“The State of the Union set a cunning trap for Obama’s enemies”

 

Howard Dean:

“I am going to be blunt about this I have seen the speech. It was leaked. It is a very, very good speech. I am delighted. I’m frankly a little surprised. The president is mindful of the deficit. He makes it clear he wants to work with the congress but with the most extraordinary thing is he lays down the gap gauntlet. Millionaires will have to pay more taxes if we are going to cut kids and other folks dependent on it. He made it clear this is going be a shared sacrifice and the tax cut extended for the people who make a million a year is not going to be extended again if we are going to do anything about the deficit. That was extraordinary. There is a lot of great stuff about the environment. I have to say, in print, we’ll see how he delivers it, it is one of the most substantive speeches I have seen him make.”

***************************************************************

E.J. Dionne

“It was a smart speech aimed at scrambling the political debate, reassuring Americans that we can overcome challenges to our economic power, and redefining the political center…Obama has clearly decided to take that challenge on, embracing the idea of America as an exceptional nation that always, well, wins the future”.

******************************************************************

 Ed Kilgore

// snip

….And that’s the beauty of Obama’s address. He basically put together every modest, centrist, reasonable-sounding idea for public investment aimed at job creation and economic growth that anyone has ever uttered; and he did so at the exact moment that the GOP has abandoned the very concept of public investment altogether. He’s thrown into relief the fact that Republicans no longer seem interested in any government efforts to boost the economy, except where they offer an excuse to reduce the size and power of government.

Paul Ryan’s deficit-maniac response played right into Obama’s trap: Ryan barely mentioned the economy other to imply that every dollar taken away from the public sector will somehow create jobs in the private sector economy (a private sector economy wherein, as Obama cleverly noted, corporate profits are setting records). For those who buy the idea that government is the only obstacle to an economic boom, this makes sense. But for everybody else, the contrast between a Democratic president with a lot of small, familiar ideas for creating jobs and growth, and a Republican Party with just one big idea, is inescapable. It’s a vehicle for the “two alternate futures” choice which Obama will try to offer voters in 2012.

Moreover, Obama’s tone—the constant invocation of bipartisanship at a time when Republicans are certain to oppose most of what he’s called for, while going after the progressive programs and policies of the past—should sound familiar as well. It was Bill Clinton’s constant refrain, which he called “progress over partisanship,” during his second-term struggle with the Republican Congress. During that period, the Republicans being asked to transcend “partisanship” were trying to remove Clinton from office. And Clinton wasn’t really extending his hand in a gesture of cooperation with the GOP but, by creating a contrast with their ideological fury, indicating that he himself embodied the bipartisan aspirations of the American people and the best ideas of both parties. It was quite effective.

By playing this rope-a-dope, Obama has positioned himself well to push back hard against the conservative agenda. Having refused to offer Republicans the cover they crave for “entitlement reform,” while offering his own modest, reasonable-sounding deficit reduction measures, he’s forcing the GOP to either go after Social Security and Medicare on their own—which is very perilous to a party whose base has become older voters—or demand unprecedented cuts for those popular public investments that were the centerpiece of his speech. Either way, in a reversal of positions from the last two years, Obama looks like he is focused on doing practical things to boost the economy, while it’s Republicans who are talking about everything else. Boring it may have been, but as a positioning device for the next two years, Obama’s speech was a masterpiece.

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Roll Call

“In a speech that echoed the voices of Martin Luther King Jr. and President John F. Kennedy, who led the nation through another period of economic and emotional transition, Obama hammered the message that the American dream is still within reach but only if people can meet the demands of a new age…Obama, speaking for about an hour, used much of his address laying out his vision for moving the country forward based on five themes: innovation, education, building, reform and responsibility. And at the heart of his road map is a plan to put the nation on a strict fiscal diet while also making targeted investments in clean energy and infrastructure to boost the economy.”

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87 thoughts on ““The State of the Union set a cunning trap for Obama’s enemies”

  1. That’s what I was trying to say earlier, but did not say it as well. He did set a trap and a very effective trap. The republicans can only sound stupid, out-of-touch and greedy no matter which way they try to move now. The first round has been handily won by PBO for the 2012 election and for the good of the country.

