Obama speech: boilerplate SOTU with shades of old testament prophets
We have been very bad children says our daddy:
We have lived through an era where too often, short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity; where we failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election. A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future. Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market. People bought homes they knew they couldn’t afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway. And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day.
Well that day of reckoning has arrived, and the time to take charge of our future is here.
This may be true - some of it anyway. I would argue that the more the government became involved in the market, the more skewed it became and the prospect of short term gain became more profitable than long term investment.
And the "critical debates" Obama is promising are going to be political battles over liberal ideas on health care, education, the environment, and other areas where we disagree. The fact that these "debates" have not gone the left's way on some issues is what Obama means when he says we have "put off" the issues for another day.
But a "day of reckoning?" This evokes images of the end times or at the least, the thundering pronouncements of old testament prophets who warned God's children that their bad behavior was going to be punished someday. Is Obama the hand of God, sent to earth to bring about a "reckoning" for us Americans who, our president thinks, have spent too much, not saved enough, been too concerned about "short term" gain?
Aren't we the lucky ones.
The rest of the speech was pretty boring stuff - a laundry list of government interventions in the economy and our lives. The fine print of his new budget will shock a few people over the next few weeks - especially Obama's plans for universal health insurance. The details will bring home to even the densest among us that there's a new sheriff in town and the phrase "I'm from the government and I'm here to help" will no doubt echo across the land from sea to shining sea.
Then, there was this curious bit of hyperbole:
“While our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken, though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this,” Mr. Obama said. “We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.”
"Rebuild," what Mr. President? Did I fall asleep and miss another 9/11 type terrorist attack? This is an economic crisis, sir, not a response to a Dresden-style attack on our cities. And while you're at this rebuilding thingie, maybe you could come up with a plan to save our banks. When even one of your most insipid, genuflecting apostles begins to wonder about your Financial Stability Plan that you promised 2 weeks ago to have presented for our consideration, you know that something is amiss in the White House.
Pretty good delivery of an average speech - that just about sums it up.