I confess: I did not watch the State of the Union address. This is not personal to the current president; I haven’t watched a State of the Union address … well, ever. My bad. Besides. It’s much more fun to read what other people say about it after it’s over, particularly since from what I can gather, the speech itself tells little about the true “state” of the union. I’ve been paying attention all year, so I think I probably can figure out the state of the union all by myself.
That said, there have been some great (and sobering) assessments of last night’s speech. Take this, for example, from Yuval Levin over at the National Review Online: “…on the whole, this was really an incredibly graceless, self-righteous, and grouchy performance.”
Or, this, from my new secret boyfriend, Mark Steyn (same place): “There’s no sense that, even as platitudinous filler, it arises organically from who this man is. As mawkish and shameless as the Clinton SOTUs were, they nevertheless projected a kind of authenticity. With Obama, the big-picture uplift seems unmoored from any personal connection — and he’s not good enough to make it real. Same with all those municipal name-checks.”
And then there’s Karl Rove’s opinion, set forth in the Wall Street Journal: “Mr. Obama has squandered the “sense of common cause” he talked about on Sunday that many felt at his inauguration. In the week leading up to his State of the Union, he did little to rekindle that spirit or reverse his sinking fortunes.”
The Heritage Foundation is pretty good. Their analysis of the speech can be found here, but here are a couple of points that they make about the speech:
“President Obama inherited a global recession and a global financial meltdown. So far, his enacted policies have had no beneficial effect as the 10 percent unemployment demonstrates in spades, and his threatened policies remain perhaps the greatest barrier to a strong economy.”
“Despite overwhelming public opposition, the President in his State of the Union restated his commitment to flawed health care legislation that would transfer more power and decisions to Washington and away from patients and families.”
“President Obama’s proposed “freeze” will not start until 2011, will only apply to only about one eighth of $3.5 trillion budget, and will not be relevant to any of the unspent $862 billion stimulus plan, his health care plan or the House of Representatives’ additional $156 billion stimulus plan.”
Granted. These guys are all on the “other team,” so to speak, so their criticisms aren’t really that surprising. My favorite, actually, was from my sister-in-law, who said, “I always feel like I am watching a pep rally… swear I saw ‘spirit fingers’ …was totally waiting for a human pyramid or perhaps some tumbling across the stage. My favorite will be shirtless individuals with letters painted on their bellies that spell some sort of word. One of these days.” :)
We will see.
All in all, I think that watching reruns of “The Unit” was probably a better use of my time – although, technically, I didn’t see much of that either. Tanner was very interested in playing with his cow, and I was trying to get through “Emma,” by Jane Austen.
*** UPDATE ***
This was from Bobby Eberle’s column this morning, too:
“Not only was Obama as narcissistic as ever, the speech was nothing like some pundits were predicting. Having faced stunning gubernatorial losses in Virginia and New Jersey and then the historical Scott Brown Senate victory in Massachusetts, those “in the know” speculated that Obama would move toward the middle. Wrong! The speech was the same old socialist rhetoric topped with a direct confrontation with members of the Supreme Court. There was no class at all… but should I have expected anything else?”
He went on to point out:
“One of the most stunning moments of the entire speech was when Obama addressed the members of the Supreme Court directly. I have never seen this before. He blasted their recent ruling on election spending by advocacy groups. Not only was this an extreme breach of protocol in my opinion, it was also wrong. Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito couldn’t sit stone-faced while Obama went on and muttered the words ‘not true’ to Obama’s attack.”
Yep. That’s the President of the United States, folks. Reminds of Bill Cosby’s “Fat Albert” line: “No class.”
In case, you’re really curious, there is an interesting “fact check” analysis of the speech here.