Archive for Friday, January 29, 2010

Staying the course

There was little in Wednesday’s State of the Union address that indicated President Obama is moving toward the political middle.

January 29, 2010


Polls and the recent shocking Massachusetts election, in which a Republican won a U.S. Senate seat held by the late Ted Kennedy for more than 40 years, focused great attention and importance on President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Wednesday evening.

There was a question of how the president would grade his first year in office and what he might say about the GOP win in Massachusetts and the failure to get his health care plan passed by the end of 2009. Many wondered whether he might signal a political move, or pivot, toward the middle rather than maintaining his rigid left-of-center, liberal position.

After a 70-minute presentation, interrupted 86 times for applause, there really wasn’t much evidence of a changed Obama.

He defended his actions. He blamed former President George W. Bush for most of the country’s ills. His tone remained defiant. He lectured those in his audience and didn’t indicate there was anything wrong with the more than 8,000 earmarks in the Democratic stimulus bill, the lack of transparency, the number of former lobbyists in his administration, the secret behind-the-scenes payoffs or bribery used to obtain favorable votes or other cases in which he had not honored pledges or promises he made during his presidential campaign.

He did call for new ways to meet our country’s energy needs, the development of clean, safe nuclear power, the development of additional offshore oil and gas exploration, a continuing effort to clean up our environment and the importance of getting more Americans back to work.

The president said it was critical to have bipartisan support for this country to solve its problems, but this rang hollow for many when the name of the game during his first year in office was making deals, writing proposed legislation behind closed doors and locking out GOP members in the formation of the stimulus and health bills.

Whether Obama will regain the popularity and respect he enjoyed at the start of his presidency is uncertain, but there wasn’t much in his Wednesday night pep talk to fellow Democrats, or the tone of his message, to indicate there is the excitement and enthusiasm he enjoyed a year ago after his dramatic move into the White House.

The nation needs and deserves a stimulating, visionary president who can enthuse the public to work together for a better and greater country. He, or she, must operate in a manner that sets high standards of ethics and honesty and merits the respect of Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

Unfortunately, Obama’s State of the Union address didn’t bring out the best of our president or leave those in Congress and the millions of those who watched the televised address with the inspiration and commitment to do what they could to help make this a better country.

Obama had the opportunity to use the State of the Union to kick off his second year in office in an enthusiastic, unifying manner, but, rather, he continued his call for greater and greater government involvement in all of our lives and greater national debt.

It was not a good or encouraging introduction to Chapter 2 of the Obama presidency.


overthemoon 7 years, 12 months ago

Well, here's another opinionator that is responding without actually listening to what the President said. I guess the "let's make sure America fails" memo got to this writer's desk in a timely manner so he'd not have to pay attention to the speech on his own.

kansasmutt 7 years, 12 months ago

WOW, don`t know what the writer watched, but i saw a president sticking to his plan and telling the GOP to do something. I also saw and heard a plan, not negative talk about americans and america like GOP talks. I saw a man talking to us and telling us he wants to help us , but the GOP has a rubber stamp that says NO on it.I also saw children ( GOP ) doing what they can to make this country fail. The GOP got us into this mess , but want nothing to change until they have a leader in office to say they saved us , and that is BS.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 12 months ago

It was a good speech; he whined a bit too much about the mess Bush II left us, but overall, a measured and well written speech about the realities we face. I particularly liked the line about 'looking deep into the century' to try and transform the society's transportation system and other critical issues. Relax, Dolph, your fortune is safe.

WilburM 7 years, 12 months ago

Always a treat to see a Dolph editorial during the week., It means that we don't have to go a full 7 days without verbose, ill-informed commentary.

Obama's got his problems, and his speech, while well-delivered, rambled a bit. Still, there was some character, some spunk, and some humor. But one probably needs to recognize those qualities in order to appreciate them at all.

Can't wait for the Saturday verbiage!

Rex Russell 7 years, 12 months ago

We're are going to have to accept the fact that very little is going to get done until after the mid-term elections. And after that, maybe not much either. What we have is a president who wants to change the way things get done, and get something done, as a public servant. Instead of a power-weilder mentality. The real problem is Congress. Less so the House as much as the Senate, but both are atrocious. We have a bungling, schizofrenic, Democratic party that couldn't lead us back from the abyss even if the map was tattooed to their face. And we have a Republican party who has colluded to ensure that this particular president looks like, and will be a failure by stubbornly doing nothing. Both parties shortcomings and action plans ensure that WE lose and get nowhere. This where we are. The clock is ticking. For all those saying that they are getting tired of Obama whining about the mess that was handed to him, I agree. Getting And yet, it doesn't make it any less true. The proof of this is Obama himself. For all those who dispise him with every fiber of their being, let me point out this: Without the wishy-washy, limp wrist style of Carter, there would be no Reagan years. Without the sterile, cluelessness of of Bush Sr., there would be no Clinton years. Without the ham-handed, country bumpkin, truth-twisting, Clinton years, there would be no GWB years. And finally, without the utter and complete debacle of the previous administration, Obama would have never been elected. The pendulum swings. For all those just like the ever sniping,grumbling, kvitching Mr. Simmons, critiquing Mr. Obama, look in the mirror. He's sitting in the big chair because the flamming liberals put him there. He's there because Bush was just that bad. The pendulum swings, and it will swing back again.

