College Republicans support Bush’s points

The mood in the Brooks Lounge was buoyant Tuesday night as about 35 students, most of them members of Marquette University College Republicans, gathered on sofas to watch Fox News' broadcast of President Bush's State of the Union address. In post-speech interviews, three members of the group expressed enthusiasm and support for the president's remarks.

A heavily-underscored theme of Bush's address was the need to honor the "commitments" the United States has made to other nations, such as its involvement in fashioning a democratic Iraq. Robert Fafinski, secretary of Marquette University College Republicans and a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, said the topic was a prevalent one in Bush's administration as well.

"It's been absolutely consistent this whole time. He's been consistent in staying the course. Time shouldn't be the measure by which you gauge success. The end result should be," he said. "Bush sees us as a beacon of hope in the world, spreading democracy. If we stay to ourselves and horde the things we have, that's selfish."

Bush also encouraged members of Congress to re-authorize the Patriot Act, which was initially passed in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. The act has come under fire from privacy advocates and others for some of its provisions, which they say give the government too much power, but the three members of College Republicans were unanimous in their support of the initiative.

"He said 'We need to do what we need to do to protect this nation,'" said Mary Ellen Burke, vice chair of Marquette University College Republicans and a junior in the College of Communication. "This is a country at war, and with that certain precautions need to be taken."

Bush's emphasis on finding clean energy resources and weaning American off foreign oil also drew support from the three students.

"Environmental issues have been of great concern lately," Burke said. "One myth with the war is that we're only over there for oil, and he wanted to debunk that myth."

Burke joined Joe Fadness, a member of the group and a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, in praising Bush for the domestic agenda he outlined in his speech.

"He has really worked to point out those issues that need improvement," Burke said. "He's there to tackle the tough issues. That's the mark of a great president if he can see beyond his own term."

"Like him or not, he sticks to his convictions," Fadness added.