My plan was to summarize Obama’s State of the Union address for today’s blog, but somebody already did it quite nicely for me. And in just two words!
Clearly, Joe Wilson is psychic that he could predict the entire point of a presidential speech a year in advance.
If you don’t believe in psychics and hocus pocus, however, here’s another explanation: Obama is extremely predictable.
I can prove that he’s predictable because, yesterday, without watching the speech or reading any commentary about it after the fact, I summarized his message as this:
“My subservient Americans, look at me and bask in my amazingness. And make sure to vote for me in 2012. Because otherwise, you might get some uncivil rhetoric. Plus, this year, I’m going to really focus on jobs. Really. So let’s all just get along and ignore my continuing push to enact policies that will destroy the nation. Now please stop whining already and go back to worshipping me.”
And now that I have had a chance to go over his entire speech – as well as Paul Ryan’s official Republican response and Michelle Bachman’s Tea Party response – it appears that I didn’t do too bad a job.
Not that I take credit for it, considering how transparent his agenda and tactics have been for quite some time now.
The State of the Union: Blow by Blow
Let’s start out with my first prediction that Obama would tout his “amazingness.”
Well, there were lines like: “Thanks to the tax cuts we [Read: “I”] passed, Americans’ paychecks are a little bigger today. Every business can write off the full cost of the new investments they make this year. These steps, taken by Democrats and Republicans [Read: “My administration”], will grow the economy and add to the more than one million private sector jobs created last year.”
Or how he mentioned: “Two years ago, I [Read: “I, as the amazing person that I am”] said that we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven’t seen since the height of the Space Race. In a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal.”
And then there’s his exaltation of his supposed infrastructure push: “Over the last two years, we [Read: “Me! Me! Me!”] have begun rebuilding for the 21st century, a project that has meant thousands of good jobs for the hard-hit construction industry.”
Even without taking into account his tone of voice, which is always tinged with some smug arrogance at his admittedly exceptional ability to read off of a teleprompter, his words clearly convey a sort of self-gratification.
That focus on himself continued as he made a bid for his 2012 campaign, which I honestly expected to be more subtle. Instead, he flat-out brought it up in an I’m-saying-this-to-prove-that-I-care-about-the-country-and-not-getting-re-elected kind-of way:
“At stake right now is not who wins the next election – after all, we just had an election. At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else. It’s whether the hard work and industry of our people is rewarded. It’s whether we sustain the leadership that has made America not just a place on a map, but a light to the world.”
In other words, “Pick me! Pick me! Because I have the perfect roadmap for this country.” Otherwise, why even mention it?
An Inspiring Use of Dirty Politics
Moving on to the “uncivil rhetoric” portion of my summary, the President did a phenomenal job with that one. He started out by expressing his sadness that Gabrielle Giffords couldn’t be there – an appropriate commentary, I’ll admit – than masterfully segued into the vitriolic rhetoric that the media has been obsessed with ever since Jared Lee Loughner expressed his left-wing-laden insanity by firing into a Tucson, Arizona crowd.
But whoever his speech writer was didn’t condemn the disagreements between the two parties, or even the “contentious” battles they fought in the last two years. Instead, he or she praised such debates as exactly “what a robust democracy demands. That’s what helps set us apart as a nation.”
There was a quick touch on “the tragedy in Tucson,” a mention of us all being “a part of something greater” and then a call to patriotism and cooperation since “we are part of the American family.”
The inspiring words continued: “What comes of this moment is up to us. What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow.
“I believe we can. I believe we must. That’s what the people who sent us here expect of us. With their votes, they’ve determined that governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties. New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans. We will move forward together, or not at all – for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics.”
I’m surprised there was a dry eye in the audience at that point. And yet, from what I heard, there really wasn’t that much applause during the speech.
Maybe it’s because, as even one AP article admitted, “The ledger did not appear to be adding up Tuesday night when President Barack Obama urged more spending on one hand and a spending freeze on the other.”
It's the Economy Stupid!
I won’t insult your intelligence by quoting any of his comments about jobs. But he did mention the word 25 times, not including when he used “career” or the singular “job.”
And he tackled the issue of everybody getting along during his opening statements, as I already quoted. You know… All of that blather about how we won’t be able to pass new laws if we don’t work together… because that’s what the American people want?
Yeah, that part. *Yawn*
It was pointed out to me – rightly so – that I didn’t mention spending at all in yesterday’s blog. Though I intended the “policies that will destroy the nation” line to include the unprecedented financial waste Obama has legislated, it should have deserved its own specific mention since it is one of his favorite tactics.
And as for the “please stop whining already and go back to worshipping me,” well that was cleverly laced throughout the entire speech, as Politico noted:
“It sounded conciliatory, even friendly, brimming with the outward trappings of a shift to the center, but President Barack Obama’s 2011 State of the Union speech was, at its core, an unmistakably partisan challenge to congressional Republicans.”
In other words, Tuesday night wasn’t anything groundbreaking. It wasn’t anything empowering. And it certainly wasn’t anything that America needs.Here’s looking forward to 2012.