  2. Love your blog and this post was great….loved reading what others had to say…especially Dean….it was a good speech , it was calculated…purposeful…and in these times that is the way it is, he has to be smart, I want the Chitown poker playing Chess playing Obama to manuver these next 20 monthes….because the repubs are not looking at the Whole Picture or at the American people…their Only goal is to obstruct….

  3. Thanks for the link to the comments on both sides. My biggest surprise was the comment from Judd Gregg. Now that he doesn’t have to walk the Republican walk and talk the Republican talk, he seems far more reasonable.

  4. The comparisons were striking and startling. The President seemed like the only adult in the room. The only adult who has thought about America’s future and who believes we can achieve.

    The GOP seemed like they have already given up and don’t have anything to offer. It was made worse by Bachmann’s teaparty rebuttal. The GOP looks insane, unprepared and just immature.

    Beautiful speech!

  5. He shared his vision, he shared a plan, and most importantly he did it with confidence and enthusiasm that showed he was on the OFFENSIVE not on the Defensive.

    I believe the mid term election encouraged the WH to have a more aggressive communication strategy. The web site for the SOTU, the events today and tomorrow, all encourage communication with average Americans.

    The more we see President Obama and those who work in the WH the more America will see the difference between the Obama administration and the Republicans. This is a good thing.

  6. The GOP was trying to trap President Obama into making drastic cuts, because they know that it’s political suicide. Bush knew it as well, which is why he cut taxes while spending like a drunken sailor, knowing the next President would have to clean up his mess.

    Drastically cutting spending would not only be politically unpopular in it’s own right as people by in large like what they have now, but it would also lead to job losses, and a shrinking of the economy. Which they would then run on in 2012.

    President Obama saw that coming and did his best last night to reframe the issue. As is mentioned above, if the GOP wants cuts – they have to justify them. They never like to speak in specifics, and the recent group who did cut literaly every “evil librul” program they could think of, no doubt the teabaggers loved that list.

  7. Recall Gregg almost joined the Obama Administration with a Cabinet post. He and Reid are supposedly pretty friendly in the Senate and it was Gregg who first reached out about the possibility. It ended up getting too messy and he backed out, but in hindsight I don’t think he was after the census either.

    Maybe he knew the blanket obstruction was coming and wanted out, because while it might be a great short term strategy, every politician who took part in it will be held accountable for it down the line. Of course he didn’t have the guts to break with his party even when he was retiring and given he is supposed to be the GOP’s master strategist, maybe it was his idea to begin with.

    All those issues that Gregg is praising in the speech, he could have been a part of from inside the Administration as part of the Cabinet. Now he gets to be quoted about them in the newspaper hoping some lobbyist firm offers him a seven-figure gig.

  8. Heh.. if you look closely at that first photo above- I think you’ll notice that Mr. President is either walking on air.. or walking on water, lol.

  9. President Obama is speaking right now (CSPAN-3) in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. He just flashed that million dollar smile. The crowd loves him.

  10. Nonie, thank you for the link. I am about to bust the buttons on my shirt–that is how proud I am.

  11. The GOP has decided to go full on partisan and not worry about the country. With some other guy as President it might work but up against President Obama it just makes them look small, mean spirited and hostile to half of the voters in the country. All of the demonization of democrats and of President Obama just comes off so ridiculous sounding when people get a chance to actually hear him speak for himself. Ryan’s response was full of fear and doom. He says we either have give up Medicare and Social Security or we will all die or something like that. The fearmongering of the republicans is hard to follow. I don’t really understand it as a strategy because while it might work in a midterm where turnout is low, in Presidential elections the more optimistic person is always elected, so the doom and gloom is electoral suicide. It’s telling that no republicans have officially entered the 2012 race yet. I don’t blame them. I wouldn’t want to try to run against a guy they have been blasting with every smear in the book for 2 years during a time of economic distress who still has approval ratings in the mid 50’s.

  12. If he’s walking on air, why can’t he keep his feet on the ground? If he’s walking on water, why can’t he swim?? *drool*rage*garbledmutter*

    That’s as close as I care to get into the mind of a teabagger or frustratus.

  13. Gallup has a piece up on its website saying that an uptick in post-SOTU approval would be atypical. However, the polling was trending up for quite a while before the SOTU. My guess is that the speech will just reinforce that upward trajectory. Not that you should govern by opinion poll, but still, it’s something with which to hammer the GOP.

