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Posted at 10:14 PM ET, 01/25/2011

Hard to argue with Obama's State of the Union address

By Eugene Robinson

It was the eloquent, post-partisan, uniter-not-a-divider President Obama who appeared in the House chamber tonight. It was his second State of the Union address, but the first with the lift and vision of his best campaign speeches.

Obama managed to frame the initiatives he proposes -- on energy, education and infrastructure -- in terms that were all but impossible to argue with. Who, after all, wants to fall behind China? Who doesn't want our schools to be the best? Who prefers crumbling roads and bridges to non-crumbling ones? Who doesn't like economic growth? Who does like outdated and needless government regulations?

It is by now a cliche to say that Obama found his presidential voice in the moving tribute he gave to the victims of the Tucson massacre. He used that voice tonight to frame issues in such a way that even his most implacable Republican opponents had to applaud.

There were too many examples of this rhetorical legerdemain to note them all. One of my favorites was the way he talked about immigration. He lumped together what had been seen as two distinct questions -- whether to allow more highly trained foreign students to stay in the country on "high-tech" visas after they graduate, a measure popular among some business sectors; and whether to allow the children of illegal immigrants to remain here if they fulfill certain requirements under the stalled "Dream Act." How was a pro-business Republican supposed to react? Obama made it difficult to applaud the one without also applauding the other.

Rare is the State of the Union speech that truly soars. This one didn't. But it seemed to chart ways to get over, under, around and through some of the roadblocks that stand in the way of Obama's policy proposals. It didn't quite convince, necessarily, but it made such progress seem at least possible.

Republicans could make a good case that these were just liberal ideas with new, post-partisan packaging. But critics still have to deal the fact that it was a pretty package indeed.

By Eugene Robinson  | January 25, 2011; 10:14 PM ET
Categories:  Robinson  | Tags:  Eugene Robinson  
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Next: After SOTU, I'm stirred but not shaken

Comments

Robinson is the most incisive,and consistently sensible, columnist in the nation, and this post continues that record.

Obama transcended the cliche of "dueling standing ovations," in what, as a Jewish person, I would call a "model christian way."

Posted by: jsmith4 | January 25, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, Eugene got it right for a change, hard to argue with this speech, but, let's give it a try. Let's point out his lack of an energy plan when gasoline is headed to $5 a gallon. He talks of renewable energy in twenty years when we are sending trillions across our border today.

Posted by: Phines11 | January 25, 2011 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Let's win the future with a Sputnik moment - that is sort of like a senior moment for presidents in way over their heads.

This is false austerity theater. He couldn't compete our way out of a wet paper bag. The EPA is busy shutting down American industry. Pesticides are destroying healthy honey bees all over America and birds are dropping out of the sky. Is anybody in charge?

Posted by: alance | January 25, 2011 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Well, Eugene got it right for a change, hard to argue with this speech, but, let's give it a try. Let's point out his lack of an energy plan when gasoline is headed to $5 a gallon. He talks of renewable energy in twenty years when we are sending trillions across our border today.

Posted by: Phines11 | January 25, 2011 10:46 PM | Report abuse

George W. Bush used practically the same speech in his 2000 campaign, and we know how Gene Robinson reacted to him. Only difference is that Gene Robinson is related to Michelle Obama; therefore, he's an Obama lap dog. Not exactly the guy you want to grade a speech. It's like asking Rex Ryan to give an assessment of Mark Sanchez's performance.

Posted by: diehardlib | January 25, 2011 10:46 PM | Report abuse

A few minutes in to the State of the Union speech, the President specifically mentioned a Sputnik-like initiative to develop renewable energy and cleantech solutions, using the subsidies currently lavished on the Oil industry to fund those new initiatives.

Oil is our past, renewable energy is our future. It's time to support that future and assume a leadership role in bring cleaner greener energy and technology solutions to the world.

