I didn’t watch Obama’s SOTU. Between cooking and carpooling, I had neither the time nor the inclination. I’ve never been impressed by “Obama the Orator,” and his speech’s details had already been leaked, so the whole thing fell into the “Why Bother?” category. I did hear one interesting thing about it, though, while I was walking the dog and listening to Rush.
A caller named Jesse found Obama’s homage to Cory Remsburg off-putting. I too found it off-putting, but Jesse put his finger on the problem: Obama’s focus was about Remsburg the warrior but was, instead, about Remsburg the victim. Obama made no real mention of Remsburg’s actual service. Instead, Obama spoke about Remsburg’s injuries and his recovery (which is laudable, of course).
Obama could have given precisely the same speech been given about someone in a bad car accident. Jesse and Rush both noted that, in previous administrations, when the president celebrated this or that veteran, at least some of the praise focused on the veteran’s bringing war to the enemy. Now, though, the Left finds noteworthy only the injury part of “injured vets.”
Jesse felt, and I agree, that Obama’s purpose in talking about Remsburg was to highlight his opposition to the military, to America’s wars, and to the notion of manliness itself.
For those of you interested in a conservative take on Obama’s SOTU, Bryan Preston offers one.
Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post’s resident “fact checker” seems to have soured on Obama. Rather than doing the old “false but accurate shtick” that characterized Obama’s first term, Kessler simply points out that Obama is making up things as he goes along.
I don’t believe Kessler has actually seen the light. As was true for all of the MSM, he knew what was going on the first time around, but wasn’t going to do anything that might derail a second term. Members of the Left might have gotten over its love affair with Obama, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t still wholeheartedly approve of his agenda.
A new book calling for a socialist revolution features contributions by Obama’s buddy Bill Ayers, among others. As you chew over that, think about this too: Back in the 1930s and onward through the end of the Soviet Union, the vast majority of Americans were staunchly opposed to Communism despite the fact that they really hadn’t seen it in action. Countries such as the Soviet Union or China were closed to them (or run through the Duranty-filter), so those Americans who hated Communism did so because they knew — without data — that Communism stifled freedom and created a tyrannical state.
The fall of the Soviet Union and the opening of China revealed that Communism was worse even than anyone had guessed. If you don’t believe me, just ask the kulaks that Stalin “re-educated” in the Ukraine or the Chinese who were around when Mao started his Great Leap Forward. Oh, wait! You can’t ask them because they’re dead. Depending on estimates, Stalin killed roughly 7,000,000 kulaks through execution or starvation. He was a piker compared to Mao, though, who killed 50,000,000 or more during his Great Leap forward, again through execution or starvation. Despite knowing these facts with certainty nowadays (rather than merely guessing them, as we once did), communism and socialism are no longer considered dirty words. This is what 40 years of Progressive education has wrought.
Ted Cruz has written a really good Wall Street Journal opinion piece about Obama’s imperial presidency:
Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the president’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat. On Monday, Mr. Obama acted unilaterally to raise the minimum wage paid by federal contracts, the first of many executive actions the White House promised would be a theme of his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
The president’s taste for unilateral action to circumvent Congress should concern every citizen, regardless of party or ideology. The great 18th-century political philosopher Montesquieu observed: “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates.” America’s Founding Fathers took this warning to heart, and we should too.
And speaking of Obama’s imperial presidency, Victor Davis Hanson has written one of his best works about Obama’s lawlessness. I highly recommend it:
We are reentering Nixonian times, or perhaps worse, given that a free press at least went after Nixon’s misdeeds and misadventures. Now it has silenced itself for fear of harming a once-in-century chance for a fellow progressive’s makeover of America. We live in an age when a CNN moderator interrupts a presidential debate to help her sputtering candidate, and when a writer for the often ironic and sarcastic New Yorker sees no irony in doing a fawning interview with the president, tagging along on a shakedown jet tour from one mansion of crony capitalists to the next — as Obama preaches to the head-nodders about inequality and fairness in order to ensure that the bundled checks pour in.
Without the media acting as a watchdog, the administration has with impunity found the IRS useful in going after political opponents. When Obama’s IRS appointees were exposed, he for the moment called their deeds outrageous; when the media did not pursue the outrage, he wrote it off as a nothing story.
And finally, Megan McArdle points out that even Democrats are beginning to realize that there’s truth to the saying “be careful what you ask for; you might get it.” It turns out that when they have a president desirous of fulfilling their wish list, some of the more intelligent among them are realizing that this way lies economic madness. (Of course, that hasn’t stopped Al Franken from trying to push a constitutional amendment to forbid corporate speech, while keeping alive and well union, especially government union, speech. Apparently it’s not enough for him that almost all of the largest donors in politics are Leftist unions. He wants all of the largest donors to be Leftist unions.)