  14. Also from Gallup: “Prior to the State of the Union address, Americans favored cutting U.S. foreign aid, but opposed cuts in eight other budget areas, including education, Social Security, and defense. Still, Americans would prefer to see Congress agree on deficit-cutting measures before it raises the national debt ceiling.” So those polled want deficit cutting, but don’t want to cut anything except for foreign aid, which is a miniscule part of the budget. We live in a nation of children.

  15. Thanks Donna, I just saw the crowd shots. I love watching him work the line. He always looks so engaged.

  16. I don’t always agree with Rep. Weiner, but this cracked me up:

    “Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) described the contrast between President Obama’s “uplifting, unifying” State Of The Union speech, and Rep. Paul Ryan’s response, which “was just bumming us all out.”

    “I felt like I just needed a drink when I was done with Paul Ryan,” he said, adding: “And then Michele Bachmann who is clearly not in touch with the mothership.”

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/weiner-i-needed-a-drink-after-paul-ryans-speech-video.php

  17. He is so adorable. My heart leaps every time I see that face. He is just a remarkable human being. And I love to see him having fun greeting the crowd.

    He looks bright eyed and bushy tailed today. I don’t know how he manages to be so frisky all the time with his hectic schedule. I can just imagine all of the behind the scenes work being done to make everything look flawless.

  18. I think the President has said that foreign aid is 1% of our budget. I know this country has to reduce our debt level, but to think of those countries that are ravaged by disaster and disease are not going to get help breaks my heart. Helping other countries in trouble is central to the philosophy of this country.

  19. You did quite well imo, lol. the bigger question of course is:

    Why does it rain on Obama- Why can’t Obama stop the rain?

  20. I don’t know if this is just by chance but Orion Energy Systems is in Manitowoc, WI. So I googled it wondering if it could be in Rep. Ryan’s district. It wasn’t but I found this nugget –

    On September 5, 1962, a 20-pound (9.1 kg) piece of the 7-ton Sputnik 4 crashed on North 8th Street. Sputnik 4 was a USSR satellite, part of the Sputnik program and a test-flight of the Vostok spacecraft that would be used for the first human spaceflight. It was launched on May 15, 1960. A bug in the guidance system had pointed the capsule in the wrong direction, so instead of dropping into the atmosphere the satellite moved into a higher orbit. It re-entered the atmosphere on or about September 5, 1962.[10][11] A cast was made from the original piece before the Soviets claimed it, and the cast was displayed at the Rahr West Art Museum.[12] A customer in a nearby art gallery jokingly suggested that the city should hold a festival to celebrate the crash.[11] The city held the first Sputnikfest in 2008, which was organized by the head of both museums.[11]

  21. And that 1% goes a helluva lot further at winning hearts and minds than the same 1% would in DOD spending.

  22. Very interesting St. Roscoe- I don’t think President Obama does or says much that isn’t connected to something larger.

    My first thought on the Wisconsin trip today was also about Rep. Ryan.. it is curious when we connect all the dots, I think.

  23. In FY 2007, the overall US budget was $2.78 trillion. Outlays for foreign aid totaled $21.3 billion. If I did my figures right — and lord knows, I’m near innumerate — foreign aid as a proportion of the budget is 7/10 of 1 percent. Americans commonly think that foreign aid is some astronomical number — as high as 24% of the budget. Which is why when asked what to cut, they say “foreign aid!” Cutting foreign aid will do nothing to fix the deficit. But according to the Gallup poll, there are very expensive, very sacred cows which must not be touched. So we want to have our cake and eat it too.

  24. “…their Only goal is to obstruct….”

    allie mcneil, that and more…

    On top of that, GOPTeaParty wants to destroy/bankrupt America, one city, one state at a time… http://ht.ly/3vNxM

    They have to be stopped, now…

    That’s why the Congressional Dems and others…like us ;)… should, continuosly, “call-out” their ‘draconian’ legislative agenda!!!

  25. WHY DEMOCRATS ARE THE ONLY ONES HAPPY ABOUT BACHMANN’S RESPONSE.

    —————————————–
    But here’s the funny part: substantively, Bachmann’s nonsense was roughly identical to the foolishness repeated by Paul Ryan in the official Republican SOTU response. Note Media Matters’ fact-check of Ryan’s speech and then check Media Matters’ fact-check of Bachmann’s speech. The similarities are striking — with a few exceptions, they had the exact same message.
    —————————————–

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_01/027704.php

  26. The President mention some of that info in his speech StR and I thought of what said early about a Sputnik speech. I think you have telephatic powers StR :)

  27. White House Youtube channel, sherijr !!

    But yep, it’s more fun watching it live !

