Skip to comments.An Instantly Forgettable State of the Union Address
Posted on 01/29/2014 6:45:06 AM PST by Kaslin
President Obama delivered an unremarkable speech tonight in which he advocated a number of small-ball initiatives, several of which were repeats from previous years. Virtually nothing in the address was memorable, with one significant exception. As he drew his remarks to a close, the president relayed the incredible story of an American wounded warrior, who was perched next to the First Lady in the House gallery. On a night of milquetoast policy and predictable rhetoric, this stirring tribute to a true hero broke through:
On his tenth deployment, Cory was nearly killed by a massive roadside bomb in Afghanistan. His comrades found him in a canal, face down, underwater, shrapnel in his brain. For months, he lay in a coma. The next time I met him, in the hospital, he couldnt speak; he could barely move. Over the years, hes endured dozens of surgeries and procedures, and hours of grueling rehab every day. Even now, Cory is still blind in one eye. He still struggles on his left side. But slowly, steadily, with the support of caregivers like his dad Craig, and the community around him, Cory has grown stronger. Day by day, hes learned to speak again and stand again and walk again and hes working toward the day when he can serve his country again. My recovery has not been easy, he says. Nothing in life thats worth anything is easy. Cory is here tonight. And like the Army he loves, like the America he serves, Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg never gives up, and he does not quit.
This resilient Army Ranger's full story is here. God bless him. Now, onto politics -- and a few disjointed thoughts:
(1) The president asserted that the US economy is roaring back, a message that won't sit well with many Americans. The public has little confidence in the president or his party on handling economic matters. But after all the happy talk -- which ignored a terrible workforce participation rate -- Obama moved on to decrying income inequality. Obama sounded alternatingly triumphal and deeply dissatisfied with the state of the economy, creating a strange tension within his own speech.
(2) Obama pretended that Republicans are opposed to extending unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed. Although economic evidence suggests that extended benefits reduce recipients' incentive to find and accept jobs, Republicans are open to re-upping them, so long as they're paid for. Obama also called on Congress to pass patent reform, which they've done. He called for expanded government pre-K programs, which gold-plated studies undertaken by his own administration have determined do not work. And like a broken record, he called for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, home to some of the world's most dangerous terrorists:
Flashback: Obamas 1st address to Congress in Feb 2009: I have ordered the closing of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay David Gregory (@davidgregory) January 29, 2014
(3) More misleading posturing on equal pay for women. The president has already signed one piece of legislation that was supposed to "fix" that issue. He's touted it from that very podium. And the real cause of most of the pay gap he cited has little or nothing to do with discrimination or sexism. Oh, and his White House pays women less than men, which Katie pointed out earlier.
(4) The president defended his administration's nuclear deal with the Iranian regime, threatening to veto a widely-supported bipartisan sanctions bill that would apply pressure on Iran to follow through on a meaningful deal. His warning received very tepid applause. He claimed that Iran is now subject to vigorous inspections (false), and sung the praises of prior sanctions without mentioning that he fought those at the time, too. Remember this quote from Iran's Foreign Minister on the pact: "We did not agree to dismantle anything."
(5) On Obamacare, this president took another ridiculous victory lap. Without acknowledging the horrible roll-out, dropped coverage, or rising costs, he mocked the GOP for its dozens of repeal votes. Democrats got a kick out of this. Perhaps they've forgotten that eight of those silly partial repeal votes were signed by the president. Obama, as is his wont, used an anecdote of a woman who's benefitted from the new law. If it's an accurate story (several of his previous heart-strings tales haven't been), we should all be happy for her. The trouble is that millions of others are worse off because of the law, as its central promises have been broken. Democrats gave Obamacare a standing ovation tonight, including two very vulnerable Senators:
RT @AmericaRising: VIDEO: Kay Hagan and Mary Landrieu standing up and giving thunderous applause for #ObamaCare http://t.co/YppV6dZwRi Brittany C (@bccohan) January 29, 2014
Cheer away, guys. The public strongly dislikes the mess you've created. The Associated Press also fact-checked Obama twice on Medicare claims, including the infamous double-counting trick:
Although the basic premium remained the same this year at $104.90, it increased by $5 a month in 2013, up from $99.90 in 2012. Obama's health care law also raised Medicare premiums for upper-income beneficiaries, and both the president and Republicans have proposed to expand that. Finally, the degree to which the health care law improved Medicare finances is hotly debated. On paper, the program's giant trust fund for inpatient care gained more than a decade of solvency because of cuts to service providers required under the health law. But in practice those savings cannot simultaneously be used to expand coverage for the uninsured and shore up Medicare.
One dollar can't be spent at the same time on two different things. I'll leave you with the gif of the night, courtesy of Kathleen Sebelius. Her facial expression when the president began talking about the "Affordable" Care Act:
UPDATE - A very quick take on Cathy McMorris Rodgers' GOP response to Obama:
McMorris Rodgers passed "first do no harm" rule of SOTU responses with flying colors. Put a softer face on GOP opposition, to boot. Mike O'Brien (@mpoindc) January 29, 2014
And yet, a host at MSNBC couldn't resist taking a demeaning shot:
Living room. Lady on a settee. Where's the needlepoint? Alex Wagner (@alexwagner) January 29, 2014
I won’t forget it.
His utter self-delusion, total disconnect from reality, self-righteousness and totally self-absorbed cockiness, fully left their mark on me.
It was disGUSTing!
During his State of the Union remarks on Tuesday, President Barack Obama remarked, “Today, Women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.
A woman deserves equal pay for equal work.” However, as the president made his demand, women who work at the White House continue to make less money than their male counter-parts. According to the D.C. based American Enterprise Institute, female White House staffers are paid less than 87 cents for every dollar paid to men who work at the White House. This is a significant gender wage gap of more than 13 percent AEI notes.
When was the last time there was a memorable State of the Union Address?
You have by far a better stomach than I have
Washington's Farewell Address.
Agreed. It was feeble, nonresponsive and her voice inflections made it sound like she was talking to 5 year olds. I hated it.
He is a hypocrite like all demonrats
None from that arrogant pos, that for sure
It’s a shame his whole presidency can’t be forgot!!!
More divide and conquer warfare from the the great divider. Many women make a lot more than their male counterparts, but the average is brought down because so few proportionately are in technical fields plus motherhood takes a large segment of the female population out of the work force for large segments of time. Being removed from your career for long time periods often sets back career advancement and pay raises.
I wish the left would stop focusing on making people feel miserable.
How can the presidency of the worst president of all times be forgotten?
I haven’t watched SOTU silliness since Reagan.
...it sound like she was talking to 5 year olds.
Oh, she didn’t tone it down for Democrats?
He should have had semi-naked dancers and singers performing satanic rituals in the background.