At least he expanded his rhetorical attacks to include the Supreme Court, so that's a refreshing change - I'm sure congressional Republicans and Wall Street bankers are happy for the break.
The only thing that kept the speech from being a total snoozefest was the remarkable amount of, shall we say...inconsistencies. The AP does a fact check analysis of the speech and finds it wanting. Here are some highlights:
- Spending Freeze - It's unrealistic, probably won't pass, and doesn't rescind the 12% average increases democrats instituted last year with the stimmulus bill. Pelosi, tone-deaf idiot that she is, called today for the freeze to include defense spending as well. For the details on what a waste a freeze would be, check this out.
- Bipartisan Fiscal Commission - A lame attempt to shield democrats from their profligate ways by forcing republicans to help make unpopular spending cuts and tax increases. This is also remarkably redundant, because one of the jobs of Congress is to be fiscally responsible and monitor their own spending.
- Lobbyists - Is he kidding us with this? Does he really think we don't know there are at least 12 lobbyists currently holding top positions in his administration?
- Jobs - Obama trotted out the number "two million" when he spoke about jobs 'saved or created'. This number is a joke. Back in December, the number on their website was about 650,000, but many of those were highly questionable. It's amazing that in one month they managed to add an additional 1.35 million jobs, even though the unemployment figures took another 'unexpected' dip. I guess that comes from their new calculation method - if a company takes stimulus dollars, every job in the company is now considered saved or created. Quite a racket.
- Transparency - I'm surprised the man doesn't clang when he walks - he must have a huge brass pair to tout transparency after the past year. FOIA requests are ignored by the White House, and we all know about his broken promise of CSPAN cameras capturing the health care debate. Backroom deals and dead-of-night passage of legislation has become the norm for this administration. Not only are bills not posted for 5 days for the public to read before voting, but now they aren't even released to members of Congress to read - vapor bills have become the norm. They are actually voting before they write the bills now.
That isn't the complete list, but they are the most egregious ones. On top of flat out lies, he also omitted quite a bit. In a State of the Union speech, especially in our post 9/11 world, and even more especially because of the failed Christmas Day attempt, national security should be a main talking point. It was barely given a paragraph, and even then it was a slam on George Bush:
"And in the last year, hundreds of al-Qaida's fighters and affiliates, including many senior leaders, have been captured or killed - far more than in 2008."
The insinuation, of course, is that he is tougher on terror than Bush was. First, it is impossible to verify, as we do not release body counts. Second, it's hard to project that image when he insists on treating terrorists who are actively trying to kill American civilians as common criminals and has restricted our military's ability to combat our enemies by forcing them to follow the Army field manual - effectively giving our civilian police forces more options and tactics than our military.
He basically stated that, Massachusetts election or not, he was sticking with his agenda. He has heard the people and found them to be wrong. He knows best. Health care is still a priority and he is still determined to spend us into
When, exactly, do we cross the threshold from tone-deaf to tyrannical?