Obama Defiant

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In a speech that signaled his intention to “start anew,” perhaps the most notable feature of President Obama’s first-ever State of the Union address was how remarkably stale it sounded.

Against the backdrop of plummeting poll ratings and the election of a Republican Senator in Democrat-friendly Massachusetts – an unmistakable message about the broad unpopularity of the policies supported by the administration and its allies in the Democratic Congress – President Obama last night hewed to a partisan playbook that can only be described as business as usual. From economically ruinous “cap-and-trade” legislation, to the widely disliked health care “reform” package, to specious left-wing nostrums like “equal pay for equal work,” the president pledged to work for a sharply ideological agenda that would have pleased the Democratic base even as it would have disappointed those who took seriously his repeated appeals to bipartisanship.

Obama began with the confession that he has “never been more hopeful about America’s future than I am tonight.” America has a more skeptical view. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported this week that the current 10 percent unemployment rate is no closer to receding in the near term. Add to that a runaway national debt expected to triple to $22 trillion over the next decade, much of it caused by government spending, and it’s not surprising that Americans are dissatisfied with the administration’s stewardship of the economy.

The president did little to boost their confidence. Obama’s assurance that his administration’s policies – namely, the $787 billion stimulus package – have saved two million jobs from being lost is by definition impossible to corroborate. Easier to measure is the stimulus’s effect on hiring: Economists agree that it has created no jobs. Unsurprisingly, in touting the economic benefits of stimulus spending, Obama cited only jobs in the public sector. Given how little the administration has done to encourage hiring in the private sector, the president’s self-serving claim to have averted an economic disaster and saved the country from a “second Depression” was difficult to credit.

No more credible was the president’s promise to trim the country’s swelling debt. In keeping with a proposal floated earlier in the week, Obama called for a freeze on some discretionary spending programs. That this spendthrift administration is prepared accept some fiscal belt-tightening is of course a welcome development. But critics have been quick to note that the proposed cuts will be the equivalent of a drop in the ocean – especially since the costliest government programs – including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security – would be unaffected by the freeze.

Equally unfortunate was the president’s penchant, once again on display, for caricaturing and distorting the arguments of his political opponents. While Republicans like Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan have offered innovative solutions for reforming high-cost government programs and restraining government spending, the president simply repeated his standard jibe that the GOP is “just saying no to everything” and offering no proposals of their own. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, himself a beneficiary of the populist backlash against the administration, paid a modest compliment to the intelligence of the American people and performed a legitimate public service when he used his rebuttal to call attention to the website of Republican policy proposals. Indeed, McDonnell’s response was a textbook example of the kind of respectful and genuinely conciliatory tone that the president seems to endorse only in theory.

Obama missed his biggest opportunity to forge a political middle ground when he discussed national security. By significant margins, the American public favors more assertive counterterrorism measures. To that end, the administration could do much for American security, and its own political fortunes, if it supported the use of harsher interrogation techniques on terrorists like would-be Christmas bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and abandoned its plans to stage civilian trials for high-level jihadists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The latter would not even be a particularly dramatic compromise, since the administration has already allowed for terrorist trials to continue in the military commissions system.

Instead, the president used his speech to denounce coercive interrogation techniques as “torture,” while chiding critics for presenting a “false choice” between defending national security and upholding the country’s values. Yet such tradeoffs arise all the time. The latest example would be underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Interrogated for just 50 minutes before being passed into police custody, he seems to have revealed little about terrorist operations abroad as a result. That such incidents have been allowed to occur on Obama’s watch inspires little confidence in the president’s claim that his administration is doing “what it takes to defend our nation.”

Unusually for Obama’s scripted speeches, the State of the Union showed a spectacular lack of self-awareness. Concluding his remarks, the president lamented that Americans have lost faith in the country’s institutions, not least the government itself. It was a statement as politically tone deaf as Obama’s recent claim that “the same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office.” In fact, Brown was elected on the strength of an electoral insurgency against the administration and its domestic policy agenda. As he puzzles over Americans’ growing skepticism of big government, the president seems not to recognize that he is the change they seek.

