Thursday, January 28, 2010

One More Flogging Of The SOTU

Okay, I'm hoping this will be the last one.  If I post more on this, it'll have to be a real gem.  As it is, the opinions below are excellent.

Clearly, after stunning losses in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts over the past few months, this Administration was sent a message from the American people that they are mad at President Obama's big government policies.  He did not hear that message and he told them last night that he is pushing forward with ObamaCare and other big government ideas.  They don't want it.

The President, when not blaming the Bush Administration for his problems, merely thinks that the American people are not listening to him.  This is good news for conservatives, because the President's speech last night shows that he will take no action to right the ship before Congressional elections this November and he seems incapable of a nuanced approach to politics that includes a mix of conservative and liberal approaches to problem solving.  The President is like the Captain of the Titanic in April of 1912 steaming past huge icebergs in the hope that his ship of state somehow makes it until the end of the year without a catastrophic collision.

State of the Union speeches regularly infuriate the opposing party, and to that extent Barack Obama met and exceeded expectations last night.

One aspect of the speech deservedly is receiving most attention: The crude attempt to intimidate the Supreme Court in front of the Congress and the nation. Here's the relevant text:

With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests -- including foreign corporations -- to spend without limit in our elections. (Applause.) I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. (Applause.) They should be decided by the American people. And I'd urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems.

The video shows the Supreme Court, surrounded by cheering and standing Democratic Congressmen and Senators, sitting mostly stone-faced in the face of the Congressional mob, except for Justice Alito who apparently mouthed the words "not true."

The details are well publicized, and Instapundit has a good round-up of why the President's attack was both false and unprecedented.

Put aside for the moment that this is the same President who had his campaign disable credit card security features on his campaign website so that there would be no way to ensure compliance with federal campaign laws. This post is not about mere hypocrisy, which is a common trait in politicians.

The attack on the Supreme Court during the State of the Union was a window into Obama's divisive soul. I have posted numerous times before about Obama's need to identify and campaign against enemies. He did it during the campaign and he does it every day in office.

Last night it was (mostly) the bankers and Wall Street (which donated more money to his campaign than to Republicans) and the Senate Republicans who were his target. But it those were the only attacks, it would have been merely another typical political speech.

The attack on the Supreme Court exposes the intolerance of this President. The politician who campaigned and allegedly champions the rule of law actually has very little use for the rule of law when it does not advance his political agenda.

Last night was an attempt at intimidation, a chance to work the referees on the sideline during a home game with the guarantee of crowd approval.

This one is my favorite, and I highly recommend hitting the link to read in its entirety:

Viewers of the State of the Union address last night were treated to the spectacle of a man completely disconnected from reality, insisting the country join him in celebrating his failures as rousing successes… or at least the best anyone could have expected to do, in the long shadow of George Bush. It wasn't a President honestly discussing the state of the union. It was a long, rambling exit interview from a deluded employee, who thinks he was called into the office to get a raise instead of a pink slip. It was the hurt and confusion of an academic who doesn't understand how his B+ term paper could have become such a disaster when implemented in the real world, and insists it will still work, if everyone pays closer attention to the extensive footnotes.

Beyond the fact-checkable whoppers fried up on the grill of desperate political necessity, the speech illustrated a disturbing ignorance of the way every facet of our economy and culture is connected. Barack Obama is a disconnected President, who lacks a basic understanding of the fantastically complex system he pretends to control. He's a vain and egotistical man frantically waving his arms in front of a symphony he can barely hear, and claiming to be the conductor.

It was surreal to watch a politician announce his top priority is job creation, then spend the next hour listing class-warfare enemies...

It's painful to listen to someone who wants to add nationalized banks to his collection of state-run car companies wax poetic about the power of entrepreneurs, then list all the ways he's going to punish risk-taking and achievement. ... If no one has incentives to excel, and risk-taking is a felony offense, small businesses don't appear and grow. Entrepreneurship does not thrive in the thin soil of a command economy. Contrary to Democrat Party rhetoric, banks do not exist to give people credit cards they can pay off whenever they get around to it, or mortgages they "deserve" but cannot possibly afford.

Praise for the resilient spirit of the American people rings hollow, coming from a man who doesn't think they can be trusted to manage their own health care without government supervision. ...

A politician who wants to swell the size of an already-titanic government has no business complaining about lobbyists and special interests, especially when he thinks "special interest" means "a powerful group that doesn't contribute money to my party." The party of George Soros, and the candidate who turned his campaign website into a Swiss bank account by disabling its basic identity checks, have nothing useful to say about keeping "foreign money" out of politics. ...

This State of the Union speech was the midterm exam in a long, painful lesson about the interdependence of politics, culture, and the economy. The challenge facing a democracy is to maintain a government that secures freedom against anarchy, without following its worst instincts into tyranny. Government is force, and the larger its programs become, the more it becomes fixated on compliance. The belief that we can let the government control some portions of our lives and industry, while the rest remain vibrant and creative, is a childish fantasy that should have died for good last night, before the spectacle of a man who doesn't understand why his declared capitalist enemies aren't producing enough jobs to boost his approval ratings. When he urged Americans to begin removing the obstacles to their success, he was too disconnected to understand that process already began in Massachusetts last week.

Amen to that.  Amen.

There's my two cents.

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