”
But she said, “A year is a long time. There are many perils that we must still guard against.” She did not say that the “many perils” might include the usurpation of power.
She did not touch the contentious issue of constitutional change that has stoked political unrest each time it is pushed by her congressional cohorts. All she said was, “I never expressed the desire to extend myself beyond my term.”
True, but this is dishonest. There were many voices who expressed this desire on her behalf as proxies. One of them was former Speaker Jose de Venecia, whom she lambasted in her speech by inference. De Venecia sponsored proposals to amend the Constitution to a shift to a parliamentary system, which could have given her the opening to run for member of parliament and from there stand for prime minister. She said, “The noisiest critics of constitutional reform tirelessly and shamelessly attempted Cha-cha when they thought they could take advantage of a shift in the form of government. Now that we feel they cannot benefit from it, they oppose it.”