Posted by: Rick | Thursday, January 28, 2010

Good Speech, Mr. President. Now Take It To Your Enemies.

Barack Obama tore a page from the Bill Clinton playbook and included lots of policy detail in his State of the Union address.  The public seems to approve.  A roadmap has been unfolded.

Now, it’s still obligatory on these occasions for presidents to kneel at the altar of bipartisanship.  I’m sure George W. Bush did so in 2001 right before he rammed though his disastrous tax giveaways.  Pundits and independent voters — many of whom are clueless — need reassurance that “the process” is working smoothly.  But it’s all fake. 

Read the Republican response to the president’s speech.  There’s nothing in that couldn’t have been written in 1981.  Here’s the gist of it:

The circumstances of our time demand that we reconsider and restore the proper, limited role of government at every level. . . .

What government should not do is pile on more taxation, regulation, and litigation that kill jobs and hurt the middle class. . . .

Today, the federal government is simply trying to do too much. . . .

Without reform, the excessive growth of government threatens our very liberty and prosperity.

(Pardon me while I go watch Dynasty.)

The Republican Party is strong because it’s an implacable monolith, like the black Jupiter slab in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001.  The only modern wrinkle in the passage above is the sop to the tea party movement about “our very liberty” being in danger.  (Teabaggers are nothing if not drama queens.)

An agenda for change is in place.  The opposition is still the Party of No.  It’s time for the president — and everyone — to get back to work.



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