I put together a chart showing just how much money is spent on oil subsidies versus renewable energy. Check it out at:

http://8020vision.com/2011/01/25/which-energy-industries-would-you-subsidize/

I also include a poll on what your thoughts are on what should be subsidized and what not. I hope you will cast a vote and share your opinion.

Jay Kimball
8020 Vision

Posted by: jaykimball | January 25, 2011 10:47 PM | Report abuse

EXCELLENT SUBSTANTIVE SPEACH

Not bothering listening to the TP or GOP..

Waste of Time.

Phines...had to comment.
By the time gas hits $5 a gallon
You will be pleading for your life
to a Republican led Arizona Death Panel.

Posted by: pdq5 | January 25, 2011 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Uh, yeah Gene--transparently cynical rah-rah garbage from a politician desperate to be re-elected two years hence. Just like the pivots on Bill Daley as Chief of Staff and Jeff Immelt as Innovation Czar (or whatever), this is a head fake by a man in love with the idea of government expanding its already strangling role in American life. Nice try, but PR and image management won't change the reality that Obama is a harsh ideologue, dedicated to the idea that the elites he embodies can control complex systems such as the economy or health care.

Posted by: dan1138 | January 25, 2011 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Impeach Obama...and Biden as well.

Posted by: JCM-51 | January 25, 2011 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Robinson is incapable of arguing with anything Obama does. Two years of painfully pandering columns aren't enough proof of this?

Move on and read columnists who maintain some shred of credibility. Why the Post still employs this guy is beyond all reason.

Posted by: charlesbakerharris | January 25, 2011 10:59 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was nonsense. No specifics, no clear lines that divided him from nutcase congressmen, just platitudes and silly talk of how great and "competitive" Americans are.

The usual straddle on immigration. The welcome for foreign students to take jobs that Americans could do. I guess we don't have a problem with jobs! On and on.

Feel-good fast-talk in a time of desperation, exactly NOT what was needed.

Posted by: rusty3 | January 25, 2011 11:00 PM | Report abuse

This speech was proof that Obama didn't get the results of this last election. Obama did nothing but push his social justice programs and more spending. It's clear Obama's idea of the American dream is totally different then the people's. Obama is still tone deaf and he is not moving to the center but digging in and said he will not do battle with what he did in his first two years.

Posted by: houstonian | January 25, 2011 11:02 PM | Report abuse

It was an inspiring speech. We were reminded of who we have always been as a country and who we can still be. I'm glad he reminded us that other countries are already getting ahead of us. We can sit and do nothing because we "can't afford it". By the time we can afford it we will be so far behind our situation will be much worse. This is an important point. Businesses know you have to spend money to make money.

Posted by: bgormley1 | January 25, 2011 11:14 PM | Report abuse

"Hard to argue with Obama's State of the Union address." - Yep, it's the same old crud with a different frosting. Where is the money going to come from? Not my wallet !!

Posted by: richard36 | January 25, 2011 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson, will you pledge to sell ... or better yet donate your car and begin using *high speed rail* on your daily commute and everwhere else?

I didn't think so.

Posted by: onehanded | January 25, 2011 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson, will you pledge to sell ... or better yet donate your car and begin using *high speed rail* on your daily commute and everywhere else?

I didn't think so.

Posted by: onehanded | January 25, 2011 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I have yet to see something, anything, that Robinson disagrees with Obama on. Even if Obama handed the keys of the country to China, Robinson will still shill for him. That much we're used to.

Posted by: Single_Payer | January 25, 2011 11:30 PM | Report abuse

To the statement about Eugene Robinson's opinion piece: "Robinson is related to Michele Obama, so he is Obama's lap dog."

Cheney is related to Obama. Does that make him Obama's lap dog? Me no thnx so!

Posted by: napatomed | January 25, 2011 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Eugene Robinson thinks Obama was great. Stop the presses!

