Barry Wins Back My Heart

28 01 2010

I’m sorry– I don’t care if you’re liberal, conservative, moderate, or completely have your head up your ass when it comes to politics.  Last night’s State of the Union address was FANTASTIC.  Barry was fierce, and he restored my confidence in his ability to regain traction and become the strong leader he promised us he would be.

First of all, before I get into the speech, I hate to be so generic as to discuss Michelle’s wardrobe (since she’s obviously a brilliant woman in many other regards), but she really looked stunning last night.  And I always find it fascinating how strategic the First Lady’s wardrobe has to be for events like this– Barry is gunning for bipartisanship, so Michelle wears deep purple, a combination of the liberal and conservative signature colors.  How cool is that?

Be still my heart.

Now, moving on from last night’s wardrobe decisions, I really respected the way the President stood up on that pulpit and basically said, “Hey.  I know you guys are frustrated, I know you haven’t seen the change you were hoping to see in the first year of my presidency, but before you start judging my ability to lead this country, let me remind you about the shitty hand I was dealt.  We were in the middle of two wars, neck deep in debt, and on the verge of the second Great Depression when I was sworn into office.  Here’s what I’ve done about it already, and here’s what I’m planning to do this year– and guess what?  If Congress continues to act up like the little immature bitches they are, both Dems. and Repubs., I’m going to exercise my veto power until they get it right.  By the way, Congress, you better have a jobs bill on my desk by next Friday or I’m going to use my biting rhetoric to make sure NONE of you get re-elected, you self-serving, incompetent twits.”

Perhaps my favorite part of the speech was when he began his statement, “With all due respect to the separation of powers,” and then proceeded to rip the Supreme Court new a**holes for the heinously idiotic decision they made last week allowing corporations to use their money to tip elections.  Conservative Justice Alito, who is supposed to sit there serenely without clapping or reacting at all, is so incensed at having been scolded by the President that he breaks character and mouths “That’s not true.”  Classic footage:

My second favorite part of the speech was when Obama calls for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military, and the whole room stands up except for the patch of Joint Chiefs of Staff in their military uniforms in the front row, who sit silently and solemnly amid the applause.  Nooo, not the gays! Equal rights are for pussies!

All in all, I thought the speech was a smashing success, and I think it won over a lot of people.  My only hope is that he follows up on his promises, really focuses on jobs and the economy this year and enacts all the brilliant alternative energy plans he mentioned.  Give him a chance, you guys, I really do think he’s the first president we’ve had in a while who really gets it, and who really means what he says.

What did you guys think of the speech?  A solid turning point, more useless rhetoric, or somewhere in between?




12 responses

28 01 2010

Both of those were great moments! However I preferred, “I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change…” Whoever is writing his speeches should be given a high-five.

I will say that the bi-partisan not standing to applaud got real old and basically proves his/yours/everyones theory that members of congress are “immature bitches.” Fuckin right tax the big banks if they have enough money to hand out multi-million bonuses. Who can’t agree with that?! I know who… Mr. Burns.

28 01 2010

Agreed! That was another great part. Everyone laughed.

28 01 2010

all SOTU are nice rhetorical talking points, almost like a mini campaign speech. i’m not a huge huffington fan, but she very accurately described it as a State of the Focus Group Speech. And it worked. 83% of people approved of it, in all it’s contradictory glory.

but it was a solid turning point…to the right.

How can you seriously take his paltry bank and wall st reforms seriously when his cabinet is full of former wall st execs that he has constantly defended? How can you not see through the fact that he just started beating his chest after the MA loss?

He JUST announced that he wants to freeze all govt spending (outside of the military budget, which is greater than the rest of the world combined). If Bush had announced it, you would not be excited about that.

Black Agenda Report had a nice article a few weeks ago commenting on the fact that black people felt that their lives were improving, even though they were getting worse, and worse. He concluded that Obama is bad for black peoples mental health. (

Along those same lines, Obama is much more dangerous than Bush; when Bush lied to you, you knew it.

28 01 2010

Well that was a nice little anti-Obama tirade– you call him a liar, but failed to point out any actual lies. What did he say that is not true? Please enlighten me. Bush lied- we know for a fact he did.