  28. Let’s not go overboard with our praise for Gregg. He’s been a pretty big pain in the ass the last few years and caused the Obama administration a good deal of grief over the cabinet position.

    Just because he’s rediscovered moderation doesn’t mean we should give him more credit than he deserves.

  29. Most telling about the rebuttal address was that A]Chris Christie was asked to deliver it and he turned them down, B]GOP Caucus was asked who wanted to do it and only Bachmann volunteered C]GOP turned Bachmann down and talked Ryan into giving it D]Bachmann gave the Tea Party rebuttal instead.

    Now I don’t know why the MSM would cover Bachmann, but I remember reading during the mid-term run up that the reason the DCCC wasn’t funding Tarryl Clark is because the Dems found Bachmann pretty much a useful idiot.

  30. Obama drew a line in the sand: a moderate line, right down the center. Let’s eliminate waste, redundancy — let’s eliminate spending intelligently. The Republicans have put themselves in a box of frenzied ideology: “Let’s cut it all! All of it is BAD! Except what we give to corporations — that’s GOOD!” It’s absurd in its hyperbole, and the only way to sell it is with fear.

    Americans understand that you cut the fluff first so you have money for the important things and maybe a little to cover an emergency. That is what Obama tapped into last night on a purely practical level. And that is precisely what the Republicans blew — big time.

    Given the choice between sensible cuts and slash/and/burn, the vast majority of Americans want it done with sanity and maturity.

    Here’s what I heard in a nutshell last night: “Here’s the line and it’s right down the center. I am willing to go right up to that line, while still preserving investments in the future. Are you guys honestly going to tell the American people that you’re not willing to come at least to that line?”

    For one of the first times in recent political history, the Democrats (at least this brilliant Democratic President) put the Republicans on policy defense. We always get stuck there but the tables are turned.

    Now my fervent dream is that there is a coordinated message machine from the Democrats to hammer this home. This is the way to turn the tide, one step like this at a time.

  31. It’s always been true. Unfortunately in Republican mindset they want draconian cuts for anyone but themselves.

    I’ve got mine, so eff you. The Republican philosophy in a nutshell.

  32. The Dow Jones touched 12,000. It closed at 7,949 on Bush’s last day in office. That means it’s gone up 50% since President Obama’s inauguration.

    That Socialist clearly ruined the economy.

  33. Afternoon all…

    Thanks, BWD, you’ve done it, again…Keepin’ us well-informed and “in the loop!” ::2-thumps up:: :)

    I loved PBHO’s SOTU speech…I gotta watch it, again!

    Here’s a couple of other interestin’ “takes on” the SOTU:

    SOTU: Broad strokes on a muddy canvas

    “…Sen. John McCain smiling broadly while Senator Kerry sits, fingers crossed, looking somewhat grim. If you’re a real lefty liberal, Kerry is what you look like right now. That’s because tonight’s State of the Union address was not aimed at you, and contained only tiny glimmers of things that make us happy and had hints of other things that make us very unhappy.

    So let me repeat: This speech was not for you. It was for the legions of Fox watchers, the people who get what they know about this President from tiny soundbites on national television between bites of leftover salmon salad from lunch.

    It was for the ones who stayed home because they had a sense that government was so gridlocked any vote they cast wouldn’t matter anyway.

    It succeeded. Not only did it succeed with the audience, it succeeded politically. President Obama has now taken the agenda back while hijacking Republicans’ key talking points, leaving them in a position where saying “no” will be the equivalent of telling themselves no.

    But liberals shouldn’t despair either. The only thing Obama did was hijack Republicans’ national traction with regard to spending and budget cuts. He basically said this: I’ll work with you on these goals that you have, but we’re going to do it my way.

