I’ve honestly tried to cover the whole of what was mentioned during the State of the Union by President Obama. There’s so much I’ve decided to break it out into parts for easier reading and hopefully comprehension.
I want to offer this one point early that Chris Matthews of MSNBC offered that I believe was the point I’ve been trying to make to many people for the past year specifically regarding this President as it relates to America’s racial perceptions and history. He said, “I didn’t see him as the Black President, but simple as the President.”
You are absolutely correct. Yes, race has and continues to play a significant role in the prism we ALL have perceived this President, no matter how subtle or overt we have chosen to acknowledge this fact. What I believe Chris Matthews was essentially suggesting was that he paid more attention to the content of his character, than the color of his skin.
So I begin by asking a question of those who has decided to criticize this President for anything that goes wrong and those who seeks to apologize on behalf of this President for what may go wrong. Here’s the question for consideration.
“As President, how would you effectively navigate these issues that President Obama has to contend with in the midst of a political party who refuses to cooperate with you unless it’s on their terms, another party too timid to act, people questioning your patriotism, citizenship, legitimacy and leadership. While calling you a racist, socialist and other ridiculous names in midst of a recession and two wars that was not of your doing? How would you navigate through that?”
As you’re contemplating that, allow me to offer my take on President Obama’s first State of the Union.
SOTU 2010 Part A:
First to admit a bias, I absolutely love how he began the speech, because he was teaching in a way. Walking down the rhetorical middle invites all to walk with him on this oratorical journey. He’s grabbing your hand in a gesture of consideration of our common interests. So you normally will get a silent smile and attention from me when I recognize you doing that.
One more thing, I love the line giving in the introduction, “A Stubborn Resilience in the Face of Adversity”. I’ve got to use that.
Alright, first point…
Now the line I believe may have been overlooked was at the beginning. “Tonight I would like to talk about how together we can deliver on that promise.” Four words, TOGETHER WE CAN DELIVER is what is missing in practice of our decisions, instead we trend our comfort to I or we doesn’t include me or you and the only thing delivered is cynicism.
The State of the Economy
The Financial Rescue Program was initially created by the previous Administration. I guess better late than never, but not to focus on the mistakes of the previous administration it was when this administration took it over where it was enacted. Remember it was the 11th hour when the previous administration finally had to address the economy, bags were already packed. So this administration modified it to make it more transparent and accountable to the tax paying public. In only a year MOST of the money that so many were complaining about has been recovered that was spent on the banks. Now let that sink in for a quick second.
Let’s briefly mention a few of these things for consideration.
As the administration took steps to stabilize the economy, they also took actions to get it growing once again by trying to save as many jobs they could and assist those who became unemployed. The extension of unemployment benefits to more than 18 million Americans, sought to make health insurance 65% cheaper for families who receive coverage on COBRA. Less I mention to my more conservative friends the 25 different tax cuts. Yet some still are not satisfied.
Side Note: Another line I loved was when the President said, “That’s Right, The Recovery Act, also known as the Stimulus Bill” as if he was saying “Yeah I said it, now what.”
Built to Compete
As the President was speaking about Clean Energy Jobs, small businesses and slashing the tax breaks for companies that ships jobs oversees the camera panned the gallery and a ‘majority’ was standing, but a certain ‘minority’ wasn’t. I’m not speaking about race or gender, but affiliation. I found that very interesting. Wouldn’t you think if a certain group was Pro-America as they campaign to be they would be against companies that shipped American jobs oversees? Yet, some still are not satisfied.
Now I thought it was politically clever that the President said that he wanted a jobs bill on his desk without delay in terms of placing pressure on the Senate to act, since they have been much of the problem. What’s clever is that no time table was mention. I’m not going to hammer the President on this one just yet, because I believe it is a wise political move and proves lessons learned. This too has gone unnoticed by the critics on both sides.
Jobs, No Patience
7 Million Jobs were lost, 2 million created, but still we have 5 million more to go just to break even. Many can’t afford to have the patience of Job when it comes to jobs. But this situation wasn’t of this President’s doing, but at least he’s working to resolve it.
The U.S. can not afford to do nothing, someone has to be willing to have some faith in our own abilities and do something to get things done. Yet, some still are not satisfied.
How Long, Not Long
Now for those who know the speeches, sermons and writings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this line may ring familiar when the President asked the question, How Long? Keep in mind that President Obama is well versed on Dr. King just as some of us are, so to me this was a nod in that direction. This has got to be one of the smoothest politically rhetorical remixes I’ve ever heard. See I couldn’t have been there, because the ‘preacher’s kid’ would have came out on that one. Some understand what I mean by that.
Side Note: Another great line. “I do not accept 2nd Place for the United States of America.”
One more thing for those who watched the SOTU, notice how one side did not stand when the President said, we’ve got to get this right. Another reason why you have to look at the commitment of people, because some are just committed to NO.
The Overwhelming Scientific Evidence of Climate Change
Here’s an easy question for those who somehow insist there is no evidence of global warming. Consider who agrees with your position. Your boy Bin Laden deplores climate change. Now I gave you enough credit to believe you wouldn’t side with Bin Laden, but I guess I was wrong.
The point made that was significant and probably inarguable was that “the nation that leads on the clean energy economy is the nation that leads the global economy.”
*END OF THE SOTU 2010 PART A*
References & Inspirations
Wikipedia “American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009”
CNN Money – 11/06/09 “Obama Signs Jobless Benefits Extension”
USA Today – 03/03/09 “Stimulus will help laid-off workers with COBRA costs”
AlJazeera – - 01/29/10 “Bin Laden Deplores Climate Change”
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “Climate Change”