Posted by: Rob_ | January 26, 2011 12:17 AM | Report abuse

B+. I started to nod in the middle, but he brought it home at the end, like he always does.

Posted by: johng1 | January 26, 2011 12:21 AM | Report abuse

No, Obama is not a "uniter. His speech is of no importance. I quit watching Presidential speeches years ago because they just recycling the same old topics. I think the speech writers pull out the same old speeches and rehash them for the next time. I don't listen to Obama because I can't stand his voice.

Posted by: georgana | January 26, 2011 12:21 AM | Report abuse

I just read the poll on whether Obamas promises would be kept. The readers said yes to every question. I say no to every question. It would not take my answers after 3 tries. So I do not know if the poll is fixed.

Not one thing he said tonight was true or accurate. We don't have 80% penetration for high speed internet and you're telling me rail lines are cheaper than internet wires. Will EPA allow them to be built? Will clean energy supply 80% of energy in 25 years. Liberals have claimed Nuclear is not clean for 60 years. There is no way that clean energy will provide 80% in 25 years. I could go down the list, but whats the use. Obama is lying and his supporters don't care, it is only politics.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | January 26, 2011 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Robinson is the most incisive,and consistently sensible, columnist in the nation, and this post continues that record.

Obama transcended the cliche of "dueling standing ovations," in what, as a Jewish person, I would call a "model christian way."

================

Robinson is a White House shill who won a Pulitzer by traveling with Obama during his campaign and writing favorable articles about him. Since he received his Pulitzer he has done nothing more than recite the White Houses drivel. At times it appears that the White House actually writes his stiff for him. If you think that Robinson is the most incisive,and consistently sensible columnist in the nation, you are brain dead.

Posted by: mike85 | January 26, 2011 12:36 AM | Report abuse

“It was the eloquent, post-partisan, uniter-not-a-divider President Obama who appeared in the House chamber tonight. “

And it was at best a “C-“ teleprompter reading and that grade is almost assuredly a letter grade too high.

Posted by: gun313 | January 26, 2011 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Every time I listen to these speeches it is the same thing no matter who is saying it. There is the obligatory feel good statement about education. Spend more money on our children, support the teachers, spend more money on teachers, announce more programs that give us a 40% dropout rate in 1750 high schools across the country.
Build our infrastructure-bridges, highways, water system.
Protect our Social Security system.
Develop energy alternatives.
Give more money for tuition to colleges for job training.
Give a feel good example of a success story.

Obamas new promise - Give illegal aliens (undocumented workers) citizenship to enrich our nation.

Put a chicken in every pot and an auto in every garage. Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah
Stop the lying and put the money back into paying down our debt.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | January 26, 2011 12:38 AM | Report abuse

I just read the poll on whether Obamas promises would be kept. The readers said yes to every question. I say no to every question. It would not take my answers after 3 tries. So I do not know if the poll is fixed.

Not one thing he said tonight was true or accurate. We don't have 80% penetration for high speed internet and you're telling me rail lines are cheaper than internet wires. Will EPA allow them to be built? Will clean energy supply 80% of energy in 25 years. Liberals have claimed Nuclear is not clean for 60 years. There is no way that clean energy will provide 80% in 25 years. I could go down the list, but whats the use. Obama is lying and his supporters don't care, it is only politics.

==================

The poll in the New York Times says no to every question.

Posted by: mike85 | January 26, 2011 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Bravo President Obama!
And Paul Ryan, what about those "entitlements" for the very rich called Bush Tax Cuts that dig our deficit deeper?
And Michele Bachmann, get some class sister!

Posted by: paris1969 | January 26, 2011 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson thank you for another positive thoughtful article. After reading the negative comments, I conclude that they are just more Bachmann type negative bile offered by those without any idea how to offer a path out of this horrible downturn in the economy and certainly no concept of working together toward a greater good. In a quality military unit we continuously see that when things are not going well you gather strength from your comrades in arms and work a little harder to win the day. Your life is in the hands of your comrades. They have your back and you theirs. It's the same here. We work together to keep this county great for those that come after us.

