President Barack Obama rewrote history in real time Tuesday night, telling the nation that most, if not all, the problems this country faces were inherited and everything would be OK if only the other side would always let him do things his way.
Blaming a nation in chaos entirely on the Republican party, Obama’s State of the Union address was more political stump speech than a factual report on a nation divided by political strife, hobbled by weak leadership and stymied by a system that no longer works.
Capitol Hill Blue asked a panel of speech watchers to pick the “defining issue” of Obama’s speech. None could. Calvin Woodward of The Associated Press called his Obama’s programs “a wish list, not a to-do list” and noted that most have failed before.
Even after more than three years in office, Obama refused to take any blame for the nation’s ills. He said America can no longer deliver on the “basic” promise that hard work can provide a good life but avoided taking responsibility for any of his broken promises or failure to deliver.
The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive, No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important. We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. What’s at stake are no Democratic values or Republican values, but American values. We have to reclaim them.
Nice words, but then Obama has always been good at putting together nice sounding rhetoric. What he’s not good at is translating those words into action.
He claims his polices are turning the country around yet millions of Americans lost their jobs after he took office and many are off the grid, no longer looking for work.
“The state of the union is getting stronger, and we’ve come too far to turn back now,” Obama claims. “As long as I’m president, I will work with anyone in this chamber to build on this momentum.”
What momentum? What work. Obama’s record in his first three years has been as hard-line, as obstructionist and as “my way or the highway” as the Republicans. The man who promised to rebuild America by building consensus has built nothing but failure and distrust.
The only thing he has going to him is a fractured, dysfunctional Republican party that can’t make up its mind on whether or not to nominate a serial adulterer, an empty suit millionaire, a right-wing nut job or an aging, conspiracy-spouting Libertarian.
Obama called American workers “the most productive on Earth,” but productive at what? All their jobs have gone overseas and Obama — like most Presidents who kowtow to big business and big money — has done nothing to bring those jobs back.
“Millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that do the same,” the President said. “It’s time to apply the same rules from top to bottom: No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts. An America built to last insists on responsibility from everybody.”
This from a President who never met a benefit program he didn’t like, who backs federal subsidies for energy companies that sink in the quicksand of fraud, who has increased the number of Americans on welfare and food stamps to record levels?
Nice speech Mr. President but that’s all it was. Just a speech. Just words, long on rhetoric, short on specifics and — judging by your record — doomed a President who never took the time to learn the basics before he was handed the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.