Skip to comments.Obama to Americans:Achieve Ye This Goal:Issues and issues in the SOTU By Mark Steyn
Posted on 02/17/2013 12:02:54 PM PST by lbryce
Im also issuing a new goal for America, declared President Obama at his State of the Union on Tuesday. Well come to the particular goal he issued momentarily, but before we do, consider that formulation: Did you know the president of the United States is now in the business of issuing goals for his subjects to live up to?
Strange how the monarchical urge persists even in a republic two-and-a-third centuries old. Many commentators have pointed out that the modern State of the Union is in fairly obvious mimicry of the Speech from the Throne that precedes a new legislative session in British Commonwealth countries and continental monarchies, but this is to miss the key difference. When the Queen or her viceroy reads a Throne Speech in Westminster, Ottawa, or Canberra, its usually the work of a government with a Parliamentary majority: In other words, the stuff shes announcing is actually going to happen. Thats why, lest any enthusiasm for this or that legislative proposal be detected, the apolitical monarch overcompensates by reading everything in as flat and unexpressive a monotone as possible. Underneath the ancient rituals the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod getting the door of the House of Commons slammed in his face three times its actually a very workmanlike affair.
The State of the Union is the opposite. The president gives a performance, extremely animatedly, head swiveling from left-side prompter to right-side prompter, continually urging action now: Lets start right away. We can get this done. . . . We can fix this. . . . Now is the time to do it. Now is the time to get it done. And at the end of the speech, nothing gets done, and nothing gets fixed, and, after a few days shadowboxing between admirers and detractors willing to pretend its some sort of serious legislative agenda, every single word of it is forgotten until the next one.
Image courtesy of Instapundit.com
Instapundit takes National Review's Mark Steyn's observation a bit further about Obama passing edicts on his royal subjects as goals for Americans to accomplish
Obama is deluded. He and his wonks say popular things like “Raise the minimum wage!” even though they know it makes unskilled workers worse off.
The concept of the word “goal” has been perverted ever since “goal” was made into a synonym for “quota.” Leave to the Affirmative Action president to come up with the usage in this speech.
To be fair to Obama, this trend has been ongoing for decades.
The SOTU should be our employee reporting to us on where we are, not our Sovereign deigning to outline his plans for our future.
I have heard that historically the average life span of a republic is about 250 years. Guess we’re on the downside if the situation continues as is.
Our Republic may be two and a third centuries old, but that's moot.
He won't understand because he ain't from 'round here.
But many, if not most of his policy analysts and economists actually believe that government, not private enterprise, is the locus of wealth creation in an economy. They also believe that minimum wage laws do not result in lost jobs, and will happily show you "statistics" that purport to make that very case.
Along the same lines, I might show you analytical models that "prove" that socialist societies are happier than capitalist ones. Selective information, informed by presumption and shaped by desire can be shown to demonstrate anything. People believe what they choose to believe in the absence of objective, empirical evidence when they profit (however temporarily) by such belief.
Progressive/collectivist economists are now in vogue; their theories hold sway with all the (right) powerful people. Democrats want to raise the minimum wage because it enables them to buy votes, claim to be helping people, and demonize those who oppose such measures.
To have "experts" in their corner, however mistaken or deluded, means nothing when the entire popular culture now cheers them on in unison and gleefully joins in each Two Minute Hate directed against the other side.
Chirchill’s dire prediction is about to be fuifilled:
“[T]he whole world, including the United States and all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister and perhaps more prolonged by the lights of a perverted science.”
And I fear it will be in our lifetimes.
So, was the Emperor really concerned with the well being of the people at the bottom end of the economy? Or, was this just another payoff to his primary source of money - the UNIONS?
I know which way my “vote” goes. What about yours?