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Readers Dissect Obama Speech, Applause

Our Readers Who Comment have been all over President Obama's speech to the nation and seem sharply divided along political lines in hundreds of comments about several WaPo articles.

Three themes -- one serious, the others less so -- emerge:

  • The nation is in trouble and the president's plan to fix it will be good or awful.
  • Thank goodness we now have a president who can speak in complete English sentences.
  • Did we really need to see so much standing applause from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid?

There were also several shots at Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's Republican response to the president. In short, the comments were highly partisan, reminders of strings during the presidential campaign and the coverage of the economic crisis and decidedly not bipartisan.

We'll start with comments on Michael D. Shear's and Anne E. Kornblut's main news story and TalkingHead1, who wrote, "Obama couldn't have been any more inspiring without appearing disingenuos, under the current circumstance... And I really hope Jindal will run against Obama in 2012, because that will easily guarantee Obama's renomination, regardless of how he does until then."

But mehollywoods said, "President Obama, don't try and kid us by diverting the attention to the bonuses or Wall Street when you know full well that prin[t]ing money and giving it to the illegal, private Federal Reserve Banking System combined with lending money for interest is at the heart of our problems..."

matrox wrote, "At first I didn't know how the economy worked, but now I do because Obama told me. The key is we gotta keep that credit flowing from the banksters no matter how much we all hate and despise them with disdain."

infuse replied, "The problem with that argument is that it represents a consumer-first Ponzi scheme. As long as our economy is built upon massive consumer spending--70% up to now--it must implode because it requires more and more consumers to keep it flowing... Maybe now is the time to rethink the idea and find a way to be citizens first and build an economy on savings..."

TyroneJonessr wrote, "The speech was great! Obama's a skilled speaker. However, the actions have got match the rhetoric...Obama must stop with the pay-offs to his base and supporters and get busy fulfilling his promise to America....not to Pelosi, Reid and the Dem highrollers."

dsrobins said, "What a pleasure it was to listen to our new President address Congress this evening. Here is a man who is highly intelligent, extremely articulate, honest, engaging and direct. What a contrast compared to the ignorant buffoon who spouted lies, smirked and misused the English language each time he spoke. America is so fortunate that GWBush is gone."

Frigistan wrote, "I think Jindal pretty much proved why republicans are out of power. I don't know the answers to our economic problems any more or less than anyone else but one thing I do know. What government we do have should do it's job. That includes FEMA, FDA, DOJ, CIA, Commerce, GSA (remember that fiasco?), SEC !!!!! and all the rest of them..."

All comments on the main news story are here.

Now we turn to comments on television critic Tom Shales' view of the proceedings and mot2win, who wrote, "The only thing I agree with is the jack-in-the box Pelosi led applause was too much and disruptive. As far as seeing or hearing too much from this President...I could listen to him every day..."

wsealsjr said, "When there's nothing newsworthy to write, but the article deadline looms, just nitpick, nitpick, nitpick."

But tristesse27 wrote, "Excellent analysis, Mr. Shales. I love Obama and would have voted for him twice, but now I'm starting to get a little worried that there's nothing more than some enlightening talk."

johnbsmrk said, "You have to wonder what planet this guy [Shales] is on. Obama delivers a superb speech at a time of huge national crisis and he's hyperventilating by some slip or other which I never even perceived and I watched the whole thing."

All comments on the Shales analysis are here.

Finally, some comments on Steven Pearlstein's economic analysis, starting with bedazzled, who wrote, "Let us get this ball rolling. That is why Obama won to make the changes we needed..."

But tropicalfolk said, "...Obama has managed to turn a deep economic crisis into a once-in-a-lifetime political opportunity... Obama's "stimulus" -a multi-trillion dollar grab bag- will send the world economy to the grave... How long will it take for people to understand the damage Obama is causing?"

lpdegeer wrote, "Last night has seen the outlines of what should be done for the rebirth of the USA and its citizens. I do hope that the Republicans can rise to the call for unity and responsability."

kcbob wrote, "Republican pushback may be what Obama expects and now hopes for. As long as the GOP only is the party of, 'No!', their future is dim. Essentially they become the enemy of the American people who want to believe that, 'Yes we can!' "

All comments on the Pearlstein analysis are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  February 25, 2009; 7:24 AM ET
Categories:  Economy Watch , Obama  | Tags: Economy Watch, Obama  
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