Posted by: Willis3 | January 26, 2011 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Whatchoo talkin' bout, Willis3?

Posted by: charlesbakerharris | January 26, 2011 1:40 AM | Report abuse

K want to see obozo's birth certificate.

Posted by: carlbatey | January 26, 2011 1:56 AM | Report abuse

President Obama said he wants to spend a buttload of taxpayer dollars and Mr. Robinson approves. Shocking.

Posted by: SupportAndDefendTheConstitution | January 26, 2011 1:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised the Eugene-meister was even able to hear the speech with his entire head so firmly stuck up Obama's derriere as it always is.

Posted by: alexandria6351 | January 26, 2011 2:10 AM | Report abuse

It was a good speech. Now let's get to work.

Posted by: chlind | January 26, 2011 2:32 AM | Report abuse

Here we go, good Ol' Uncle Eugene Robinson, giving us the scoop that his old eyes see, yes sir, the President "sho'nuff" is big stuff, and nothing wrong with what he said this night. Gee, what would these feeble minds of ours do without Ol' Uncle Eugene telling us what to think, or rather, that we needn't bother our teeny brains to do any thinking about? He is jesa so much smarter than any of us. Why he told us no sense thinking about it, there's nothing there to discuss about Obama's speech tonight, no sir, that is what he says, and what he says is truth, ain't it? Gess I'll just go lie down, all this thinking has got me tired. Thanks Uncle Eugene, you do all the thinking with that big brain o yours.

Posted by: lorenzo2121 | January 26, 2011 3:44 AM | Report abuse

Gene is an idiot just like his idol. When you are fatally hemorrhaging, the first rule is to apply a tourniquet and stop the bleeding. I'd like a finished basement - but I can't afford it. I'd like a new car - but I can't afford it. I'd like to eat out - but I can't afford it. If my budget is weak, I start cutting everything I don't absolutely need. Obviously, BO is not reading his mail or just can't read the writing on the wall. And we ain't talking stimulus here or bullet trains or structural improvements or other boondoggles we don't absolutely need, we're talking absolute survival. Madness!

Posted by: jnt05334485verizonnet | January 26, 2011 3:57 AM | Report abuse

Hey, amazing how many comments on this article engage in character assassination. Gene is an idiot. Ol' Uncle Eugene Robinson. and so on. I guess when you can't find a substantive argument against a speech, just go out and (character) assassinate the messenger.

I would have so much more respect for the opposition if it was (a) intelligent, and (b) loyal. Yes, the "loyal opposition." The assumption was, with a loyal opposition, that you were reaching for the same goals, but perhaps had a difference of opinion on how to get there. Now we have polarization and opposition just for the heck of it, just to define an opposite side and create meaningless yet angry dissent. This is the kind of politics that ends up putting bullets into the heads of Congresspeople. Or actual Congresswoman.

If we could turn up the intelligence about 50 points and turn down the vitriol, we'd be in better shape. But of course the disloyal opposition would rather tear down the entire country in rabid pursuit of their decidedly one-sided, deeply warped agenda. How in the world am I supposed to reconcile to a bunch of maniacs? I can't think of a more useless contribution to the advancement of the American people than most of the negative comments contained herein, and on so many other blogs. Just fling mud everywhere, and damn the consequences! WRONG!

Posted by: Swerdy | January 26, 2011 5:08 AM | Report abuse

Hey, amazing how many comments on this article engage in character assassination. Gene is an idiot. Ol' Uncle Eugene Robinson. and so on. I guess when you can't find a substantive argument against a speech, just go out and (character) assassinate the messenger.