    The key for all of us to hear was the shift to optimism in this speech… http://t.co/mz2ddXe

    TRR SOTU Anaylysis: Obama goes for Kennedy, GOP opts for Nixon

    President Obama delivered a hopeful speech to the nation Tuesday, calling on Americans — and a Washington audience tamed by bipartisan seating and the recent tragedy in Tucson — to put aside past differences and work together to “win the future.”…

    It was focused: The president framed the entire speech, and his overall vision, in terms of jobs. He linked his idea of government as a sort of super venture capitalist, to the creation of innovative private business and jobs. I fact, “jobs” was the single most mentioned word in the speech. Even Obama’s shout-out to the DREAM Act and immigration reform was framed in terms of jobs and economic growth….

    It was competitive: the president cited Asia (China and India by name) in calling on America to have a new “Sputnik moment” to prove that we can out-innovate and out-compete any nation on earth. That section of the speech was effective in that it appealed to natural American competitiveness, and could ally the president and the business lobby, in turn pressuring Republicans to give in on pro-innovation initiatives.

    It will tweak the tea party, and the left: the president called for new “investments” (read spending) in infrastructure and the anathema of the tea party; high speed rail. But the speech was sufficiently centrist, including calling for reforms to Medicare (though he insisted upon protecting Social Security and said the budget should not be cut on the backs of the vulnerable) that it will bug some on the left, too. (Interestingly, the president called for paying for his infrastructure and innovation ideas in part by repealing oil industry subsidies, something for which Speaker Boehner and most of the GOP did NOT applaud.)

    It boxed in Republicans: the speech offered some tempting proposals for Republicans: a major government overhaul? Rewriting the tax code? These things will be hard for Republicans to say “no” to, though they will try. But saying “no” won’t yield 2010 style benefits this year, with the economy improving. If Republicans give in to the temptation to fight the last war instead of keeping up with Obama’s dash to the middle, their nominee could be seen as the Scrooge to Obama’s Ronald Reagan. (Obama even got a standing applause from John McCain, by vowing to veto any bill with earmarks in it.)

    Moreover, the themes of American ascendancy and “can do” spirit, and the calls for national unity of purpose will be tough for the GOP to rebut, particularly since the president remained non-specific. And he laid down markers: no earmarks (he’ll veto them — and what a trap that is for lawmakers who now cede spending leverage to the executive branch); no full scale reversal on healthcare (though he’ll look at “improvements,”) and no extension of the Bush tax cuts for the rich beyond 2012. Game on… http://tinyurl.com/6bse3yh

  34. Republicans in the House just approved legislation to end public financing. Again where is the jobs bill? I guess they are gearing up for KOCH to attempt to buy another election. Thankfully we still have Reid as majority leader in the Senate.

  35. Exactly. That guy is a complete buffoon who happened to say something reasonable about Obama. No more or less.

  36. Here’s more in the same vain. President Obama continues to weave his cloak of armor. In one fell swoop, he neutralized the odious claims that he did not believe in American exceptionalism.

    By: Paul Glastris

    AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM REPOSSESSED…

    American exceptionalism is hardly a conservative idea. But it’s one of those broadly-shared American ideas — like faith, patriotism, choice — that the right has tried to make exclusively its own by taking to insane extremes, thus tempting liberals to abandon them. In his speech last night, Obama grabbed the idea back, and shrewdly used it to argue for liberal values and a center-left policy agenda. I don’t imagine conservatives are very happy about that.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_01/027708.php

  37. But he could be a useful baffoon. By still providing quotes in the press it means he still wants to be a public figure, and simply agreeing with the GOP spundbytes of the day will not get him any coverage, only praising the Dems/Obama will. The whole man bites dog deal story the press loves.

    Frist was a sonuvabitch as well, but his quotes are useful in painting the GOP as out of touch.

  38. Yes — I laughed out loud at that line. A great way to describe the queen of the wackos!

  39. “not in touch with the Mothership” So gonna steal that :) I saw McCain grinning but, it looked like he was losing it. Kerry always looks serious. But otherwise, Snoopy, what a toughtful, intelligent comment.

    Only two comments from moi: He DOES play multi-dimensional chess. Your “snark” is 100% accurate, PL. You don’t have a clue.

    I really missed seeing Pelosi behind him. But POTUS v The Bawler. No f’ing contest. My prediction after Nov, that POTUS will get some moderate Reps in his corner is strengthened after last night.

    Weather reports to read :)

  40. I think their tactic is this – put forth a lot of teabagger bills and have them go nowhere and then say “See we tried, but we need the Senate and the White House in order to get this stuff through”.

