The President’s State of the Union speech was a speech of many personalities. It was a combination of how wonderful America is, the “first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea”. There were parts that sounded rah-rah America, which was heartening, until you remembered who was saying them. Since Barack Obama’s ideology doesn’t exactly embrace the American dream, the words sounded a little empty and somewhat pandering.
It was a lackluster speech overall. I didn’t hear anything new. There was no wild cheering as there had been in the past as he made his way down the aisle. Perhaps it was the mixed seating that tempered the reactions of the members of Congress. With all the build up, the speech was anti-climactic.
Going through some of the salient points of the speech, we see a lot of contradictions.The new catch phrase is “investing” (read as “spending”) on renewable energy projects. And “investing” in education, since we are way behind the Chinese and other countries.
Clean Energy: He spoke of a small roofing company in Michigan which has added to its business the manufacturing of solar shingles. Good idea, but can you see a big market for them in Seattle that has 36 inches of rain a year, and roughly 200 cloudy days a year? And what about my state of New Hampshire where it may not snow all winter, but we have a lot of cloudy days. It may be fine for the South, but up in the North, there must be other energy options.
China has already cornered the market on manufacturing solar panels and all those CFL lightbulbs that we are to be prisoners to starting 2014, since we don’t manufacture them. A Winchester, VA General Electric light bulb plant was recently closed along with one in Ohio and another in Kentucky. It’s cheaper to manufacture them in China. And the government says green jobs are the way to save our economy? Maybe China’s..
To Obama’s credit, however, he did mention using nuclear, clean coal and natural gas as other forms of energy.
The “Sputnik” moment: an awakening of American science and technology when the Soviets sent a satellite into space, while we were still blowing up rockets on the pads. Ironic that he used that example, since he has cut the shuttle program in NASA and we are going to be dependent on foreign space programs to bring astronauts to the space station.
Stock market up and economy growing.: huh? Tell that to the millions of people that are still unemployed with the unemployment rate in the country at 9.6%
Tax cuts passed. Passed? Doesn’t he mean kept in tact? The Bush tax cuts were passed in 2001 and 2003. The 111th Congress just continued them.
Compare that to the Republican response by Congressman Paul Ryan (WI). He focused exactly on the issues that Americans are concerned about; cutting government spending and repealing the health care bill. He focused on the economic downturns in Greece and other European countries and how we can avoid them. He was focusing on what is occurring now, not some pie in the sky energy policy that may not be feasible for our country.
He identified with the American workers that have lost their jobs and the hard times they are experiencing. He also took to task the bad decisions of the federal government that are hindering the expansion of small business.
On Sean Hannity’s program on the Fox News Channel after the speech, pollster Frank Luntz had a focus group watching both speeches. The majority of the people thought Paul Ryan’s speech was more effective and more relevant to the problems we’re facing.
Obama’s speech had the usual attacks on the oil companies, and the rich. And the emphasis on education was the usual patter on how valuable teachers are. And he didn’t forget the obligatory nod to illegal immigrants , gays and Muslims.
It was a speech on everything, yet nothing.