I would have so much more respect for the opposition if it was (a) intelligent, and (b) loyal. Yes, the "loyal opposition." The assumption was, with a loyal opposition, that you were reaching for the same goals, but perhaps had a difference of opinion on how to get there. Now we have polarization and opposition just for the heck of it, just to define an opposite side and create meaningless yet angry dissent. This is the kind of politics that ends up putting bullets into the heads of Congresspeople. Or actual Congresswoman.

If we could turn up the intelligence about 50 points and turn down the vitriol, we'd be in better shape. But of course the disloyal opposition would rather tear down the entire country in rabid pursuit of their decidedly one-sided, deeply warped agenda. How in the world am I supposed to reconcile to a bunch of maniacs? I can't think of a more useless contribution to the advancement of the American people than most of the negative comments contained herein, and on so many other blogs. Just fling mud everywhere, and damn the consequences! WRONG!

Posted by: Swerdy | January 26, 2011 5:08 AM | Report abuse

"Hard to argue with Obama's State of the Union address" eugene robinson

why would you argue?you are his apologist.

Posted by: razor2 | January 26, 2011 5:35 AM | Report abuse

a schoolboy piece of prose.an apology for the superficial president by an equally superficial journalist

Posted by: razor2 | January 26, 2011 5:39 AM | Report abuse

what character assassination are you going on about?obama spent 5 years in congress with nothing to show for it.
msnbc 's chris matthews admitted as much.
suddenly obama is a genius?

his contribution is to give charismatic speeches.no more no less.

Posted by: razor2 | January 26, 2011 5:43 AM | Report abuse

So that's what a failed "Present-dency" looks like! Mr. Robinson, perhaps you should pull your head out of O'Blame-a's as. long enough to offer a critique of his speech?

Posted by: qtaug | January 26, 2011 5:44 AM | Report abuse


What a great job Gene Robinson has. Pulling in a fat paycheck every week. Having someone at the White House write his editorials for him . . . . Life is great at WaPo.

.

Posted by: adjjones | January 26, 2011 6:04 AM | Report abuse

No sale, Democrats. You've been been spending like drunken college students, and the U.S. is at the brink of bankruptcy. Pelosi rejected, out of hand, the deficit commission's report, which called for huge cuts in defense.

OK -- now it is time for payback. No more funding BS in "higher ed." No more 25+ year subsidies for corn-based fuels. And no more silly, ridiculous and unsustainable plans for health care "deform."

You've been spending like fools for decades. This is over. Now. Get used to it.

Posted by: russpoter | January 26, 2011 6:08 AM | Report abuse

The speech set a good outline, although I'm skeptical about the domestic cuts.

The Republican response was fairly predictable: cutting taxes mixed with a bit of religion and fear mongering. I don't need to hear biblical verses and "day of reckoning" talk in a statement on the nation. However, I was surprised that the social safety net was mentioned by Ryan.

Posted by: DAK4Blizzard | January 26, 2011 6:34 AM | Report abuse

As usual, all of Barry's toadies are falling all over themselves to praise the emperor's new clothes. Oh that they might let the scales fall from their eyes to behold their buck-naked congenital Liar-in-Chief.

Posted by: jpost1 | January 26, 2011 6:43 AM | Report abuse

I'll take Obama's vision over what the GOP has to offer any day. We just suffered through nearly an entire decade of conservative ideologically driven policies under Bush, and we see how badly that worked out for the country. Yet, the Republicans have no shame, no remorse. Not only that, they've learned nothing, and continue to insist they know what's best, which is doubling down on what didn't work the last time. I know it's too much to ask, but I keep hoping that folks in the media will so some fact checking on Paul Ryan's incredibly dishonest assertions.

Posted by: ggwalt | January 26, 2011 6:46 AM | Report abuse

WIN THE FUTURE sounds a lot like WHIP INFLATION NOW (and history shows how well that went over) - a generic meant to puff up spirits but without substance.

I'm all for a winning future, I just don't think Obama's ideas will give it to us.