I disagree with the spending freeze, although I think it’s honorable that he’s trying to pay back the massive amount of money he spent on the bailout (which was necessary to keep the economy from plummeting further than it actually did). His security team has determined that it’s necessary to stick around in Afghanistan until Pakistan’s nukes have been secured and the government is stable, and I haven’t heard him tell any lies about that. If you disagree with his defense spending, that’s one thing. But calling him a liar and saying he’s bad for black people’s mental health is kind of ridiculous if you don’t have anything but a link to back it up.

I understand that you’re angry that the U.S. is not a complete socialist state at this point, but a President can only do so much without the support of Congress.

28 01 2010

I have to agree with Che up there-I was unimpressed, felt parts of it were completely disingenuous, was tired of the same old oscar speech crap, irritated he didnt tell the dems more about how lame they are, pissed he never pointed out the unconstitutionality of needed 60 damn votes EVERY time something needs to get passed in the senate, snoring through his warm fuzzy we are the world crap at the end, and basically letting everyone who is sick of his dispassionate, objective mien that that’s what we are going to get until the end, so deal with it. he was obama 2008 all over again, and we have seen how far that’s gotten us thus far. im over it.

michelle looked resplendent, and alito has a head that reminds me of foreskin.

28 01 2010

you asked what we thought about the speech right? sounded like you only wanted to hear one side.

to address your points:

-On Black Mental Health. The article explains the point quite clearly. If black people think their situation has improved, when it hasn’t, then that’s a step backward for black people isn’t it?

-On Lying. You are right, lying is not the right word. Bush didn’t really ever really lie either, but they are both disingenuous:

-He stood up and claimed that “at the end of august, combat troops are coming home”. key words, combat troops. That means there’s going to be plenty of non combat troops there, so in case things aren’t going well, they can readily become combat troops. So that’s not really a withdrawal, is it?

-His claim to stand up to Wall St and big banks, when from the beginning, his cabinet was comprised by Wall St, is as fucking disingenuous as it gets.

-This claim (not only by Obama) that we just had to bail out the banks, we had no other choice is completely wrong. It makes it seems like we had two choice, let the banks fail, or give them 10 trillion dollars, no strings attached. How about….taking over the banks? (this is not ‘socialist’. many european capitalist countries do this all the time) If Monsanto was going out of business tomorrow, threatening millions of people with starvation should we give them 10 billions dollars to get back on their feet, or maybe realize that our survival shouldn’t be dependent on the whims of the market? There weren’t two choices in the matter.

-On Afghanistan. You are right, he was completely honest about that from the beginning. He campaigned on Afghanistan escalation (before had had a security team). I do find it interesting that you took the responsibility of the afghan war and gave it to his security team. “Bush’s security team advised him to invade Iraq because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and we had to make sure he didn’t use them.”

Furthermore, if you listen to most experts on pakistan, our presence there is further destabilizing the country. It’s not a huge surprise, since if China starting bombing Texas, I imagine that it would probably make Texas less secure of a place.

-How can you reconcile the fact that you’re against the spending freeze, but Obama is being honorable for doing it? So, we give billions of dollars to the banks no strings attached, give child care tax credits, then stop funding state initiatives that many people are relying on to stay afloat, and let the military budget run amok. What part of this is progressive?

I do however, agree with you (and Geoff’s) point that he doesn’t really have that much power. In which case, what are we giving him a chance to do? From his entry point into our lives as a political figure, he has only moved to the right, on almost every issue. Shall we just let him continue because he sounds like he gets it?

28 01 2010

BS, I’d like to see any president live up to your standards. What you want him to do is impossible considering the separation of powers and a public that will fill Congress up with Republicans the second Obama tries to enact any kind of truly progressive agenda.

“Take over the banks.” haha- yea, that would have gone over here. Give me a break. You have to evaluate a U.S. President in terms of what is realistic for U.S. president to be able to do, or resign yourself to being perpetually, miserably dissatisfied.

28 01 2010

Somewhere between. Mr Obama is a great rhetorician. But, I feel that the office always has too much credit bestowed on it for being able to effect changes, starting wars not withstanding nor power to direct agencies under executive purview. I mean, yes, he can have a strong influence, but there is a vetting process that usually puts in office someone who is going to have an agenda close to the party wants. So–
Congress has a much greater effect, but the camera can’t zoom in on Congress. Members of Congress and Senate are still caught in their same webs of special interests and constituencies. Speech doesn’t change that.
Supreme Court. Holy shit. Prez can do nothing about that decision and its huge. But congress could.
Overall, it’s more of the same, except we voted for this one, and he is smart and articulates things we agree with, which is why we want to say “finally, someone who gets it’.
Sidenote: Joint Chiefs should not show approval or disapproval for any political speech, since the ideal military is an apolitical tool of our democracy that serves at the behest of the commander-in-chief. I want them to sit there and listen.

