State of the Union (or, Let’s Try Common Sense)

January 28th, 2010

 Inspired by President Obama’s State of the Union message last night. For more commentary, read First State of the Union speech by President Obama: ‘We face a deficit of trust’, After a tough year, a tougher toneFor Obama, a polite State of the Union (Washington Post 1/28/10), Obama urges nervous Dems to fight for his agenda, Judging success of Obama’s speech will require two yardsticks ( 1/28/10), and STOU: “The Worst of the Storm Has Past” (It’s a Movement 1/28/10).

     Last night for the State of the Union

I went to a sort of political reunion.

It was a DC viewing party hosted by OFA

In the “Z Lounge” at the Sports Club/LA.

     The party was mentioned by the Post’s Reliable Source

(With jokes about accompanying drinking games, of course).

I also got a personalized email invitation from OFA Deputy Director Jeremy Bird

 (It would be a very exclusive affair, he inferred).

     And if the SOTU itself wasn’t enough,

There was also a conference call with David Plouffe.

Unfortunately, I got there late and missed it

(The place was crowded, so I was lucky to find a place to sit).

     I found out later that anyone could sign up to go–

The woman sitting next to me told me so.

Chatting with her made the speech even better

(It’s always more interesting to watch when the audience is redder).

     What about the speech itself?

I won’t go over it in detail (watch it below yourself).

But I would like to make a few points of my own

And the current state of politics bemoan.

     With healthcare reform, the economy, and the big bank fee,

Obama is looking out for people like you and me.

The Republicans, on the other hand,

Are out there in corporate-financed la-la-land.

     As expected, Obama focused on the economy

(People are hurting, so that’s the priority).

He said jobs would be the focus in 2010,

And repeated the word “jobs” again and again.

     He mentioned my home town (Allentown PA), where he recently went

(Unemployment there is now 10.1 per cent).

He said small business there needs assistance

To create new jobs (or just stay in existence).

     So he offered a new small business tax credit and $30 billion in lending,

And new small business investment’s capital gains tax ending.

All that should make Republicans happy,

And hopefully even make the economy less crappy.

     I’m all for the clean energy and action on climate Obama proposed,

But towards more nuclear power and offshore oil not as well disposed.

If he can’t get a climate bill through the Senate, there’s always EPA regulation

(His line about “those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence” drew much crowd appreciation).

     Creating two million jobs by doubling exports over the next five years is great

(Much better than the protectionist route others would take).

I agree “the best anti-poverty program around is a world-class education”

(His proposed student loan provisions received a standing ovation).

     I worried that Obama’s delay in mentioning healthcare

Meant he was going to leave it hanging there.

But when he did bring it up, he came on strong,

With just the right amount of “why can’t we all just get along?”

     I liked that he called out the GOP

For their constant budgetary hypocrisy,

Crying for fiscal responsibility

After 8 years of total irresponsibility.

     I have to say I don’t think the freeze will do much good:

The only way to really reduce spending is to cut entitlements, if you could.

The discretionary budget’s only $450 billion—

Entitlements and the military make up the rest of the budget’s $3.5 trillion.

     I’m in favor of the bipartisan fiscal commission,

Though I too would have preferred one with statutory permission.

But like Obama said, since the Senate can’t agree,

He’ll do it by Executive Order alternatively.

     I agree with Obama’s criticism of Citizens United:

More corporate dollars in politics shouldn’t be invited.

Of course, Justice Alito didn’t agree:

He mouthed “Not true” and shook his head vigorously.

     On Iraq, Afghanistan, loose nukes, and terrorism, I also agree,

Though sometimes solutions are hard to see.

In Haiti and elsewhere, it’s more important to do what’s right than to be number one

(And don’t even get me started on Pat Robertson).

     I was glad Obama committed to end “Don’t ask don’t tell”

(A step forward under Clinton, but since then it hasn’t worked well).

I wish that he’d also said something about voting rights in DC

(As a resident, that’s something that directly affects me).

     I agree with Obama’s critcism of both sides of the aisle,

But I think it’s the American people that are in denial.

Like Obama said, Democracy is “complicated”:

We can’t just blame politicians for the mess we’ve created.

     Obama’s main messsage, with which I go along:

Was that “despite our hardships, our Union is strong.”

We should seize this opportunity to strengthen it some more,

Because that’s what politics is supposed to be for.

     Mr. President, I for one still have hope that you can “deliver”–

Though sometimes not much more than just a sliver.

You have a unique ability to make people understand,

Which hopefully the continued GOP onslaught will withstand.

     And Sia: Thanks in advance for the plug (here’s one for you).

Sorry if my comments last night bored you.


Click here or on the icon below  to send a letter on behalf of President Obama to tell Congress to join the fight for the middle class.

Here’s the speech.

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2 Responses to “State of the Union (or, Let’s Try Common Sense)”

  1. Newsericks » Blog Archive » Mass. Effect 2: Fight for the Lost Says:

    […] more, read my State of the Union […]

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    […] State of the Union (or, Let’s try common sense) […]

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