Prior to last night’s SOTU speech I had received numerous requests for providing my overall thoughts on its outcome via a commentary today. I’m not sure if those requests were because people were really that anxious for my opinion or simply because they didn’t want to waste a couple hours worth of their own lives listening to what they figured was going to be pure gibberish. After listening in last night I fully understand why they felt that way, so here goes.
Earlier yesterday I had posted a comment stating that if his speech went as the media had forecast there were 3 certainties that it would expose. First, he doesn’t understand the real problems we’re facing. Second, he doesn’t have any real solutions to offer. Finally, he would reveal that he’s basically given up and will most likely concede to his role as a lame duck for the next 3 years. Well, last night’s speech turned out to sound closer to a concession speech than a commentary on the current state of the union or any vision of the future. All the grandiose rhetoric from his earlier years is now gone. Basically everything he described as a plan last night was nothing but ideas that he’s already tried and failed at before. Many of those ideas, such as his drive toward Cap & Trade, had even failed at a time when Democrats still had control over both houses of Congress. So the truth is even he knows that most of what he proposed last night isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Ironically, as Brit Hume later pointed out, he even went so far in his speech that he accidently indicted his own failed economic policies. Let’s face it, after 5 full years at the helm, if people still need to rely on extended unemployment benefits for their survival, that’s on him and his failed policies. Obama also pointed out the continuing growth in the wealth gap. Again, after 5 years, that’s now on him. Yes, I know Liberals are going to say that he couldn’t fix anything because of the obstructionism of the Republican controlled House. Please! Remember, 40% of his first 5 years was obstruction free. Plus, if you check your history you’ll find that only about 30% of the time has a President and both Houses of Congress all been from the same party at the same time, so even that excuse would represent an indictment of his inability to “reach across the aisle” as other Presidents have done in the past to get things done.
If you try to wrap your head around the math behind the economic related ideas Obama was proposing last night it really does give you a sense of just how out of touch with reality he is. Let’s see, Obama wants to suddenly legalize 11 million people currently living here illegally. He then wants to raise the minimum wage rate to $10.10 an hour which these newly legalized workers would also be eligible for. On top of all that he is also hitting up businesses with all the increased cost of health care and regulatory compliance. Yet somehow adding all of this together is supposed to magically produce job growth? Doesn’t this moron at least own a calculator!
Last night’s speech contained the usual amount of hyperbole and deception that most SOTU speeches typically do. Climate change is by no means a settled fact as he stated. In reality, most scientist have been abandoning their prior positions since they now understand the evidence that had been presented as facts was actually either speculative theory, poorly collected, or simply made up. Another ruse he tried to pull was when he threw out the 9 million head count for Obamacare enrollees. In reality, about 75% of those enrollees are for Medicaid which would have happened with or without Obamacare. The truth is that to date more people have lost their health coverage because of Obamacare than have enrolled in it. You can thank the sticker shock for that.
The most profound moment from last night didn’t even come from Obama himself. It actually came from the Republican rebuttal provided by Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rogers. It wasn’t that she necessarily said anything politically profound herself or that she directly attacked Obama’s speech. It was more about what she represents. What she managed to do through her own life story was to put a positive and much softer face on the Republican Party as a whole. This has to scare the crap out of Hillary for her 2016 run. Not only did McMorris-Rogers come across as a genuine female success story, but also as a reasonable, intelligent and very likeable person. No matter how hard she might try, that is something the real Hillary simply will never be. Furthermore, how can Hillary now demonize Republicans for their supposed war on women when evidence to the contrary is staring right back at her. Without that angle Hillary has nothing to run on.
The post-facto Luntz focus group was the true litmus test on the failure of this speech. As an evenly divided group it was definitively unimpressive by all accounts. The liberals in the group could only offer up style points, but even they admitted that the speech was void of any real substance. Even watching the pundits from MSNBC was a bit laughable as they tried in vain to tout it as a work of brilliance while failing to hide the facial expressions of their shame when it was obvious they didn’t believe in their own words. As we move forward we can look for Liberals to focus on the divisions within the Republican Party as their plan of attack. What they should be focusing on instead is the demise of their own failed ideas. Meanwhile, Obama will be changing his own icon from the Democratic Party jackass to a lame duck.