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | January 26, 2011 6:50 AM | Report abuse

This is the same drivel that this snake oil salesman and leftists like this Robinson peddled to us during the 2008 campaign. And just like Hillary said, now the skies will open up, and all of the jobs jobs jobs will rain down upon us, with a deluge of deficit reduction, and a thundering of endless economic expansion. Time for another swig, Robinson.

Posted by: hared | January 26, 2011 7:06 AM | Report abuse

He lumped together what had been seen as two distinct questions -- whether to allow more highly trained foreign students to stay in the country on "high-tech" visas after they graduate, a measure popular among some business sectors; and whether to allow the children of illegal immigrants to remain here if they fulfill certain requirements under the stalled "Dream Act." How was a pro-business Republican supposed to react? Obama made it difficult to applaud the one without also applauding the other.
-----------
Actually, NEITHER of these is in the best interest of AMERICAN workers. An earlier article in today's paper discusses the decline in the interest in science in this country. A large part of that decline is due to the fact that this government has had a policy of replacing American-grown scientists and engineers with foreign ones to keep research costs down. Foreign students and academics are willing to put up with poor wages and working conditions in order to get green cards; for Americans, a green card has no value and going to grad school doesn't pay for the income forgone. This is true whether the American is being displaced by a legal foreign student OR with a legalized illegal alien.

Posted by: Ali4 | January 26, 2011 7:19 AM | Report abuse

So Eugene;

You agree with Obamanomics and truthfully believe that if you plan to spend a thousand times what you can earn in ten years:

Then spend all that money in a period of just two years on you’re American express card

Then in turn you take out cash advances from your Chinese Visa Card…..

It’s no big deal because you can pay it with your MasterCard and to hell with the interest charges right?

At the end of all this will you be richer or poorer?

Posted by: rexreddy | January 26, 2011 7:26 AM | Report abuse

By the way, Eugene, the Dream Act might have passed had it actually narrrowly targeted those "children" that it purported to--and had it actually punished those who had brought them here, usually their parents. Instead, the bill was a giant giveaway, designed to legalize as many "children" (up to the age of 30!) as possible. While the so-called requirements were that the "children" complete 2 years of college (no degree required) or military service, in reality, everyone who applied would have gotten a 10-year WORK VISA. Now, do we really think that they would have been deported if, at the end of 10 years, they had NOT completed the "requirements"? Particularly since the bill allowed the President to WAIVE even those very minimal requirements. Nor would the PARENTS who brought them here illegally be required to leave. In fact, those "children" who did meet the requirements could eventually sponsor their parents for green cards. Some "punishment". Fact is, neither the H1-B program nor the Dream Act is about keeping the "best and the brightest". They're both about providing relatively low-cost labor to business AT THE EXPENSE OF AMERICANS.

Posted by: Ali4 | January 26, 2011 7:26 AM | Report abuse

If Obama didn't even convince Robinson, then who DID he convince?

It will take more than calling spending "investment" to convince me that we need to keep raising the debt ceiling.

Borrowing money to pay monthly bills isn't "investing", it's borrowing.

Posted by: Benson | January 26, 2011 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Obama does have a special vision when it comes to economics.

It is the same kind of visions Gerry Garcia and Timothy Leary were into!
They are clinically referred to as Hallucinations!

Posted by: rexreddy | January 26, 2011 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Wow! Eugene Robinson liked one of Obama's speeches? What next, Hannity not liking it?

Posted by: bobmoses | January 26, 2011 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Does Eugene ever think back beyond last week. Obama talks out of both side of his mouth and lies to the public and jouralist like this think continue to praise this behavior. Look at what he said last year, or last month. Obama cuts NASA and Eugene says that is wonderful, then next week, we must have a Sputnik moment and here comes Eugene saying that is wonderful. Obama spends more in one year, than the two previous presidents and Eugene says that is wonderful, now we must cut spending, and Eugene say yes, he is correct. What bunch of nonsense. Be truthful for a change.

