Jokers to the left of me, haters to the right:
Looking out at the motley crew seated before him for the big speech, the president seemed at times to be pretending that he had never seen these people before in his life. "Washington has been telling us to wait for decades," he complained at one point, as if he was a visitor from the heartland with a petition that he wanted to deliver if only he could get an appointment with someone on the appropriations committee.
Marc suggests that the theme of this speech is "Washington is Broken". Is this a wise move? That was, after all, the theme of most of his prior speeches, indeed, the theme of his whole campaign. Obama convinced millions of voters that he could fix the broken-ness, something not in his power to do. Now they're all furious with him, and the rest of us are just as skeptical as we were before. So what good does it do to complain that DC is broken? He is president of the country we have, with the political system we have, not some other place with more felicitous rules.
Winning in Washington, right now down to brass tacks. I'll level with you. It's going to take a strategy that does not count on any republican votes on capitol hill. And that's the kind of strategy the president doesn't want to talk about it. But his success will depend on whether he can do it anyway. And the answer to that question, we will learn by seeing what he does tomorrow, not just by what he said tonight. [...]
Still, though the President's supporters will likely be happy to have seen him box republicans in to not standing and applauding for popular populist stuff like getting the banks to paw back the bailout money. And those frustrated with republicans on health reform will doubtless enjoy slow footage of one desperate Republican congressman, Patrick McHenry, FLAILING HIS ARMS and reminding his colleagues they are supposed to stand up and pretend they like the general idea of health reform.
My president moves me. It is no small thing to insist on hope in the midst of despair.
Suck on that GOP. I cut taxes, you liars. —-#whatPOTUSwasthinking
POTUS is straight mocking climate change deniers. Uh, I know some Senators don't like science, but for real y'all pass climate change bill.
"We can't wage a perpetual campaign" Yes, it is time to GOVERN. Our country needs adults. #SOTU
In the age of instant communication, a State of the Union address is less a speech than a chance to reboot. Presidents use the solemnity of the setting to reset expectations. It's an hour (or more) of deference in a clattering, noisy world, a moment when the president holds forth on all the news networks, and can readjust his message.
I don't think he succeeded fully, although I also wouldn't say he failed completely. He showed up. He spoke strongly. He seemed genuinely fed up. But something about his demeanor and language tonight seemed rife with a sort of "tough guy" posturing that I actually found fear-inducing rather than reassuring. When referring to Iran, when talking about off shore drilling (seriously?), when chastising the sea of suited elected officials before him, he sounded a lot like a beleaguered father trying to get his kids back in order and reassure his wife that everything would, indeed, be okay even though it looks really, really bad
He made a bold call for clean-energy jobs, saying, "the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy. And America must be that nation."
While we appreciate the President's leadership, there is no question that without a climate and energy bill signed into law, we cannot realize his vision.
What we need now is not only words, but action. Not only vision, but the resolve and strength to make that vision real for America's communities.
He talked of transferring tax breaks from companies that outsource their labor "to companies that create jobs in the United States of America." But he was careful not to suggest any significant expansion of the government's role in the economy, despite the numerous parallels between the current crises and the Great Depression, which spawned the New Deal. And his pro-business pivot left no room for mentioning any comprehensive effort to deal with poverty, which would require a redistribution of resources that free markets do not countenance.
Recovery, in the narrow frame that Obama has drawn, is about nurturing a "strong, healthy financial market" that "channels the savings of families into investments that raise incomes." Who's not in the picture? The families who are more likely to dip into their local food pantry than draw down their mutual funds.
A nice reminder to the Dems: "We have the largest majority in decades, and people expect us to solve problems." HE-llo. #SOTU
"America must always stand on the side of freedom and human dignity." Damn, I was rooting for oppression and human rights violations. #SOTU
9:50 PM: Obama points out the whole "we ain't got no money" situation. We has a surplus. We lost a surplus. We got more debt. We didn't pay for wars. Another reminder that we were broke before he even came here. "Just statin' facts!" he says.
9:52 PM: And the spending freeze that doesn't include defense goes over in Busboys like a lead balloon. The guy sitting next to me yells for John Lewis to sit down because MLK wouldn't have stood up for that ish.
10:00 PM: Obama calls out the party of no. Essentially telling Republicans to stop blocking progress for the sake of progress. Then talks about the waging of the perpetual campaign atmosphere in our government.
10:02 PM: Oooo. Did the President just tell the Democrats to stop being perpetual bitches? I'm liking this speech!
After offshore drilling, I almost expected him to say something about ANWR, just to see what Sarah Palin might post on her Facebook page.
He referenced Scott Brown for about half a second. Republicans "have to lead" now that Democrats don't have a supermajority. If leading means holding your ground on that irreconcilable ideology, I'm all for it. Scott Brown can be in front of all that leading. In his pick-up truck. Maybe he could even wear purple.
I think tonight, Bret, you are going to hear the president attempt to mollify and rationalize what is perceived as a more lackadaisical approach to dealing with the war on terror and our handling of terrorists, and on the economic front, I think what we're going to hear is his justification of what some perceive as attacks on our free enterprise system as he seeks to fulfill his commitment to, quote, fundamentally transform this country. I think he's going to forge ahead very boldly with his policy agenda, but surely there will be an acknowledgment in there that the public is not enamored with his policies.
I saw it Sean, I tell ya, this is why people are disenchanted and becoming more and more disengaged really from what their government is doing because when we see an issue like this, words spoken that may not be true, coming from our president, and embarrassing our Supreme Court and not respecting the separation of powers, we have a problem and that's illustrated there by that justice there mouthing those words, ‘not true,' now one or the other is being disingenuous here, either our president in what he just claimed or the Supreme Court justice…and I think its going to be a huge take away moment from the speech tonight.
United We Rant [NY Times]
January 27, 2010 - The Rachel Maddow Show [LiveDash Tv Transcript]
Melissa Harris Lacewell [Twitter]
State Of The Union 2010 [The Atlantic]
Trying to Prove He's the Same Old Obama [NY Times]
Ana Marie Cox Liveblogs the State of The Union Address [GQ]
Fresh Reactions to State of the Union [Feministing]
Sneak Preview: Excerpts from Obama's State of the Union Speech [Jack and Jill Politics]
State of the Movement [Green for All]
State of the Union Places Entitlement Above Equity [Racewire]
Jill Filipovic [Twitter]
Do It Live: Live Blogging the State of the Union (9 PM EST) [The Black Snob]
Jean Grae [Twitter]
Where is the Token Latino? [Mi Blog Es Tu Blog]
Fox News lets McCain and Palin give their very own State of the Union addresses [Media Matters]
Palin Pans President: Uninspired Lecture And Government ‘Mandation' [Mediaite]
The Corner [National Review]
Supreme Court Justices Are Ugly, Republicans Can't Lead, And Has Anyone Seen Scott Brown's Pickup Truck? [Townhall]