Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The State of the Union (Democratic Party)

Last night's State of the Union address was a reprise of President Obama's inaugural address of two years ago where he outlined his broad social democratic vision for America. His speech would have been more appropriate for a Democratic national convention rather than before a largely Republican Congress. His Santa's bag was filled with such goodies as free community college tuition, higher childcare credits, higher minimum wage and paid family leave; all to be paid for by taxes on business and the very rich. Yes. it is easy to play Santa Claus with other people's money.

With respect to foreign policy, in the words of the words of the administration's house organ, MSNBC, the president was "delusional". On what planet is he living? ISIL remains on the march in the middle east, Yemen is falling apart, a weakened Russia is advancing in the Ukraine and across much of the world, terrorist alerts have been upgraded.

To be sure President Obama held out hope for potential deals on corporate taxes and trade, but most of speech was outright hostile to the GOP majority by offering veto threats on Keystone and amendments to financial reform.

Finally he returned to his theme of 2004 calling to unite red and blue America and he called for the removal of "dark money" from political campaigns.  This was perhaps the most cynical portion of the speech. Of course the Republican leadership has played a leading role in dividing the country, but make no mistake, President Obama has been hardly willing to compromise as well. Moreover over all of President Obama's election cycles he has been "the fundraiser in chief." It was he who chose not to take public funds in 2008 and 2012.

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