Thursday, January 28, 2010

And Now Some Opinions on the State of the Union Address

A few of the pundits giving their Monday morning quarterback opinions of The Presidents State of the Union address.

"President Obama's State of the Union address should unnerve Democrats in Congress and throughout the country. It was one of the worst State of the Union addresses in modern times – a stunning thing for a man who won the presidency in large measure based on the power and uplift of his rhetoric.

For those who hoped the president would use this speech as a pivot to the center, a la Bill Clinton in the aftermath of the 1994 mid-term elections, the speech was a major letdown. Much of what he offered up last night was symbolic. His budget freeze on a subset of domestic discretionary spending – which might amount to $15 billion – will hardly put a dent into our $1.35 trillion deficit. His budget commission, which will have no real power or authority, is worthless. His proposal to cut the capital gains tax for small business investment is a step in the right direction – but it will fall far short of what is needed to generate jobs and economic growth
- Peter Wehner, Politics Daily

"Haven’t we heard that speech before, practically every word of it? Maybe it was a year ago when President Obama first addressed Congress. Maybe it was during the campaign. Maybe it was at one of those town halls? Maybe Obama can’t help himself. His speeches just insist on sounding the same.

In any case, Obama delivered the least fresh State of the Union address I’ve ever heard, and I’ve heard more than 30 of them. It was filled with old ideas, campaign cliches, and frequent use of personal pronoun, “I.” That’s the Obama pattern." - Fred Barnes, Weekly Standard

It was a confident performance, more defiant than contrite, more conversational than soaring. He appealed to and scolded both parties, threatened vetoes, blamed his predecessor and poked fun at lawmakers. The agenda was largely the same, dressed up in fresh packaging, as he offered point-by-point rebuttals to the litany of critiques he hears with increasing frequency. He acknowledged only a failure to explain his policies without retreating an inch on the policies themselves. His main message: “I don’t quit.” - Peter Baker, New York Times

"Acknowledging that the longer the public has looked at the legislation the less the public has liked it, he blamed himself for not "explaining it more clearly." But his faux contrition actually blames the public: The problem is not the legislation's substance but the presentation of it to slow learners. He urged them to take "another look at the plan we've proposed." The plan? The differences between the House and Senate plans are not trivial; they concern how to pay for the enormous new entitlement.

Obama seems to regret the existence in Washington of ... everyone else. He seems to feel entitled to have his way without tiresome interventions in the political process by the many interests affected by his agenda for radical expansion of the regulatory state."

Lamenting Washington's "deficit of trust," Obama gave an example of the reason for it when he brassily declared: "We are prepared to freeze government spending for three years." This flagrant falsehood enlarges Washington's deficit of truth: He proposes freezing somediscretionary spending -- about one-eighth of government spending.

Obama's leitmotif is: Washington is disappointing, Washington is annoying, Washington is dysfunctional, Washington is corrupt, verily Washington is toxic -- yet Washington should conscript a substantially larger share of GDP, and Washington should exercise vast new controls over health care, energy, K-12 education, etc. Talk about a divided brain. - George Will, Real Clear Politics

And of course Chris Matthews at MSNBC, who somehow makes it about race.

Maybe it's just me but it seems that the rich white liberals have more guilt to deal with then us middle age, middle class, white, Chevy truck driving red-necks. Chris Matthews has to be the worse political commentator on the air. I don't believe that anyone takes Keith Olbermann seriously. I don't even believe Keith Olbermann really believes most of the stuff he says. But Matthews comes from social class that just seems to be out of sync with middle America.

And a few people are getting tired of President Obama blaming Bush for his ability to be the "change" agent he promoted.

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