There comes a time in a pop star’s career when the songs that enthralled fall flat, the lyrics that seemed daring grow stale and the atmosphere that tied it all together blows away into thin air. A time when everyone knows the words to all the songs because there are no more new songs, only the old songs that no longer touch the emotions of the audience and the new songs that are poor pastiches of the old.
There comes a time when the fans grow restless and the lead singer whose voice once moved millions begins to sweat, sensing that the music has betrayed him and that the audience hears every false note.
Last night was that moment.
Obama opened his State of the Union address, full of its old familiar riffs on green energy, education, infrastructure and an end to war, with unity. Not a call to unity, but a presumption of unity. With his approval ratings underwater, his sixth State of the Union was about claiming credit and shifting blame.
The rhetoric, cynical and hypocritical, had a frantic edge to it. The man who keeps boasting that he will rule unilaterally in the imperial style with a pen as his scepter and a phone as his Fasces, was suddenly talking about the chamber, speaking with one voice and crediting the American people for everything.
Unity, like every other Obama gimmick, is only a tactical pose to be discarded a moment later. The Justin Bieber of politics cannot change and before long he’s back to threatening a unilateral campaign against the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights and invoking Marx’s hoary old specter of class warfare sleeping under a bench in Zuccotti Park after a long day of wandering ominously around Wall Street.
Otherwise it’s the same old out-of-tune piano whose racial ivories the crooner-in-chief tickles as he sings all the old promises of fixing the roads and bridges that never seem to get fixed and implementing the modern high tech educational solutions that never seem to work. The bored audience cheers and laughs mechanically out of tribal duty in all the right places when their party’s political Applause light flashes.
Michelle Obama’s starvation lunches for schools and jazzercise tour have lowered obesity levels, according to her husband, and ObamaCare is a huge success, according to the guy it’s named after. Afghanistan is a success. The economy is a success. Unemployment is a success. Democrats loyally clap sweaty palms at how wonderful everything is, but for some reason much of the country is out of work.
But Obama doesn’t pause. Instead he launches into his next set and it’s back to the War on Women, to the topical references that reassure MSNBC listeners that he is still with it even if those references are a few years out of date. It’s back to assurances that only with billions more of Chinese money borrowed and squandered on his policy gimmicks will we finally be able to compete with China.
And it’s the same old promises that the War on Terror has been won and we can relax now.
Strip away the year and it’s hard for the listener to tell whether he’s listening to a cut from the 2008, 2011 or 2014 SOTU album. Clip all the static about competing with China by building bridges so that babies with Asthma can attend free pre-K with Google and you catch snippets of the new stuff.
You can tell that it’s 2014 because Obama is walking back his old false claim that “Al Qaeda is on a path to defeat” by clarifying that while “al-Qaida’s core leadership on a path to defeat,” all the affiliates are spreading around the world. It’s an odd definition of defeat that sees a terrorist group’s affiliates bigger, better armed and more powerful than ever before. But word games, instead of responsibility, is what the hottest vocal teleprompter act from 2008 does best.
Obama is never wrong. Sometimes the facts are wrong. Sometimes your eyes and ears are wrong. Often reality is wrong. But he is never wrong.
“The debate is settled,” Obama declares at a time when the debate is really taking off in Europe. “Climate change is a fact.”
Climate change, like Al Qaeda’s path to defeat, is a slippery road. Al Qaeda is rising in Syria and Iraq, but is on a path to defeat. The freezing temperatures are proof positive of Global Warming. The debate is settled and the facts are in and if the debate later becomes unsettled, SOTU 2015 will have to redefine climate change to mean that the core temperatures at the center of the earth are much too hot.
According to Obama, “climate change” is causing droughts and coastal flooding that can only be fought by fighting carbon. California’s droughts are actually caused by liberal environmental policies, not by the dreaded carbon scourge, and the hoax that coastal flooding is caused by turning up the heat on cold nights is unscientific nonsense that wouldn’t even be endorsed by most professional Warmists.
But in Obamaland, the problem is often the solution. The politician who racked up trillions in debt promises that illegal alien amnesty will shrink deficits by a trillion. Blowing up welfare doesn’t lead to reduced deficits in the real world, but in the unreal world where floods are caused by eating too much meat and the bigger Al Qaeda gets, the closer it comes to defeat, the problem is the solution.
Unable to find any moderate Taliban willing to accept his surrender, Obama is declaring victory in Afghanistan and urging Congress to let him free all the Gitmo terrorists or at least transfer them to civilian custody because the war is over. The Gitmo terrorists don’t agree that the war is over and they prove it every year with a higher recidivism rate than pedophiles. But perhaps just as Al Qaeda is on a path to defeat through victory and the freezing temperatures are on a path to Global Warming, they too are on a path to rehabilitation even if they appear to be headed in the opposite direction.
Maybe they’re just taking the long way around to peace the way that Obama is taking the long way around to success.
There was a time when Obama’s speeches captivated mainstream audiences. Now they don’t even move his base. The speeches, like old songs, remind them of when they believed, stirring the ashes of dead idealisms and old passions, but offer nothing real and nothing new, only the specter of Hope and Change wandering around Wall Street with a hand out for Organizing For America donations.
There comes a time when the audience learns to instinctively break down the gimmicks that once made a musician seem fresh and new. And with Obama down to his sixth State of the Union, there is nothing here but gimmicks; policy proposals that he isn’t serious about, excuses for failed policies and threats that he will unilaterally implement bad new policies with his pen, his phone and his teleprompter.
The songs are old, the music falters and under the hot lights, the audience can see the lead singer sweat.
Don’t miss Ann-Marie Murrell‘s video interview with Daniel Greenfield on Robert Gates’ Revelations Confirm Horowitz’s “Party of Defeat,” Abandoning Iraq, How Americans Died For a War Obama Didn’t Believe In, The Release of Terrorist Lawyer Lynne Stewart, and much, much more:
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