The Great Man Speaks

William L. Gensert
Every time I hear a speech from Barack Obama, I can't help but feel how unworthy we are as a country, and when I watched the SOTU, I became racked with guilt at how much of a disappointment we are to him as subjects.

Yet, still he soldiers on in what has to be an unrewarding task -- the redemption of a nation and a people.

Barack Obama is clearly our conscience and the culmination of our collective hopes and dreams.

His SOTU speech may have been nothing new, something for everyone on the left, but you have to admire the man for his consistency and pluck.  Just because his palate of preferred policies have never worked and are in fact failing the nation at this very moment, he insists we try more of the same.

Because, after all, there is no problem too big that we cannot spend our way out of it. You would almost think that the President was not present for the first 4 years of his Presidency.

Sure, he wasn't as inspiring as he has been in the past.  But, how many times can you say the same things and still be inspiring?

Barack Obama's SOTU in a Nutshell

Who has the time or the inclination to listen to our President?  So I have prepared a synopsis of his speech.  You could read this or basically, just listen to any other of his speeches.

"John F. Kennedy," then quote Kennedy, then blah, blah, blah.  Pause...look around, turn and resume speaking.

"After a decade of grinding war" the fighting is over because of me.

"6 million new jobs" have been created, because of me.

There are more "American cars" and less "foreign oil," because of me.

"Our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding, and consumers, patients and homeowners enjoy stronger protections than ever before."

...Because of me.

"Corporate profits" are up, but "wages and incomes have barely budged."  Profits -- all me, wages and income that's their fault.

Talk a little about the budget, fake spending reductions and real tax increases.

"Republicans, business leaders and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in Washington as "the sequester," are a really bad idea."  Don't mention it was my idea.

Throw in the straw man on defense cuts.

Make a false argument about starving "seniors" and "working families" to pay for their spending.  Propose "balance.'

Talk about raising taxes, but call it "getting rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and well-connected."

More spending, but call it "job-creating investments."

Green energy = "control [of] our own energy future."

"[F]or the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change." 

Green energy = jobs. 

"I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy."

Propose a new department for taking oil profits and spending them green.  China, China, China.

Talk about new "roads and bridges," and "high-speed rail and internet; high-tech schools and self-healing power grids." 

Propose a new program for infrastructure, mention bridges again.

Talk about forcing mortgage companies to refinance homes at lower rates.  "What are we waiting for?  Take a vote, and send me that bill."

Back to the children, "fewer than 3 in 10 4-year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program."  Talk about more investment in children.

Pivot to immigration reform.  Take credit for enforcement and demand more.

"Today, the Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act."  Those women haters in congress (Republicans) should do the same.

It's time to "raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour."  Do it for the "folks."  Foment a little class warfare by mentioning that "CEO pay has never been higher."

"Let's offer incentives to companies that hire Americans" in the form of more investment.

The wars are over because of me and we will "achieve our objective of defeating the core of al-Qaida."

Briefly mention "targeting" and then drone on about the "detention and prosecution of terrorists."  Claim that now "our efforts are even more transparent to the American people and to the world."

Briefly mention Iran, engagement, Russia and "the rapidly growing threat from cyber attacks."

"That's why, earlier today, I signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs and our privacy." 

Work into the speech a straw man on voter ID.  "When any Americans -- no matter where they live or what their party -- are denied that right simply because they can't wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals."  Propose another commission.

Go back to the nation's "most precious resource - our children."

Gun control.  "It has been two months since Newtown" and we need to "get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets."  

Talk about the victims and display the props, "a young girl named Hadiya Pendleton" and "Gabby Giffords."

Big finish:

"We are citizens. It's a word that doesn't just describe our nationality or legal status. It describes the way we're made. It describes what we believe. It captures the enduring idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations; that our rights are wrapped up in the rights of others; and that well into our third century as a nation, it remains the task of us all, as citizens of these United States, to be the authors of the next great chapter in our American story."

"Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America."