28 01 2010

too much politics in these comments…let’s focus on the real problem. laura, as a quasi-member of my family, the fact that you have CBS AND (AND!) NBC represented in your above post is shameful.


a terrible oversight.

(i agree with you, after reading the transcript today, that he really killed it last night though)

love loves

28 01 2010

I liked the speach and especially Joe Biden laughing at his inuendos – the best to me was when he said the bank bailout was about as popular as a root canal. I think he has great speach writers and Obama knows how to deliver it. I wonder how much input he has in the speach before he has to deliver it. ??? He has had a hell of a mess to wade through since he took office and it would be nice if everyone would give him a chance. Miracles dont happen in a year and he needs a miracle to correct the mess he was left with by GWB. And Michelle O. has so much class. I love her.

29 01 2010

The SOTU wasn’t so much a speech to lay out a new direction but to reinforce the agenda that Obama has stated he would try to enact when he was voted in. He’s a progressive centrist. Anyone who thinks he’s too far right or too far left haven’t been listening to the guy very closely. Nuance is his MO. Obama reminded folks that fixing the fucked up state of the union takes more time than the 10 months he’s been actively doing things. He’s done a ton administratively, stopping or reversing 8 years of Bush shenanigans in various departments, but admittedly dropped the ball on giving the Ds and centrist Rs the backing they need(ed) on pushing through a slightly left-of-center progressive agenda.

The right hate him for trying to force “anti-american, socialist, big gov’mint” policies. The left hate him for not being more Liberal, and installing a single-payor UHC system and steamrolling the R’s. So either he’s doing everything wrong or everything right. The unity needed to push forward policies that benefit the greatest amount of people across a wide socio-economic spectrum can’t be found because the senior citizens and boomers are too busy protecting themselves than thinking about the greater good. The electorate have a very short-term and myopic view of the political arena and their “git mine” first attitude.

This explains the lobbying efforts to stall UHC, an Energy bill that actually funds renewables and clean technologies. Obama gets it right when he says the Nation that leads in clean technologies is the Nation that leads the world.

I hate to break it to folks but bipartisanship doesn’t exist in American politics. Never has. And probably never will. People like to say they want Washington to be more bipartisan but then when there’s any effort to do so, both political spectrums go into mental freeze-frame and punish their elected officials for trying to what their elected to do. We’re a republic not a mob-rule nation of populist voting.

The president can push forward his/her agenda without congressional approval. It’s called executive privilege. Obama’s appointments to the DOD, EPA, HHS, Dept. of Interior have administratively reversed previous Bush policies or executive decisions and rightly so. Obama’s administration is making an effort to govern for the greater good. Not the financial gains of a few key industries.

Obama has brought a higher level of transparency to the office as well and by telling Congress they need to be more upfront about how they do their dealings it’s forced the horse trading into the public’s view. Thus the discontent with all the horse trading during the health care legislative process. Witness the anger at town hall meetings over UHC. People actually got a chance to see how bills are passed and were shocked, SHOCKED, that politicians make back room deals, promises and compromises to get a bill through the spaghetti bowl of congress with as little sauce on your face as possible.

If anything, Obama’s SOTU did a few key things. It gave the Dems the backing they need to push forward on moving a progressive agenda forward and calling the Republicans out for being the party of “no” instead of stepping up and coming up with 21st century policy ideas instead of retreading the same ol’ shit they’ve been doing for 30+ years.

29 01 2010

BS, I love your passion and idealism, and I love it that you hate politicians who sell out for votes, but I see this from a different perspective. I am in my 50s and live in a small rural town in the south. Change is hard for people, especially people who don’t want it. I think Obama is a brilliant strategist, who understands politics and people more than he’s given credit for. He knows that this cluster-f of a situation inherited from the last administration will take longer than 4 years to fix, and if he does too much too soon he will lose trust, just like what happened in Mass. He’s buying time and gaining trust. We need to be patient and give him a chance.

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