  • Guest

    Mr. Laskin: Excellent article, excellent writing. President Obama is in so deep over his head that his head is barely visible. It continues to amaze (and dismay) me that a majority of our fellow citizens could not or would not see that Obama is a fraud–a marxist, utopian-seeking, redistributionist FRAUD. Lofty language and platitudes will only be persuasive for a short while. After only one year in office, he's been found out, and thank God (Jehovah), the Freedom-loving American people are in the process of rejecting him and his arrogant efforts "to fundamentally change America." WE REJECT HIM!

    God Bless America! God save our Freedom!

    (I think Gov. Bob McDonnell has the experience, ability, and morality to be president–hope he runs in 2012)

  • eerie Steve

    second!

    pr 10

  • poptoy

    Obama is Pissed. His arrogance is overwhelming. But let him go ahead and be just like that. He is now going to really dig himself a grave like never before. Hang on and pray and most of all watch what happens in November. The next State of the Union is really going to be a doozie.

  • cedarhill

    Obama is who he is and how he was raised. He will never get on the Road to Damascus and may even blow it up.

    His SOTU will just raise the temperature of the toaster he's put his party into and virtually assures a landslide rejection by the voters in November of his and his party. But isn't that a good thing? Better to quickly end the reign of all his Commissars (aka "czars") than attempt to epithanize him and his party.

    • Recon

      I agree entirely. He's the sum of his own history, and obviously lacks the capacity, or will, to re-calibrate his thinking to the reality of the situation. He chooses to view all through the lens of his ideology.
      I listened to his speech last night and just shook my head. From nationalizing and forgiving loans while pressuring colleges to reduce costs to the 'false choices' of nat'l security to renewing the battle on cap/tax,hc, gays in the military, and taxing banks & investors to provide the receipts that the people can't – that speech had more logistical holes in it than a Swiss cheese.
      And he was off his game. It was obvious that even he didn't believe what he was saying, that he was wondering as he spoke if he would lose those battles. He's faltering in his belief that pointing fingers will assist him any longer. And he's right. It won't.
      The balls back in our court. It's gonna be another long year.

  • jbtrevor

    Obama's speech was terribly condescending! Does he really think Americans don't know what's going on? Perhaps most don't have the details or total grasp of solutions but every American runs a budget & does accounting on some level. I was incredulous when I heard him state the spending freeze wouldn't begin until 2011 & followed with "that's how accountiing's done". It deserved the political and audible guffaw it received!

    • davarino

      Hey that sounds like a good idea. I am going to tell the bank to wait on their money because I am going to change my spending habits but not till next year heheh.

      This guy is a naive amiture. He really believes he is the one, annointed by the gods to save us all from ourselves. Last night it sounded like he wants to fix everything, from the economy to gays in the military (like thats a high priority issue) and everything in between. He needs to focus on a few high priority items that matter to the American public and let his cabinet do the small things.

      He is in a state of denial and cant believe the people dont still love him. I know a lot of people that voted for him just because he sounded good and now that they know what he is really about, they dont like him.

      Oh well, at least we finally elected a black president. To bad he will not be seen as a good one.

  • Scarface

    In an attempt to appease the progressives, Oprahbama said some things in SOTUA that will seal his fate! In publically scolding the Supreme Court, sitting right in front of him, he totally breached protocol, the executive branch spanking the judicial branch over the levelling of the playing field with political donations…the unions do it, why can't corporations? Crap and Tax etc. This is the hallmark of a one trick pony.

    • http://none K. Bond

      That’s a new one! OMG, too funny!

      Oprahbamma…

      LOL

  • bardefa

    "YOU LIE!!!" again? Yes.
    Seen on Drudgereport:

    "Justice Samuel Alito mouthed the words "not true" when President Barack Obama criticized the Supreme Court's campaign finance decision."

  • eerie Steve

    You know what I would do if I was Obama? And trust me, this is friggin' nuts, but here we go:

    I would make an abortion agreement with the Pope. A somewhat Sinese-Papal agreement that yes, in some instances and under some governments people should die to prevent over population and therefore the problem of evil is thus solved.