    I would like to see more push back from the Dems, at least make these votes very public. Because most folks already think there is too much special interest money in politics, and now we have secret special interest money thanks to Citizens United and SCOTUS.

  41. Boy I love it here. I get the great information, pictures and videos that bwd puts together for us and then interesting, intelligent comments. I am still on a high after the SOTU adress and this makes it even better. [sigh of contentment].

  42. ^Yeah, Tori…

    But, it would have been nice if the Congressional Dems had “fought tooth and nail” for the Fair Election Now Act (FENA) and/or the DISCLOSE Act, last year…maaan!

    And, the GOPTeaParty, w/their FoxPAC, “have their nerve” tellin’ me and others, the American public, how to spend our money…Grrr!

    OFA/DNC and other Dem/Lib/Prog organizations, here we come… http://www.barackobama.com ;)

  43. The DNC is getting ramped up. They called me right after the SOTU for a donation. I set up a $10 a month donation through the 2012 election. Booyah!

  44. It’s good to have a place where we can discuss what we like and dislike without sinking into a pit of despair. Politics is like the stock market: it’s all based on human emotion, and when we’re down as an electorate we make irrational and harmful decisions. Obama voters have to get energized, because change is in their hands, not in DC.

  45. Loved the quote in the article above

    “President Obama hijacked hope, American exceptionalism, and fiscal responsibility right off the Republican agenda.”

    Yes – shining a light on hope is what the President did, what the BWD blog does. It’s the reason I started my own blog. Hope is a tremendously important element in the county’s recovery and progress.

  46. Good evening everyone….I wanted to share this
    question & answer session Google did with David
    Plouffe..It displays his techno-savvy and how his
    impact is felt now with very active use of
    Pres.Obama’s over 6 million followers twitter account and the enhanced White
    House SOTU that blew everybody away…HE REALLY..REALLY..LOVES TECHNOLOGY…ENJOY..!! :)

  47. Well, I must say that the manner in which he’s exiting that car, with his feet just so, CLEARLY indicates that he plans to gut social security and put grandma out on the street, everyone can see this but the Obamabots. I can’t believe that he’s sold us out again! /genus: sourpuss; species: psychic preemptive critic

  48. Hi sheri! Can you believe, POTUS said that his speech was going to be “okay,” yeah right, he knocked it out of the park as per usual.

  49. That reminds me of Fidel Castro’s claim that the hurricanes hitting Cuba were the result of US weather experimentation. If that’s so… he COULD stop the rain! He just doesn’t want to. Which reveals the depth of his… um, something or other.

  50. Just my small thought.

    Forget all that stupid chess s*^t! Our Prez plays poker and his stack of chips just keeps growing.

    Go Obama!

  51. Yes. I’d much rather picture him as a card sharp in a 60’s spaghetti western. That’s much cooler. :)

  52. No I didn’t know he said that.. he’s so humble imo. And Yep Grand Slam baby.. what is really so damn great about his speeches- is that he means that stuff- thats what blows me away.

  53. I just watched the entire video. That guy is such an easy guy to listen to – so interesting and he speaks quickly but always with the perfect descriptive words. I remember that from watching his campaign videos. Even though I had read his book when it came out the talk to the Google employees gives it some interseting color. Thanks for posting this here!

  54. LOL and btw, love your avatar but I am sure you are much better looking.

    The Prez is not a “card sharp” which implies someone who cheats. His cards are played with skill and he knows:

    “when to show them, when to fold them, when to walk away…don’t count your money when you’re sitting at the table…time for counting when the deal is done.”

  55. That shows how much I know about cards. I always thought the term just meant someone very good at card games. I’d still prefer to picture him in a 60’s spaghetti Western, though, and not as one of those poker players on ESPN. Really, when did poker become a sport??

  56. g, I 2nd all…@Karoli thanks you…

    But, McShame has already “lost it!” lol

    And, as you’ve indicated, The Boner as The Weeper of The House is workin’/will work to our POTUS’ advantage! ;)

  57. The problem the GOP has with its “gut the government” nonsense is that in our country EVERY dollar passes from the government to a corporation or through a corporation on its way to a person who will spend it at a corporation. Cutting the federal government is more a matter of jealousy than personal economic sense.

