Then again I didn’t follow my advice either. I watched the whole thing (save for a 30 second respite from the Emergency Broadcast System). Still, it’s an hour of my life that I will never get back.
Here are a few observations from the past sixty minutes.
1. Obama wasn’t as strident as he was during the Second Inaugural Address. As far as Obama speeches it wasn’t his most annoying but it wouldn’t be an Obama speech if he didn’t engage in some insufferable rhetoric.
2. Did Obama say we were going to “finish the job” of reducing the deficit? We’ve scarcely scratched the surface.
3. Obama stated “we can’t just cut our way to prosperity.” Well, Obama is content to spend our way to prosperity through “investments” we can only pay for by borrowing money from China.
4. With regard to tax and entitlement reform, Obama said, “The greatest nation on Earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next.” Obama speaks of this as if he has no involvement in the business of our nation as if he’s above it all. Not only is Obama knee deep in the muddy but he has long lived by the ethos of his former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel not to let a crisis go to waste.
5. If Republicans were going to walk out on Obama they should have done so the moment he said, “Let me repeat – nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime.” Considering that Obama presided over the largest deficit increase in this country’s history anything he says about not increasing the deficit by a single dime should be dismissed out of hand.
6. How can 12 of the past 15 years been the hottest on record when the planet has been cooling since 1998? Well, if our planet isn’t healed I guess Obama will settle for the healing of our housing market.
7. Obama asserts that raising the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour “would raise the incomes of millions of working families.” How can that be if it forces employers to lay off workers and impede employers from hiring new workers?
8. How can we help Libya provide for its security when we were unable to provide adequate security for our consulate in Benghazi?
9. If Americans are waiting “five, six, seven hours to cast their ballot” then why haven’t we seen this on YouTube?
10. Obama was at his most emotional when he spoke about Newtown and Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-year old girl who was murdered in Chicago days after attending the inauguration. Her parents were in attendance at the SOTU. Obama said they deserved a vote from Congress on gun violence along with Gabby Giffords, the families of Newtown, Aurora, Oak Creek, Tucson and Blacksburg.
Well, once again, Obama didn’t mention the families of Fort Hood.
How would have a background check on Nancy Lanza prevented her son with no previous criminal record from using her weapons to commit evil against innocent children?
For his part, Obama said, “Our actions will not prevent every senseless act of violence. Indeed, no laws, no initiatives, no administrative acts will perfectly solve all the challenges I’ve outlined tonight. But we were never sent here to be perfect.”
This explanation will simply not do. When a tragedy like Newtown comes to pass our impulse is to do something when there might very well be nothing more we can do. Doing something might make us feel better but that doesn’t mean things will actually get better. It’s not an easy thing to say but we must make the case the best government is the one which governs least.
In the final analysis, if Republicans won’t walk out on Obama then perhaps they could stay away from next year’s SOTU altogether.