After being undeniably thumped by an electorate unhappy with his priorities and failings, President Obama needed to set a new tone, distract us away from the old one and try to create a new positive, hopeful, agenda. To a degree, a significant portion of the population will fall for the rhetorical pros that the President offered and believe that he really did learn a lesson and drop his aggressive socialist agenda. But in the coming months, it looks like the President’s deeds will betray his words.
President Obama’s address was carefully targeted. For instance, in many ways, the President tried to appeal to his most vocal critics regarding an issue that many are quite critical of Democrats overr………………taxes. Despite claims that Bush tax cuts need to expire because they hurt, President Obama took great credit for offering a Christmas tree of tax cuts. He even touted the merits of trickle-down economics when he stated that his tax cuts “gave Americans more buying power”. What President Obama failed to mention was that his seemingly long list of supposed tax cuts in the past and the ones he is proposing in the future are so meager that their benefits are hardly felt.
President Obama’s newfound faith in tax cuts was merely one of many 180 degree turns that his rhetoric took from the reality of his policies.
He spoke of bi-partisanship.
On this he may have learned lesson, because his words about his future conduct, sharply contrasted his past actions. He promised monthly meetings with the Republican leadership. He endorsed a bipartisan fiscal commission and he even appealed to Republicans and urged them to be bipartisan. Yet, this is the same man who refused to allow Republicans to sit down at the table with him and Democrat leaders as they tried to hammer out their version of healthcare reform. Where was President Obama’s yearning for bipartisanship then?
What a difference an election makes.
The election of Republican Scott Brown destroys the unbridled control of liberals and now, when the President will need to deal with Republicans, he wants bipartisanship. He should get it but he should also practice it as he preaches it.
Our Commander-In-Chief once again spoke of transparency. He demanded that earmarks be posted on a website so that all can see them before they get voted on. I support the concept, so long as it does not call for an entire new federal department to run and as long as it does not distort the numbers as was the case with Recovery.gov, which was suppose to show where all the stimulus money was going and what is was producing. That site created fictitious congressional districts and fake jobs. But what about this push for transparency? Was it practiced by the President when he refused to allow C-Span into his meetings with Democrats involving healthcare reform?
And what about earmarks?
They did not bother the President in any of the 124 bills that he signed into law during his first year in office. I failed to hear him protest the hundreds of millions earmarked for Arkansas’ Blanche Lincloln, Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu or North Dakota’s Ben Nelson when they were given earmarks in return for their support of healthcare reform.
President Obama also seemingly reversed his position on energy too.
Suddenly he endorses the construction of nuclear power facilities and the drilling of domestic oil. He opposed such measures in the past, so what accounts for the sudden reversal? The truth is, it is not a reversal at all. As with all that the President said he wants to forge ahead with, subtle caveats were offered, In this case, he would move on nuclear and domestic oil energy independence but only if his Cap-and Trade scheme is passed in Senate. Hence the new use of the both climateand energy together in one bill. The White House intends to link support of his Cap-and-Trade environmental scheme to energy and stand in the way of one without the other. Is that compromise? What the President failed to mention was that Cap-and-Trade would amount to the greatest transfer of wealth in history and tax everything from the air we breathe to the flatulence of each farm animal that a farmer owns.
Indeed President Obama sounded hopeful and at times he even sounded conservative. But the truth is that the Obama soundtrack is as about as out of sync sync with his actual goals as a poorly made karate flick or Japanese monster movie dubbed over in English.
In general the President’s first State of the Union had a rightfully optimistic tone. He is right when he stated ” I have never been more hopeful about America than I am tonight because of our strength” . The phrase was remiscent of First Lady Michelle Obama’s claim to have never been more proud of America than she was when he husband was winnin g Democrat presidential primaries.
But in this case the President was right to be hopeful because of our strength but what he does not yet understand is that that strength comes from the American people, not their government.
In the Republican response to the President , Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell effectively pointed this out when spoke of the need for a proper limited government at every level and reminded us that top down leadership is not working and that the government closest to the people is the best government.
Governor McDonnell reminded us that Cap-and-Trade does not create jobs and lower taxes. Yet while the President spent much time talking about job creation and a prosperous people, his liberal Cap-and-Trade proposals would hurt job growth and make energy more unaffordable.
In short, the President used the State of the Union to restore a badly damaged image and establish some sense of confidence as he moves ahead. But his words contradicted his actions and his policy initiatives contradicted his Party’s direction. In the end, his State of the Union address actually created more questions than it answered and sparked more doubt than confidence. So I suspect that as next 10 months leading up to the midterm elections unfolds, despite his stated dislike for what he called “the perpetual campaign”, President Obama will be campaigning quite hard to save his party’s losses and as such he will continue to talk out of both sides of his mouth.