Feb. 7, 2007 12:00
Ask yourself this question about President George W. Bush's recent state of the union address: If you did not know the president's party affiliation could you tell it from the things he said? I'll admit that I couldn't ' at least not by any of the standards that the GOP has traditionally espoused. Even the promising rhetoric about erasing the deficit and balancing the federal budget was laughable coming from one of the biggest-spending, government-bloating presidents in history.

There used to be a discernible difference between Democrats and Republicans, but today they both follow the same goal of expanding government. Regardless of party, government officials tell us repeatedly that the answer to all of society's ills is to give them the power to make things right ' whether the issue is safety, energy, climate, environment, health care or education. Of course (you may say) that's what politicians do: they test the wind, make promises, kiss each other's butts, line each other's pockets, and then tell us what they think we want to hear while telling each other whatever furthers their own interests. But why have we grown to expect and accept this behavior?

Isn't it evident that Democrats and Republicans alike tell the same lies, just at different times ' yet always toward the same goal: bigger, more intrusive government. It's time we worried less about the state of the union and more about the union of statists.