Posted by: hmd1 | January 26, 2011 7:35 AM | Report abuse

India, China, Brazil plus others all need more oil for their manufacturing and for their own new cars, trucks. Americans can learn to stop being greedy and wasteful. We can step up and study China- they are spending 300 billion on train service across the country for all those workers to get to work. We enjoy being stuck on the bestway and the Republicans want to get rid of Amtrak. We are not Number One in many ways - one is being creative and gettin over our love affair with our cars. Shame on all the places that reject their own high speed rail. (retarded thinking or no thinking) Check the gas prices in Europe and just get out of you cars! We can't even share in joining our neighbors in filling one car to go to work! Look at all the one person in a car driving to Washington from Va. and Md. Pathetic!

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | January 26, 2011 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Yes Mr. Robinson, it is hard to argue with Obama's State of the Union Address and hard to argue for it when one has so little to show us for the previous two years...

Posted by: Illinois4 | January 26, 2011 7:38 AM | Report abuse

One of the most lackluster State of the Union speeches. I think the mixed seating hurt Obama as the Democrat jack in the boxes looked out of place. I was pleased to not have to see Nancy Pelosi in the background jumping up and down - that was quite refreshing. Gene - you would have done better watching the Simpsons.

Posted by: topgun97365 | January 26, 2011 7:58 AM | Report abuse

You can always count on good old Eugene "Affirmative Action is the only way I got this job" Robinson to tow the party line no matter what. LMAO.

Posted by: johnfchick1 | January 26, 2011 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Arizona to pass 2012 eligibility law

Obama will 'have to produce birth certificate' to run again...

Posted by: georgedixon1 | January 26, 2011 8:04 AM | Report abuse

I thought it was a triumph of hope over fear. Even the Republicans had to approve of this clear and vital future the President has described.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | January 26, 2011 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Agreed Mr. Robinson. The SOTU and the GOP response all touched on similar high level goals. Both were brilliant speeches with only an inference of the deep party differences. Both were also quite short on specifics worthy of any serious discussion.

We all know that "reaching across the isle" and "bipartisan" has, for both parties, come to mean "how about you abandon your position and agree with mine and we'll vote together" as opposed to any serious collaboration.

Candidate Obama promised to change the tone and in his early meetings with a "shellacked" GOP basically said "I won, sit down and shut up."

I'll believe the parties are willing to address the difficult systemic and unsustainable problems at the Federal Level when I see the President sign the bill into law and not one moment before then.

We've had decades of talk. America wants action.

Posted by: RichmondGiant | January 26, 2011 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Obama - "We do big things!"

Chinese translation - "Crazy running dogs want more plasma tv's"

Posted by: marknelso | January 26, 2011 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Obama - "We do big things!"

Chinese translation - "Crazy running dogs want more plasma tv's"

Posted by: marknelso | January 26, 2011 8:11 AM | Report abuse

The President said " Look to Iraq, where nearly 100,000 of our brave men and women have left with their heads held high; where American combat patrols have ended; violence has come down; and a new government has been formed. This year, our civilians will forge a lasting partnership with the Iraqi people, while we finish the job of bringing our troops out of Iraq. America's commitment has been kept; the Iraq War is coming to an end."

NOw where is Harry Reid and "We can not win this war?"

Where have the losers gone?

Posted by: GaryEMasters | January 26, 2011 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Robinson is the most incisive,and consistently sensible, columnist in the nation, and this post continues that record.

Obama transcended the cliche of "dueling standing ovations," in what, as a Jewish person, I would call a "model christian way."
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Did ya’ ever notice that the new posts on Eugene’s Colum go to the bottom of the heap so that unsuspecting readers run into posts like this one above first.
It was probably written by Eugene or his mother.

Posted by: rexreddy | January 26, 2011 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I wish I had a shill like Obama's Robinson to rhapsodise over my every word, even when those words are deficit unfriendly and unrealistic vis-a-vis our role abroad.

