Upbeat! Positive! Long on rhetoric! Short on substance!
That is our take-a-way of the president’s State of the Union address.
The president was in full campaign mode last night…touting the accomplishments of his five years in office…expressing his hope for the future and his belief in our country and the values that once made it great.
He challenged congress to set aside their differences and do what is right for the American people. And he warned that if they refused to act he would use the powers given to him in the constitution to act alone.
To his credit he spent most of his address talking about the plight of the American people and the ways congress can act to improve their lives…raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, renewing benefits for the long term unemployed, investing in education and research and creating jobs.
Noticeably absent was anything that one would characterize as “big and bold.” He called for a year of action…but his proposals barely nibbled around the edges.
Clearly this is a president who after five years in office understands that this congress is not going to work with him.
As one pundit noted…“The audacity of hope has been replaced with the reality of limits.”
The president did what he had to do. A center left speech presented in a center right manner. A conciliatory hand of co-operation extended. Hope and change within the boundaries.
One final note! There were three Republican rebuttals to the president’s remarks. We could only bear to watch one. The official response was delivered by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), the fourth ranking Republican in the House. McMorris Rodgers seems like a nice enough person and she is probably a good mother and capable congresswoman. But her comments offered nothing of substance. She basically said everything will work out for the best if we work hard and pray to God to help us make the most of our opportunities. Her response proves once again that the “Rebuttal to the President’s State of the Union Address” should be discontinued once and for all.