The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Today, Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union (SOTU) address. He will talk in broad abstractions and half-truths. He will say he wants to find common ground with his opponents, but will propose legislation (which has exactly zero chance of becoming law) that does exactly the opposite.

He will tell us how the economy has recovered, even though tens of millions remain underemployed and multiples of tens of millions remain on various forms of government assistance. He will tell us that more people today have health insurance than ever before, without mentioning that most of those who now have gained insurance for the first time are not paying for it and can't get adequate coverage even as they carry their Obamacare cards from provider to provider.

He will tell us that he cares about the middle class, abhors income inequality, and believes that additional taxes and spending are the road to his vision of a big-government leftist utopia, without recognizing that taxes and over-regulation suffocate initiative and the growth of small businesses—the life blood of our economy. He will make subtle references to class warfare, suggesting indirectly that successful ("rich") Americans don't pay their "fair share," although never telling us quantitatively what that fair share should be. He will not mention the national debt, except to tell us dishonestly that he is working hard to reduce it.

He will talk tough on "climate change" arguing that his unilateral executive actions will save the world from disaster, without mentioning the growing evidence that much of what has been claimed about the climate, CO2, and warming is demonstrably false.

He will criticize Washington, even as he sits at the top of the Washington pyramid. He will subtly (or maybe, not so subtly) attack his political opponents, suggesting that their opposition is somehow unusual or mean-spirited.

He will talk tough on "extremism" but never identify who the "extremists" are. He will tell us that he has extracted the United States from war, without mentioning that our enemy, radical Islam, has an entirely different view about whether the war is over or not.

He will tell us that his foreign policy has succeeded, and use the new detente with Cuba as prima facie evidence. He will not, however, mention his abject failures in the Middle East (e.g., Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan) , the Korean peninsula, in Africa, and Russia (the Ukraine). He will suggest that his negotiations with Iran will bear fruit, if only bi-partisan proposals to impose sanctions if those negotiations fail are aborted.

We have had six plus years to assess Barack Obama as a man, as a leader, as a strategist, and as a president. We have had six years to assess his actions and the outcome of those actions. Nothing he says tonight can remedy the incompetence, the poor decision-making, the hyper-partisan rancor, the dishonesty, and the myriad scandals that have occurred on his watch. He will speak for about an hour, but for the most part, what he says no longer matters.

As if to reinforce my last comment, The Washington Times reports:
Judging by his recent history, it doesn’t really matter what President Obama says in Tuesday’s State of the Union address — Congress is going to ignore him anyway.

Mr. Obama has the second-worst record of getting his State of the Union policy requests enacted into law of any president in the last five decades, according to an analysis by two scholars that puts him only above the unelected two-year presidency of Gerald Ford.

From 2009 through 2014, Mr. Obama issued 209 different calls for action from Congress in his speeches, but only saw lawmakers follow through on 64 of them — good for just 30 percent. That’s only slightly better than Mr. Ford’s 28 percent success rate, and is well below the likes of President Clinton, the previous Democratic president, who won 44 percent of his policies even though he faced a Congress more Republican than Mr. Obama has.