SOTU: ”Oh No We Can t”
Vol: 112 Issue: 26 Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I was joking last night with another OL member that I was watching President Obama’s speech “so that you don’t have to” – but as it turns out, I didn’t have to, either. I heard the same speech last year.
The only thing that was really different was that Supreme Court Justices Alito, Thomas and Scalia decided that after the public rebuke Obama handed the Court at last year’s SOTU address they would just skip this year’s altogether.
The Supreme Court usually attends the State of the Union address as a formal demonstration of neutrality by not applauding for either Republicans or Democrats. Their collective absence was therefore just as public a rebuke of the President.
Not a great start to what was supposed to be a speech all about ‘coming together as one nation’ and ‘setting aside our differences’ and other great, swelling words that somehow failed to come together properly.
Obama emphasized bi-partisanship and ways that he could work with Republicans, but Obama made it clear that he defines ‘bipartisanship’ as agreeing with him. When he spoke of compromise, he was speaking of Republicans compromising with Democrats, not the other way around.
The speech had the same surreal feel to it as did the atmosphere. Much was made before the speech about the seating arrangements, with Democrats and Republicans sitting together in what ABCNews called “a gesture of bipartisanship and cooperation in the wake of the Tucson shooting.”
The speech was filled with platitudes that he presented as if the last two years of his administration didn’t happen. He mentioned the last election as if it was going to be the last election.
“At stake right now is not who wins the next election — after all, we just had an election. At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else. It’s whether the hard work and industry of our people is rewarded,” he said. “It’s whether we sustain the leadership that has made America not just a place on a map, but a light to the world.”
But only an hour after delivering his SOTU speech, he kicked off Campaign 2012 with a trip to Wisconsin to sell the “five pillars of change” he said would define the second half of his term.
Five pillars. That sounds vaguely familiar.
The president outlined these ‘Five Pillars’ as innovation, education, infrastructure, deficit reduction and reforming government.
Whew! That’s a relief, because I just figured out why the Five Pillars reference creeped me out.
There are also Five Pillars of Islam which serve as the foundation of Muslim life; Shahada, (testimony) Salat, (prayer) Zakat, (alms) Sawm, (fasting) and Haj (pilgrimage to Mecca).
One has to assume that the president, who attended an Islamic madrassa as a boy in Indonesia, would have to be acquainted with the Five Pillars of Islam. It can’t simply be a coincidence.
Speeches like the SOTU are worked on and massaged and reworked and rewritten by teams of professional propagandists long before they ever get to the President’s desk.
It is practically inconceivable that all of those guys failed to see the connection between the Five Pillars reference and the Five Pillars of Islam, but even if all of them did, the President couldn’t have.
Since it couldn’t have been accidental, it logically follows that it had to be deliberate. One wonders why.
Putting the subliminal reference to Islam aside, those parts of the speech that weren’t rhetoric were outright falsehoods, according to the Associated Press, which fact-checked each of the claims in his speech.
A few examples include Obama’s sudden aversion to ‘earmarks’ which the AP noted, was not a problem for him when the Democrats controlled both Houses.
“In early 2009, Obama sounded like an apologist for the practice: “Done right, earmarks have given legislators the opportunity to direct federal money to worthy projects that benefit people in their districts, and that’s why I’ve opposed their outright elimination,” he said then.
Just a couple more, I promise. It is just so amazing to find an honest assessment of Obama’s serial deception being aired by the mainstream – it seems like just yesterday that they were hailing him as the new Messiah.
OBAMA: Praised the “important progress” made by the bipartisan fiscal commission he created last year.
THE FACTS: The panel’s co-chairmen last month recommended a painful mix of spending cuts and tax increases, each of them unpopular with one constituency or another, including raising the Social Security retirement age, cutting future benefit increases, raising the gasoline tax and rolling back popular tax breaks like the mortgage interest deduction. But Obama has yet to sign on to any of the ideas, even though he promised when creating the panel that it would not be “one of those Washington gimmicks.”
Obama proposed eliminating “billions of dollars we currently give to oil companies.” The AP noted dryly that;
“He made a similar proposal last year that went nowhere. He sought $36.5 billion in tax increases on oil and gas companies over the next decade, but Congress largely ignored the request, even though Democrats were then in charge of both houses of Congress.”
Having listened to the speech, compared the facts to the hyperbole, listened to the rebuttal speeches and the various pundits (did anybody else notice how visibly angry Britt Hume was?) if one were to summarize the speech into a single sentence, it would have to be, “The State of the Union is perilous.”
Or, put another way, “Oh no, we can’t.”