President Obama, State of the Union Speech
OK, I admit it. It was an excellent speech. In the past few months I’ve been disgusted and disillusioned with Obama's ongoing cycle of Dither, give a rousing speech (his weekly Saturday address), dither again, give another stirring speech.. Rinse and repeat. Etc.
I was fully expecting another smooth speech that would promise but not deliver. But he said everything he needed to say to acknowledge everyone’s fears and frustrations. (Full text here.) Just a few highlights:
“…change has not come fast enough. Some are frustrated; some are angry. They don't understand why it seems like bad behavior on Wall Street is rewarded but hard work on Main Street isn't, or why Washington has been unable or unwilling to solve any of our problems. They are tired of the partisanship and the shouting and the pettiness. They know we can't afford it. Not now.”
“Our most urgent task upon taking office was to shore up the same banks that helped cause this crisis. It was not easy to do. And if there's one thing that has unified Democrats and Republicans, it's that we all hated the bank bailout. I hated it. You hated it. It was about as popular as a root canal. But when I ran for president, I promised I wouldn't just do what was popular — I would do what was necessary.”
“Let me repeat: we cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. We cut taxes for small businesses. We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college. As a result, millions of Americans had more to spend on gas, and food and other necessities, all of which helped businesses keep more workers.”
And now, for all of the inbred teabirther tenther fucks out there — please try to grasp the big words in the following sentence: “And we haven't raised income taxes by a single dime on a single person. Not a single dime.”
Knuckledragging rightwads, please read the above bold/enlarged sentence over and over and over until comprehension occurs.
And (sorry about the brief rant): “Next, we can put Americans to work today building the infrastructure of tomorrow. From the first railroads to the interstate highway system, our nation has always been built to compete. There's no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains or the new factories that manufacture clean energy products.”
“You see, Washington has been telling us to wait for decades, even as the problems have grown worse. Meanwhile, China's not waiting to revamp its economy; Germany's not waiting; India's not waiting. These nations aren't standing still. These nations aren't playing for second place. They're putting more emphasis on math and science. They're rebuilding their infrastructure. They are making serious investments in clean energy because they want those jobs.”
And regarding the yearlong spitball-throwing contest over health insurance reform:
“But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors and stop insurance company abuses, let me know. Here's what I ask of Congress, though: Do not walk away from reform.”
“But what frustrates the American people is a Washington where every day is election day. We cannot wage a perpetual campaign where the only goal is to see who can get the most embarrassing headlines about their opponent — a belief that if you lose, I win. Neither party should delay or obstruct every single bill just because they can.”
It was a great speech — a tough act to follow by the Wall Street Party, try as they may.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell gave a followup counter speech that was smooth, slick — or maybe sterile and lifeless would be more accurate. This automaton makes R2-D2 look animated.
Let’s put it this way: if you call the Virginia governor’s office and you think you’ve been relegated to a phone tree — that’s not a recording. That’s the governor, in person! He just talks like that.