    The following deals occur:

    Israel goes to America

    Islam gets paid dhimmi for the "protection" of Israeli shrines, aka Gangster's 'R Us.

    The Pope gets a new Papal State Colony in the New World. Friggin call it popeland and just give them a black and white American flag with 50 stars.

    When they are good enough, they don't get statehood, but assimilation. Resistance from the Obama monster is futile. They get a white flag with a black star on it. Sort of like an inverted bonnie blue flag.

    That's it. End of story. No more war or we really do let the hackers launch the nukes.

    pr 10 ! USA #1 !!!

    • USMCSniper

      Gotta lay off those magic mushrooms – this bizarre post makes me suspect that you are already getting brain damage.

  • http://netzero.com Steve Chavez

    “I I I I I I AND I I I I I I AND MY MY MY MY MY AND I I I I I I” This man has a definate egomaniac psychosis!

    He has to be “Live” on camera at least once a day and that’s to propose another program. I also saw a picture of him in the Oval Office with his feet on his desk while his slaves surround him. That alone shows his arrogance! Since they owe their job to him, they put up with him but secretly spit on him for being a terrible obnoxious boss!

    And there is the SHOUTING OVER THE SCREAMING MASSES! That reminds me of the screaming speeches of CULT LEADERS like Hitler, Castro, Chavez, and even HILLARY used this brainwashing tactic but hers was a shrilling worse than someone scratching a blackboard!!!

    Then there is that HACK IN THE BOX popping out of her seat and Biden sitting there watching that HAG jump up so he is obligated to stand which then obligates the Dems to stand too!

    ONLY THOSE BRAINWASHED WILL CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THIS CULT LEADER!

    • donnamarie

      For the reasons stated by you is why I chose to watch "Wow Wow Wubzy" and "Olivia" with my 6 year old. I knew it would be like that and I could read it in the morning. I cannot even listen to him anymore.

      On a side note, a radio guy here (in San Antonio) proposed a new drinking came-Every time Obama says "I" slam down a shot of your choice of liquor. Heck by the end of 5 minutes you will be stewed and then it will either be all funny or you will have passed out and be out of your misery.

  • Chezwick

    @Eerie Steve,

    Yours is the most cogent, rational, clear-minded comment I have read in a long, long time. Enjoying the pause that refreshes, eh?

    • USMCSniper

      I see you are into the magic mushrooms as well.

  • WestWright

    Glad I did not watch this POS Obama, THOSE BRAINWASHED WILL CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THIS CULT LEADER, beware of the Ides of March, the Dems will not all continue running for the cliff and these Progs love nothing as much as power.

  • DHK

    Obama's SOTU address was essentially an upraised middle finger as he slowly slips beneath the waves. He cannot "tack" away from his radical-Left core beliefs. He professes to "love" America, but the America that he loves is a different America–a feminized, European nanny-state that he is trying to bring about. And I knew it was just a matter of time until he got started on his gays in the military kick. He's digging that grave deeper and deeper. Let's see how many of his Dems climb on board! Well, at least he'll have Barney Frank right behind him! Come on, November, 2010! And January, 2013!

  • http://none K. Bond

    Obamma has made one thing clear. Besides being 100% out of touch with the cries from American Citizens, and most of the world for that matter, he is only in touch with his inner self, his inflated ego and his self-interests. He has a mental imbalance not to care for his fellow Americans. Woops, I slipped. He is a half-American, half-black, half-Moslem.

    Why didn’t he get up in front of the mike and say “Gee fellahs, here I is. I’ve done a hell of a job so far. Goodnight y’all!”

    Compare all the main stream media headlines with the Fox News types out there and you will see a stark difference. ABC, NBC, MSLSD, NY Slimes and the Washington Compost all give him an “A-OK.” Yet Fox and other news worthy orginizations have told the real story. He was a FLOP, plain and simple.

    Enough said.

