Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

“An Economy That’s Built to Last”


President Obama delivered one Hell of a State of the Union speech tonight, and “an economy that’s built to last” was the best soundbite I’ve heard in eons.

Tonight’s speech was as rousing and as articulate as any speech I can remember.  If it’s true that President Obama is better at speaking and campaigning than he is at leading and standing up to Republicans, then the solution is to spend more time at the bully pulpit.  Take these issues directly to The People while Congress just sits there playing with themselves.

His speech had that perfect combination of being unifying, upbeat, reaching out to everybody — and being firm at the same time:

“The state of our union is getting stronger, and we've come too far to turn back now.  As long as I'm president, I will work with anyone in this chamber to build on this momentum. But I intend to fight obstruction with action, and I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place.”

I forget who the commentators were after the SOTU speech, but they made the point that the more positive, upbeat, optimistic candidate usually wins the presidency.  Populism can be very infectious and unifying, but the speaker has to be careful not to sound too negative or resentful.  And then one of them described Obama’s speech as “optimistic populism.”

I like it.

And then, right on cue, Mitch Daniels delivered the Republican response.  In contrast to Obama’s hope and optimism, Mitch Daniels’ speech was basically:

“Boohoohooohooooooohooooooo” “Waaaaaaaahhhhhh” “It’s just awful” “We’re sinking!!!”

Way to go.  May the more positive optimistic party win the White House.

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Blogger Jerry Critter said...

I liked it too.

January 24, 2012 at 9:04 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Another excellent speech, and I agree with your take on Obama's positivism. I'm encouraged because he held to the course change he set back in August: no more accommodation and appeasement of Republican bullies. It took too long for the light bulb to come on over Obama's head, but the good news is that it's staying on, and he is acting according to the reality of his and our situation.

January 25, 2012 at 12:22 AM  
Anonymous Carlos said...

Mitch Daniels? If I'd served as Budget Director under an administration that delivered the country into this crippling debt, I think I might just shut the fuck up about anything that has to do with the economy.

What the Republicans need to do is work. They do more whining and complaining than they do trying to resolve anything. With the country as politically divided as it is, they'll never get 100% of what they want. In that case, logic dictates one should work with the other side and reach compromise. This is true for both sides of the political spectrum.

January 25, 2012 at 2:45 AM  
Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

Bitch Daniels is offering the standard Rushpubliscum fare of fear, fear, hate, and fear. No wonder his wife ran screaming (no idea why she went back, though.)

January 25, 2012 at 3:00 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Dude, who's your dealer? I want you to hook me up.

January 25, 2012 at 6:42 AM  
Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Tom, a corporatist who delivers a great speech is still, unfortunately, a corporatist.

Don't forget that.

January 25, 2012 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Not to rain on your parade but we "are" sinking. Remember how we were sinking when unemployment was 4.5% under Bush?
Populism does not an economy fix.
Go to any SS office and see how many people are sitting on top of their belongings. It's massive.
Tell them we aren't sinking.
Obama won't give them anything they want because he's a divider. He passed health care with just Democrats he should happy about that.Even though he had to bribe and threaten to get it.

January 25, 2012 at 1:25 PM  
Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

Not to rain on your parade but we "are" sinking. Remember how we were sinking when unemployment was 4.5% under Bush?

You dumb broad, were you in the kitchen the entire time between 2001-2009? Those of us men who have to get out and work know that our incomes stagnated, but our costs didn't. And we also know that what we're still seeing out there is because of Chimpy policies that haven't yet been repealed.

Now go do the only thing you're good at, and bake us a pie.

January 25, 2012 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...

Epic level SOTU. Now that Obama has tried the adul reasonable cross aisle approach time to really show the difference between himself and the Party of Plutocrats.

and Lisa, good to see a Bush Defender! Very rare to find Any conservatives rallying to him. The endless Republicon debates and the last 3 years of Faux News make it seem like we never had a Bush Presidency, except for that time 2 and half years afterwards when Dick Cheney got Bin Laden or something.

January 25, 2012 at 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Remember in Last Years State of the Union he Challenged the Republicans to bring back "Pay as you go" the budget plan under Bush One that helped give Clinton his surplus, then was not renewed under Bush 2 while the Republicans spent everything they could get their hands on, and wrote IOU's for the rest.

Not one Republican took him up on that - not even those fiscal hawks that claim to watch every dollar spent.

Normally you scream about deficient but we didn't a word out of you either.

No surprise there


January 25, 2012 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jerry: It was great.

SW: I hope Obama will stick to this course and keep standing up to the Republicans.

Carlos: Excellent point. I knew Daniels was Bush's budget director, but I didn't think of the irony. A lecture from him on fiscal restraint -- that's like Newt Gingrich being a marriage counselor.

JR: All they've got is fear and hate. If they had anything else, they'd be using it.

Randal: psssstt

JG: True. But as long as we're stuck with a corporatist no matter what, we might as well have the one who gives an uplifting speech.

JR: I wouldn't want any of that pie.

Grung: I hope Obama can keep being firm and assertive and still be the only adult in the room.

Erik: They only want "pay as you go" when the money is for domestic spending. Wars and tax cuts are too sacred to be jeopardized by any sort of spending limits.

January 25, 2012 at 6:35 PM  
Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Tom, you replied with...

"But as long as we're stuck with a corporatist no matter what, we might as well have the one who gives an uplifting speech."

If I need to be stroked, I don't want my president doing the honors. As I replied to S.W. Anderson when he recently commented on my own blog, I'm no longer a rider on the "Reform" bus and got off a long time ago. [No pun - honestly!] Both parties have been bought, and are so corrupt they're beyond repair.

Don't let Obama sweet-talk ya'. He's definitely charming and affable, which is one reason they installed him into the position he holds. Think about that.

January 26, 2012 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

JG: "If I need to be stroked, I don't want my president doing the honors."

LOL. Good point. I still think the Democrats are the lesser of 2 evils, but I think certain grassroots efforts -- getting money out of politics, having more people get involved in the issues that affect all of us -- are more important than which party is in power.

January 26, 2012 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger Jerry Critter said...

The real question is where can you do the most good:
1. Sitting on the sidelines?
2. Going with a third party?
3. Working within the party which best represents your goals to make it better?

January 26, 2012 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jerry: I'll take what's behind Door #3.

January 26, 2012 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I still think the Democrats are the lesser of 2 evils.
Tom that's because they stroke you harder.

January 26, 2012 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Republicans don't stroke at all; they just suck.

January 26, 2012 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

isn't sucking better?

January 29, 2012 at 1:55 PM  

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