Revel in the applause and adulation.


Every time I hear a speech from Barack Obama, I can't help but feel how unworthy we are as a country, and when I watched the SOTU, I became racked with guilt at how much of a disappointment we are to him as subjects.

Yet, still he soldiers on in what has to be an unrewarding task -- the redemption of a nation and a people.

Barack Obama is clearly our conscience and the culmination of our collective hopes and dreams.

His SOTU speech may have been nothing new, something for everyone on the left, but you have to admire the man for his consistency and pluck.  Just because his palate of preferred policies have never worked and are in fact failing the nation at this very moment, he insists we try more of the same.

Because, after all, there is no problem too big that we cannot spend our way out of it. You would almost think that the President was not present for the first 4 years of his Presidency.

Sure, he wasn't as inspiring as he has been in the past.  But, how many times can you say the same things and still be inspiring?

Barack Obama's SOTU in a Nutshell

Who has the time or the inclination to listen to our President?  So I have prepared a synopsis of his speech.  You could read this or basically, just listen to any other of his speeches.

"John F. Kennedy," then quote Kennedy, then blah, blah, blah.  Pause...look around, turn and resume speaking.

"After a decade of grinding war" the fighting is over because of me.

"6 million new jobs" have been created, because of me.

There are more "American cars" and less "foreign oil," because of me.

"Our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding, and consumers, patients and homeowners enjoy stronger protections than ever before."

...Because of me.

"Corporate profits" are up, but "wages and incomes have barely budged."  Profits -- all me, wages and income that's their fault.

Talk a little about the budget, fake spending reductions and real tax increases.

"Republicans, business leaders and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in Washington as "the sequester," are a really bad idea."  Don't mention it was my idea.

Throw in the straw man on defense cuts.

Make a false argument about starving "seniors" and "working families" to pay for their spending.  Propose "balance.'

Talk about raising taxes, but call it "getting rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and well-connected."

More spending, but call it "job-creating investments."

Green energy = "control [of] our own energy future."

"[F]or the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change." 

Green energy = jobs. 

"I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy."

Propose a new department for taking oil profits and spending them green.  China, China, China.

Talk about new "roads and bridges," and "high-speed rail and internet; high-tech schools and self-healing power grids." 

Propose a new program for infrastructure, mention bridges again.

Talk about forcing mortgage companies to refinance homes at lower rates.  "What are we waiting for?  Take a vote, and send me that bill."

Back to the children, "fewer than 3 in 10 4-year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program."  Talk about more investment in children.

Pivot to immigration reform.  Take credit for enforcement and demand more.

"Today, the Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act."  Those women haters in congress (Republicans) should do the same.

It's time to "raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour."  Do it for the "folks."  Foment a little class warfare by mentioning that "CEO pay has never been higher."

"Let's offer incentives to companies that hire Americans" in the form of more investment.

The wars are over because of me and we will "achieve our objective of defeating the core of al-Qaida."

Briefly mention "targeting" and then drone on about the "detention and prosecution of terrorists."  Claim that now "our efforts are even more transparent to the American people and to the world."

Briefly mention Iran, engagement, Russia and "the rapidly growing threat from cyber attacks."

"That's why, earlier today, I signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs and our privacy." 

Work into the speech a straw man on voter ID.  "When any Americans -- no matter where they live or what their party -- are denied that right simply because they can't wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals."  Propose another commission.

Go back to the nation's "most precious resource - our children."

Gun control.  "It has been two months since Newtown" and we need to "get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets."  

Talk about the victims and display the props, "a young girl named Hadiya Pendleton" and "Gabby Giffords."

Big finish:

"We are citizens. It's a word that doesn't just describe our nationality or legal status. It describes the way we're made. It describes what we believe. It captures the enduring idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations; that our rights are wrapped up in the rights of others; and that well into our third century as a nation, it remains the task of us all, as citizens of these United States, to be the authors of the next great chapter in our American story."

"Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America."

Revel in the applause and adulation.