The SOTU Snorefest, the “Sputnik Moment” Edition
Disclaimer: I didn’t watch President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech or either response from Rep. Paul Ryan or Rep. Michelle Bachmann. I haven’t watched any of Obama’s speeches. For one thing, they’re boring. Second, they’re too long. Third, I can tell by reading them that they aren’t nearly as good as many would have us believe. His recent Tuscon speech was an exception; the norm for Obama is blather and bloviation.
I can sum up Obama’s speech in three words: typical Obama crap.
It was awful, painful to read. Ann Coulter sums it up best in the opening line of her latest column:
I missed the middle section of Obama’s State of the Union address when I took a break to read “War and Peace,” but I gather he never got around to what I was hoping he’d say, which is: “What was I thinking?”
A conservative whom I deeply respect did watch the speech and believed the tone to be less confrontational, Obama was somewhat conciliatory towards the GOP. Reading the speech, however, one can see that Obama’s tone was nothing more than lip service.
The 2010 election was a wholesale rejection of Obama’s spending policies as a historic number of new Republicans, 60, were elected to the House of Representatives, while completely destroying the super-majority Democrats had in the U.S. Senate as six new Republicans took their seats (Scott Brown was seated last February, Mark Kirk was seated in November, the rest earlier this month). And yet, what did Obama call for in the SOTU? More of the same. More federal tax dollars for public education, despite the fact that more federal spending has helped to quantitatively lower education standards. More federal tax dollars to “invest” in “green” energy and jobs, even though it isn’t ready for primetime and the companies involved only stay afloat with welfare checks. The National Taxpayers Union Foundation took a look at all the budget cuts Obama claimed he wanted with the new spending (or as Obama calls it, “investing”), added it up, and rendered a verdict: $20 billion in new debt. It’s a nit when compared with the $14 trillion in debt the federal government has accrued, but it’s additional debt nonetheless. And that’s provided there are actually any real budget cuts.
Of course, Obama stated definitively he won’t touch the substantive portions of Obamacare, even though the chief actuary for Medicare testified in the House Budget Committee that the legislation won’t bring down federal costs, let alone bring down health care costs as a whole. He said this before Obamacare was passed and was completely ignored by Obama and Congressional Democrats as they lied about how Obamacare was going to “bend the cost curve down” and then forced it down our throats.
President Obama said this was our generation’s “Sputnik moment”, seemingly oblivious to the reality of how the federal government responded to Sputnik. Neither Presidents Eisenhower or Kennedy used Sputnik to transform society; the focus was narrow: pass the Soviets in the Space Race and beat them to the moon. It was also defensive in nature in that the federal government didn’t want the U.S. to possibly be threatened by an enemy from outer space. That’s it, that’s all it was. Sure there was a great outgrowth of innovation and technology. But the federal government’s goal was protecting America from its enemies, as this is its primary role. None of that innovation and technology was directed by the federal government to improve the quality of life for all Americans. It took private entrepreneurs, using the profit motive, who took initiative to do this on their own. Obama also mentioned several of the great inventors to show how Americans have been the innovators; yet, Obama deliberately neglected to mention that these inventors weren’t backed financially or directed by the federal government to do their work. Obama mentioning Thomas Edison is quite ironic; by law, the federal government will ban Edison’s signature invention in 2014, not because the market determined incandescent light bulbs were obsolete, but due to the political machination of junk scientists and politicians.
Early yesterday morning, early polls at CBS and CNN showed Americans responded positively towards Obama’s address and message. Then it was learned the ratings for the speech were the lowest since his Presidency began, fewer people watched it. The conclusion is obvious: the only people who actually watched the SOTU were Obama-supporting drones, the media, and a few others with at least a passing interest to hear what the President said.
There you have it. The 2011 Obama SOTU was typical claptrap. I could be wrong, he could very well decide to put the country before his ideology; but based on past performance, I think I’m right in saying he has no intention of changing course because he’s never done it before, never been forced to do it before. Let’s just hope the Republicans have the stones to challenge Obama on everything, to either force the President’s hand or to make Obama unelectable in 2012. We will see.