Tuesday, February 12, 2013
The Real State of Our Union
As happens every year, the President gave the annual State of the Union Address. The usual rhetoric was used about tax and entitlement reform, energy, education spending, immigration and gun control. The problem is, President Obama did not address the real problem in our Union: Conservative Hyper-partisanship I know some of you will probably say, both sides are the problem, and to a point you are absolutely right; However, as we've seen since the first election of a Black President Conservatives have taken a hyper-partisan approach to obstruct everything President Obama tries to accomplish, even when it involves ideas they came up with and initially supported. This type of governance is completely against common sense, because it puts the interests of an ideology ahead of the interests of the American people.
President Obama could have made a point by point case of how each issue could have been progressed over the last 4 years, but was stonewalled by Republican opposition, even to their own ideas. Each point made would drive home the theme, the problem in Washington right now is the Republican Party. This sets up the 2014 election putting Republicans on the defensive. The President could use his political capital to continually call them out for each and every act of obstructionism, highlighting for the American people the reasons for gridlock in Washington.
Regarding Sequestration Cuts upcoming, The President said, "These sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness. They’d devastate priorities like education, energy, and medical research. They would certainly slow our recovery, and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs. That’s why Democrats, Republicans, business leaders, and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in Washington as the sequester, are a really bad idea. Now, some in this Congress have proposed preventing only the defense cuts by making even bigger cuts to things like education and job training, Medicare and Social Security benefits. That idea is even worse"
The problem with the Presidents statement regarding sequestration cuts, is he had a perfect opportunity to showcase Republican opposition to compromise and lay the blame for devastating cuts directly on the doorstep of the Republican Party. Instead of saying, "Now, some in this Congress" the President should have said, Several Republican members in congress" It has the strength of being absolutely true and makes clear the issue of who is to blame for gridlock and a lackluster economic recovery; Furthermore, the President missed a perfect opportunity to hammer Republicans over tax policy. Social Security by law is not allowed to contribute anything to the Federal Deficit, so why is it constantly being floated by Republicans as a deficit reduction spending cut? The truth is, Republicans would rather social security be privatized, so their wealthy and special interest constituents can loot and pillage every last nickle and dime from it. That's it!
Another area the President failed miserably on, during the State of the Union is Jobs. Republicans have stonewalled, shunned, obstructed, and avoided any semblance of legislation which might help create jobs. They have also moved to cut public sector workers in both Federal and State level positions. This seems antithetical to job creation. Again, the truth is Republicans want to make President Obama's legacy look so horrible the nation will think twice before electing another Black President. They wanted to make him a One term President and when that failed they decided to try and scuttle his whole legacy, even if it means taking the country over the cliff, through the mud and into the firepit. They have shown time and again a repeated lack of care for the American Public, The American way of life, the ideals of fairness and equality, justice and opportunity and are so beholden to ideological and special interest forces they are unable to function as a political party who serves the people. Fox News and Conservative media outlets have helped Ideologues and Special Interest groups turn the Party of Lincoln into their own private political front, all while appearing to be legitimately concerned for traditional values.
Republicans care too much about their own special interests to be bothered with the country and would gladly take it over the cliff to get their own way. How do you fight that kind of rampant, destructive, behavior when one side is willing to doom everyone to satisfy a small percentage? So when people talk about Democrats not having a backbone or how they've caved once again (This includes me as well), just remember who wants the country to go over the cliff and who is desperately struggling to prevent it.
This is the real State of our Union folks.