Life is too short to spend it reading EJ Dionne but this paragraph may amuse. (Emphasis is mine.)
Tuesday's State of the Union speech laid out a rationale for the Obama presidency that stands a chance of enduring through Election Day 2012. The choice is between backward-looking Republicans who talk grumpily about government spending and "Obamacare," and forward-looking Obama Democrats who would use government - carefully and efficiently, of course - to restore American leadership and a humming, innovative economy.Cue laugh track. Even Dionne's liberal colleagues can't swallow it. Et tu, Ruth Marcus?
The state of the union is . . . leaderless.Update emperor's status to naked.
Sounds harsh, but when it comes to digging America out from what President Obama calls its "mountain of debt," I'm becoming increasingly worried that this assessment is accurate.
The president talks the talk about fiscal responsibility. But the evidence suggests he's not willing to spend the political capital to translate that talk into action.
Less surprising commentary from Charles Krauthammer:
This entire pantomime about debt reduction came after the first half of a speech devoted to, yes, new spending. One almost has to admire Obama’s defiance. His 2009 stimulus and budget-busting health-care reform are precisely what stirred the popular revolt that delivered his November shellacking. And yet he’s back for more.RTR.
It’s as if Obama is daring the voters — and the Republicans — to prove they really want smaller government. He’s manning the barricades for Obamacare and he’s here with yet another spending — excuse me, investment — spree. To face down those overachieving Asians, Obama wants to sink yet more monies into yet more road and bridge repair, more federally subsidized teachers — with a bit of high-speed rail tossed in for style. That will show the Chinese.
Victor Davis Hanson finds Obama's speech "abjectly derelict":
After the media acclaim dies down, I think history will record that Obama’s State of the Union was abjectly derelict. With another $1 trillion–plus deficit on the horizon, he offered no meaningful way to reduce the debt but instead many ways to add to it.That's because his mind is set in concrete.
He does not seem to get that he is facing in 2011 a perfect storm of sky-high energy prices, rising food prices, more 9.4 percent unemployment, astronomical budget deficits, the looming nightmare of the implementation of Obamacare, and a sinking dollar, and yet is still offering the old boilerplate about green this-and-that and the nefarious top 2 percent of the country. It is almost as if he is some sort of automaton that keeps up the preprogrammed sound bites even as the batteries weaken and it sputters out.
Bonus: Why Mark Steyn loves Michele Bachmann. Steyn and Hugh Hewitt:
HH: Let me ask you, speaking about the climate of rhetoric these days, Chris Matthews has come close to exorcist-like head spinning when he brings up Michele Bachmann. Have you see that? And what is at work there?Read the rest.
MS: (laughing) I know. Well, for a start, let me tell you, I love Michele Bachmann.
HH: So do I.
MS: Because there’s something, there’s some stupid thing called Congress Reads every year, where Congressmen have to pick out a book. And I gather that most times, they’re just sort of photographed, you know, reading Thomas the Tank Engine to grade schoolers or whatever. And God bless Michele Bachmann picked out my book, America Alone.
HH: Oh, good, for the little third graders? Good.
MS: Yeah. And her opponents saw that as, took that as final confirmation she’d gone completely insane. I always, I think it’s incredibly valuable to have people who are to the right of the Republican establishment to keep them honest. It’s actually the most important thing we can have at the moment. And I’m with Michele Bachmann all the time, because you need somebody to counter all the ‘reach across the aisle’ types in the Republican establishment. And so I’m with Michele Bachmann, and all the more so if she makes Chris Matthews’ head explode.
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