  • USMCSniper

    Let me see what he offered. Homosexuals and lesbians can be openly practicing their deviancy and will be able to serve in the military, Congress will have a spending freeze of a sort that is limited and doesn't start untill 2011, government controlled healthcare despite that 63% of Americans do not want it, raising the debt ceiling anther $1.9 trillion in 2010, government takeover of student loans which means government determines who and who does not get loans, cap and trade taxes, tax the banks, tax the rich that is the investors, and of course, the Supreme Court is wrong by following the the first Amendment of the Constitution on free speech.

    Yep, we are looking at a one-term President. Alas, still three more years of this arrogant inept egomaniac.

    • bardefa

      stop sugarcoating! ;)

    • bardefa

      stop sugarcoating!;)

  • PAthena

    He said that the evidence overwhelmingly shows that there is AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) with only a small number saying "nay." Doesn't he keep up with the news? doesn't he know about the Climategate scandal which shows that those who said that there was AGW were lying? that their data was fudged, that they prevented critics from publishing?

  • Max

    Adolph Obama exercised the adage of Goebbels & Hitler that a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth which particularly works with the ignorant unprincipled fools of the Democrat MEDIA.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JosephWiess JosephWiess

    President Obama shows a clear lack of understanding about how the American Public feels. He's still trapped in his mental illness, and sticks to his guns when he says that *he* will push right on ahead doing things that *we* don't want him to do.
    In his mental illness, he discounts how we feel about the budget (we want it smaller,) the debt (We want it gone,) spending (We don't want them to spend,) the economy (We don't want banker bailouts, and want the government to leave it alone,) gay marriage (We don't want it,) and national Security (We want enhanced interrogation, and want military trials, instead of giving terrorists our rights.)

    President Obama is arrogant, snide, and a liar. He can't carry on a conversation without his teleprompter, and he's very disingenuous. His socialist/communist viewpoints have blinded him to the fact that the American public wants someone who will work with everyone else, and won't sink his own party. He still thinks of himself as a community organizer, and doesn't realize that a President must lead, and must have strong moral values.

    In short, President Obama is not presidential material, and never will be. If anything, he should be tried for treason and high crimes and misdemeanors.

  • thinker1

    Quick check of your vision, Mr. President:

    If United States becomes a socialist country like Venezuela or Cuba and has no one to look for a help, lets do this experiment:

    Stop all – I mean ALL – help (financial, food, advisory, etc.) to all other countries and all organizations, UN included.

    Then watch what’s happening. We all will be scared to death. Including you.

  • Theolonious

    OBAMA obviously did not accept a single shred of respomsibility nor learn a GD thing from the AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL HELL that is the reality of CHICAGO's DEM voting base's "Life" he ORGANIZED for years.

    Meanwhile Valerie Jarrett, Ayerrs, Sandlers et al. into projectile vomitus ad nauseum profitted HANSOMELY as did POTUS.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/d_debater101 d_debater101

    There should not be an I I I I or MY MY MY MY when being a president right? There should be a "WE" because after all this is a democratic country and not a parliament. I think that's the reason why everybody vote, right?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Stephen_Brady Stephen_Brady

    Obama's anger and petulance is the only consistent theme that was in his speech, last night. That, and his attempt to set the branches of government, the parties, and the American people against each other.

    The rest of it was a rambling, overlong banana-Republic address by a Dictator to his subjects.

    No one can kiss this speech and make it go away. He delivered it, and he's stuck with it.

  • AntiFascist18

    Hey, look at the photo.

    Isn't that the new version of the three stooges?

    BonZo, Blowhard and Botoxed Whore?

    LOL.

    Actually for accuracy make that Blowhard, BonZo and Botoxed Whore.

    • http://none K. Bond

      Hey Mack, have a heart, would ya? Don’t ever insult the 3-stooges like that!

      ; )

  • John C. Davidson

    I cannot comment beyond the photo of the three stooges, enough said.