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 12 months ago

I'd like to say to ALL members of Congress; Stop treating every day as if it were election day and get SOMETHING done. It's time to work together and quit worrying about the next election. If you were doing your job, there shouldn't be much to worry about.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 12 months ago

“Yesterday’s big takeaway from Barack Obama’s State of the Union was having a Constitutional law professor scold the Supreme Court for a recent decision — and getting the particulars wrong on national television. Could it possibly get worse than that? HA reader Marvin K and Patriot Post notice that the Con-Law prof seems a little confused about what’s actually in the Constitution: We find unity in our incredible diversity, drawing on the promise enshrined in our Constitution: the notion that we are all created equal, that no matter who you are or what you look like, if you abide by the law you should be protected by it; that if you adhere to our common values you should be treated no different than anyone else. Is “the notion that we are all created equal” actually enshrined in our Constitution? Er, no. The closest one can get is the 14th Amendment, which guarantees that people cannot be denied “equal protection of the laws.” There is only one use of any form of the word create, in Article I Section 6, barring former members of Congress from receiving emoluments from offices created or pay increased while serving as a member. The “notion”, actually a principle, that we are all created equal is found in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Even apart from that, Obama gets the idea of equal protection wrong. Quite clearly, equal protection must apply regardless of whether one complies with the law. Constitutional protections are not granted only “if you abide by the law”; they’re inherent and not conditional. Some specifically protect Americans from the power of government after being accused of not abiding by the law. The notion that they only apply if one adheres to our “common values” is a complete misreading of the Constitution and its purpose of limiting government, not the people. And if Obama really believed what he said, then why is he trying terrorists (who clearly reject our values and refuse to recognize our laws) in criminal court with these same Constitutional guarantees? One would think a Con Law prof would know the difference, especially as President. Apparently not. Update: Jim Hoft, Modern Conservative, and Free Republic also noticed this.”

Scott Drummond 7 years, 12 months ago

"There was little in Wednesday’s State of the Union address that indicated President Obama is moving toward the political middle."

That's because he's already there. Something that I am sure is not apparent to you from your far right perspective.

anon1958 7 years, 12 months ago

scott3460 (Anonymous) says…

“There was little in Wednesday’s State of the Union address that indicated President Obama is moving toward the political middle.”

That's because he's already there. Something that I am sure is not apparent to you from your far right perspective.

QFT, Bingo!, We have a winner!, thread finished.

Rex Russell 7 years, 12 months ago

Last post >"He's sitting in the big chair because the flamming liberals put him there. "< Should be: "He's sitting in the big chair NOT because the flamming liberals put him there. " Big difference. Sorry.

Stuart Evans 7 years, 12 months ago

Scott, I'm not far right at all, and I can tell you, this president is left of center. he has pandered to the liberal agenda. he has held secret meetings; shutting out Republicans. He has also lost a huge approval rating. I would give him props for sticking to his guns, if I believed that he actually cared about the people and not political ideology.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 12 months ago

taking single payer off the table, giving up on the public option and backing health care "reform" that drives millions of new customers to the health care insurance monopolies is pandering to the liberal agenda? Not in my reality.

George Lippencott 7 years, 12 months ago

It was an impassioned speech!

Why should I believe it?

Transparence? Help the middle? The rich pay their fair share? End the war? And so on

Maybe if we move more clearly in the direction promised a year ago skepticism will decliner. He even acknowledged so in the speech

Scott Drummond 7 years, 12 months ago

"Why should I believe it?"

Agreed. In this regard, our neighbors to the east have the right approach: Show Me! And while you're at it, let's cut through the mainstream meadia bias and show the republicans for what they are all about, as well.

Rex Russell 7 years, 12 months ago

This guy is anything but a liberal. Calling him one doesn't make him one. If you take healthcare out of the equation,his actions so far as a whole, make him a middle of the road modate. Hell, he has p.o.'ed every real liberal that voted for him so far.

bd 7 years, 12 months ago

Time for a good old fashion Tea Party !