    If we cut discretionary spending by 25% what is the savings per person? Maybe $100? But if you kill the job of the federal worker in your small town who makes more than you do, somehow it makes your sorry lot look less crappy. Look at all the rural areas who seem to hate the federal government. For What? Are their lives truly impaired by the local Farm Bureau Credit Association? The Department of Interior, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Commerce Department? No, but people who work there get paid a lot more money than their private sector or state counterparts.

    At the level of voters, its jealousy masquerading as spending policy.

  58. Thanks, Tiger…

    @MuddyPolitics: OBAMA Silences the Critics, STEALS THE GOP’S THUNDER

    It’s easy to analyze the less-than-harsh criticisms of the president’s state of the union address as the result of some new political awakening, a nod of acknowledgement to the consequences of vitriolic political rhetoric, and a realization – spurred by the tragic shootings in Tucson – that there is an obvious link between violent language and violence itself.

    It’s possible.

    It’s also possible that President Obama’s address was so flawless that it left no room for genuine criticism; that he silenced any potential critiques by not only agreeing with Republican concerns about the debt, about spending and about jobs, but by then countering the fears of America’s economic decline by proposing practical policies against which even his staunchest opponents couldn’t argue.

    OBAMA DIDN’T MERELY STEAL THE THUNDER OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY Tuesday night. He marched into the ideological fortress of the demagogueing demigods and ripped the lightening bolt right out of their hands – then beat them over the head with it as every member of Congress in the House chamber stood and cheered him on.

    In outlining his plan to increase innovation, accelerate education and improve infrastructure in the ever-competitive race toward global dominance, Obama balanced his rhetoric with specific goals to achieve them.

    AND REPUBLICANS ATE IT UP.

    He plastered dueling expressions of fear and wonder, guarded revelry and God-fearing awe, skepticism and – if I may say so – “hope” onto the faces of every Republican member of Congress. And he did it by using their own values, their own talking points, and their own campaign goals against them.

    His call for a five-year spending freeze; his appeal to colleges to allow military recruiters back on campus; his confession that the healthcare law has flaws that necessitate bi-partisan fine-tuning; and his devotion to eliminating wasteful spending both within and outside of the non-discretionary portion of the federal budget – these all prompted Democrats and Republicans alike to throw bouquet after bouquet of red-palmed applause toward the president’s lectern as he spoke.

    The exhilaration of seeing the Elocutionist in Chief in action eventually wears off, but one must wonder how deeply Obama’s words cut considering that it was members of the opposition party who were wiping tears from their eyes and droplets of spittle from their heavy chins as the president spoke.

    OBAMA PIQUED THEIR PATRIOTIC INTERESTS AND MASSAGED THEIR NARCISSISM by using their own doomsday rhetoric to highlight the nation’s current economic decline, but then the president took the fear mongering a step further by adding a prologue to the GOP’s playbook that turned the apocalyptic forecasts of the right into a lead-in to his own new world order from the left, advocating intelligence and innovation in industry and advances in education.

    If only out of amazement and reserved admiration, nobody could argue.

    This was evident in The Wall Street Journal’s editorial, “The Great Misallocators,” which focused on the GM bailout. It’s why The New York Post editorial board wrote a piece titled “Obama, Pacified,” talking about his attempt to “shed his image as a liberal activist.” It’s why The Washington Times’ editorial, titled, “Obama’s Spaced Out Speech,” was dedicated to the president’s failure to take into account the context of Communism in his Sputnik reference. It’s why The Washington Post ran an editorial titled “A Disappointing State of the Union Address,” which talked in hypotheticals about what can and cannot be accomplished over the next two years.

    THAT WAS IT….

    … he did deliver a non-partisan speech that every American – whether liberal, conservative or apolitical – could understand, accept and support. The plans he outlined proved beyond criticism, as he turned the surface-level talking points about victory, success and global dominance into logical (and necessary) reasons for investing in America’s future…

    Talking problems to death is a luxury awarded only to the minority party. With Republicans now in control of the lower branch of Congress, they no longer are regarded as windbag obstructionists. They are actual lawmakers – the presumption and expectation being that they now make laws…

    http://www.muddypolitics.com/2011/01/obama-silences-critics-steals-gops.html

    Instead of governin’ this country, GOPTeaParty want to “rage” a culture war… http://tinyurl.com/4fzqbbr

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