  • Paul P

    I've read in the days leading up to the SOTU address that Americans had been hoping the President was listening and would modify his domestic policies, particularly after the Scott Brown win in Mass. Another said Barack Obama's polarized approval rating among Dems and Republicans, hopefully would signal him to move towards the center. Apparently, hope, is all the American people can do because, there was no indication from his address, that he will change this statistic. He seems to derive pleasure from belittling those in opposition to his policies or of his agenda. He abused his Executive privelege during the address, by chastizing the Judicial Branch, and he expressed no intent to reduce his overwhelming agenda or to limit the out of control spending. Not until after they have spent all they intend.

    Yhe American people are left with a President and a Democrat controlled Legislative Branch that loves their control, is happy to wield their power, and has no intent to modify the agenda for the sake of those same American people. That is the State of the Union.

  • thinker1

    Quick check of your vision, Mr. President:

    If United States becomes a country like Venezuela or Cuba and has no one to look for a help, lets do this experiment:

    Stop all – I mean ALL – help (financial, food, advisory, etc.) to all other countries and all organizations, UN included.

    Then watch what’s happening. We all will be scared to death. Including you.

  • coyote3

    I couldn't have asked for better speech, if I had written it for him. I hope he keeps it up. Wish I could "do" more. I am a little surprised that the wheels came off of this thing so fast.

    I loved the open criticism of the Supreme Court. That is something presidents don't do. Indeed, it was only marginally successful for FDR with his "court packing", and he was a popular president. Past presidents knew better.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Stephen_Brady Stephen_Brady

      The wheels came off his wagon, so fast, because he put it together. Incompetency will out!

      Isn't it fun to use terms like "incompetency" and "failed policies" against them? :)

      By the way, I loved Alito's response to the Obama attack on SCOTUS. I hope the Court doesn't come back, next year.

  • coyote3

    I couldn't have asked for better speech, if I had written it for him. I hope he keeps it up. Wish I could "do" more. I am a little surprised that the wheels came off of this thing so fast. ____I loved the open criticism of the Supreme Court. That is something presidents don't do. Indeed, it was only marginally successful for FDR with his "court packing", and he was a popular president. Past presidents knew better.

  • http://www.escapefromanarabmarriage.com Cassandra

    Obama cannot hang himself fast enough. He has been doing his best to hang America and servie it to the Muslim terrorists and Muslim organizations who want to see this country's freedoms destroyed.

    Why don't we send Obama to Saudi Arabia where he can kiss the king's feet in earnest since he treasures his Muslim background so much. Let him live like one, right in the heart of Islam. He and his black supremacist wife.

  • cochavi1

    The picture does tell a lot. Well, the man believes genuinely in a world divided between an 'enlightened' Caliphate and a Marxist-Socialist West. All Jews out of the 'West Bank' and endless taxpayer funding (read, debt to China and OPEC states) of socialist masked as 'health care.'

    The American people are speaking, loudly. I'm only sorry that in Israel President for Life S Peres remains President for Life S Peres.

  • bardefa

    The Joker B. Insain O criticizing Highest Court was worrying about money from abroad???
    His billion dollar campaign was full of money from other countries…….even he forgot about that inconvenient truth

  • bardefa

    Is this country deaf???
    Is Glenn Beck the only one
    who plays Michelle O's: "WE HAVE TO CHANGE OUR HISTORY"???

    Is everybody OK with that??? MSM reached lower "lowest"….

  • Cabby – AZ

    To stay “with” the SOTU address was almost unbearable. To tell the truth,
    I switched back and forth between that and a program on Animal Planet,
    “I Shouldn’t Be Alive.” Of course, I’m vitally interested in all things Obama,
    but there isn’t one thing that he says that you can count as the truth.

    His arrogance and self-absorbtion are overwhelming! He never will “get
    it” because he is so steeped in Marxist doctrine. Our “reluctance” to see
    his viewpoint is part of the burden he considers himself to have to bear on
    the road toward a socialist America.

  • bardefa

    UN and other "scientists" keep on admiting falsyfiyng earth temp. data to hide cooling trend, but O'Bummer keep on rambling about "overwhelming evidence" of "warming".

    And what are his advisors doing? Just singing "Kumbaya" is not enough!