Richard Heckler 7 years, 12 months ago

Obama is far left yet he is willing to open up drilling in the artic and considers Nuke power clean. How is that even near far left?

The war has been expanded. That is anything but far left.

Gov't is the key to new jobs because corp america likes China best.

Next time don't vote repub or democrat vote Nader/Gonzales even if they don't spend near as much money as other candidates. Be smart.

George Lippencott 7 years, 12 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says…

Huh, Nation Building is a very Democratic Party liberal left thing!

monkeyhawk 7 years, 12 months ago

Is Pres. BO going to perpetuate cap & trade and try to ram it before the US media reports on this stuff?

"Scientists in stolen e-mail scandal hid climate data ...

Details of the breach emerged the day after John Beddington, the Chief Scientific Adviser, warned that there was an urgent need for more honesty about the uncertainty of some predictions. His intervention followed admissions from scientists that the rate of glacial melt in the Himalayas had been grossly exaggerated.

In one e-mail, Professor Jones asked a colleague to delete e-mails relating to the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

He also told a colleague that he had persuaded the university authorities to ignore information requests under the act from people linked to a website run by climate sceptics."

weeslicket 7 years, 12 months ago

nod to so many excellent posts in retort to the unsigned editorialist.

on a side point: when president obama spoke about tax relief, supporting small business, nuclear power and other suchlike favorites of the right, i was truly surprised that the republicans sat on their hands. really? you can't even clap for the things you say you believe in? really surprised me.


Stephen Roberts 7 years, 12 months ago

I watched part of the SOTU speech and during it, i felt like President Obama was talking down to everyone. Was this just me??

I am disappointed he would criticize the Supreme Court during the SOTU speech. To me it does not show much class. If he wants to be on the Supreme Court then he should resign and hope one of them dies soon and have Biden swear him in.

I watched more of the responses and it was hysterical. If Bush would have criticized the Supreme Court, James Carville would have went ballistic but since Obama did it was ok.

leedavid 7 years, 12 months ago

Deathpenaltyliberal... Well there is that and he cut millions of jobs for Americans causing record home foreclosures. You might mention that.

What kind of tea can I get ya?

Scott Drummond 7 years, 12 months ago

Remember the right wing talking point about Obama and the teleprompters? I guess the schooling he provided the republicans today ought to put that lie to rest.

leedavid 7 years, 12 months ago

Tell that to the millions that lost their job, they would love to hear about how the rate of job loss is less. People are still loosing their jobs, just not as many. GDP is for accountants that doesn't put food on the table or pay a bill. I'm talking about people's lives.

I like coffee too. New Orleans style.

George Lippencott 7 years, 11 months ago

deathpenaltyliberal (Anonymous) says…

You sure are. What Republican ideas did the Democrats embrace before this speech? Basically none. You call that bipartisan?

George Lippencott 7 years, 11 months ago

deathpenaltyliberal (Anonymous) says…

I guess I am - I remember Vietnam. I am also watching Afghanistan!

I would also argue that our role in Iraq was more security then nation building. Of course, it still looked like a war, talked like a war and felt like a war! Just like Vietnam and Afghanistan.

George Lippencott 7 years, 11 months ago

deathpenaltyliberal (Anonymous) says…

And just jow much has shipping all the jobs offshore effected the job market? Just whose idea was that??

Stephen Roberts 7 years, 11 months ago

deathpenalty- did Reagan, Bush & Bush scold the SCOTUS in a State of the Union?? I don't recall.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 11 months ago

":You mean it's time for bitter, borderline racist, entitled white men to complain about how they have been oppressed by Obama because he cut taxes for 95% of Americans." Hyperbole much?

George Lippencott 7 years, 11 months ago

deathpenaltyliberal (Anonymous) says…

“:You mean it's time for bitter, borderline racist, entitled white men to complain about how they have been oppressed by Obama because he cut taxes for 95% of Americans.”

Educate me. What tax cut? Did I miss something? I am in the 95 %

puddleglum 7 years, 11 months ago

i still haven't gotten my handout.... I claimed a shild this year and all I got was about $1950?


I see unemployed people with four kids bringing in $10000 tax refunds.....


it may not be Obama's fault, but the middle class is just getting SCREWED on taxes!

weeslicket 7 years, 11 months ago

actually, scotus deserved a scolding on their latest decision. (judicial activism, anyone? judicial restraint? strict constructionism??) actually, a president gets to scold scotus. actually, that won't change this decision.

George Lippencott 7 years, 11 months ago

weeslicket (Anonymous) says…

Throttle everybody or nobody. Not good to throttle only a select group. Who is the next group to be throttled - liberals?

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