Posted by: jayjay9 | January 26, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

The President never alluded to the gnawing question that every American citizen is asking: Why is John Boehner orange and why is he asleep?
Therefore he gets a F+ for his speech.

Posted by: bigmac1810 | January 26, 2011 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Yes Mr. Robinson, it is hard to argue with Obama's State of the Union Address and hard to argue for it when one has so little to show us for the previous two years...

Posted by: Illinois4
=================

Yeah, merely saving the country from a depression and stopping the 100K a month job losses occurring when he took office was just a trifle.

Posted by: rapchat1 | January 26, 2011 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Why does he always take a gratuitous cheap shot at someone in the business community - this time it was oil

Posted by: marknelso | January 26, 2011 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson at some point you need to have opinions of your own instead of just agreeing with what President Obama says 100% of the time even though I know that you do not agree with everything that he says. It was a good speech that avoided the tough decisions and hard choices that lie ahead. At some point our President will have to stand tall and make those hard choices and he has put off those decisions to another day or maybe another administration. You should part your ways of being a Obama zombie and start opininizing what you would do and how it parts with Obama's plan. You are the only person in this country who does not take issue with some of Obama's agenda. Let us know where you stand someday somehow and find your voice and lets hear what you really think for once.

Posted by: torope | January 26, 2011 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Mumble-mouth Robinson strikes again...

He looks sexy in his cheerleader uniform, does he not folks?

Posted by: jpmenavich | January 26, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Odumbo is already a lame duck. The days of ramming legislation up the american people's butts against at 3 am against their will are over. See you in 2012 Bozo..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | January 26, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

What really amazes me is the shear mendacity of the Republican party. Two unfunded wars, unfunded taxes breaks to the wealthy. They caused a major melt down of our financial market by the lack of regulation. This mess was started under the Republican watch and now they talk like they had no part in the deficit. And the solution the Republican party presents is the same old garbage that put us in this mess! Yes, big business loves the Republican agenda! I can not understand how any intelligent person could go along with their agenda! On Obama State of the Union address I thought it was really good!

Posted by: noneckmd | January 26, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that Obama speaks of a Sputnik moment when months ago he mothballed our manned space program. Also his 5 year freeze on spending impacts less than 10% of the budget and yet still amounts to a 20% increase over what the Republicans are proposing. The investing mantra doesn't work anymore, just stop spending.

Posted by: rscott1293 | January 26, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Barry Soetoro is toast, he's done. He's not coaching the Packers against the little sisters of poor now, thanks to the tea party patriots.

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | January 26, 2011 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I'll argue with it! We need DEEP cuts not freezes in spending!!!! This guy and the rest of the left just dont get it! $14T and counting folks.............

Posted by: mjandrews8 | January 26, 2011 9:07 AM | Report abuse

17 Speech writers and several weeks in the making - we're still hearing the same old BS. He seems to think that the public is a bunch of fools and will follow him regardless of the consequences. We're broke ! Our children are doing to suffer because of our debt problems. NO more spending. Cut the federal government by 40 # immediately.

Posted by: richard36 | January 26, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I still wake up in the morning and think "How did this man get elected?" His speech was just another BO speech, filled with promises that will not come to pass, Let's get together that will not happen, and more spending without money to pay for it. It was the biggest turnaround in history--he sounded like a rep. I wonder how his lawyer friends liked his statement on tort reform in medical cases?

Posted by: dy19spider57 | January 26, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

That was a fantastic speech! And yes, it was inspiring. I watched it with my 17 year old daughter and she was treated to a visual of a united Congress sitting together. Since she has never watched before, that will now be her norm.

Obama is learning how to bridge the partisan divide - he has to - and like Clinton, co-opt Republican issues to make them his own.

It is about time we had a visionary President that understands that to survive in the coming years we have to invest in the technologies of the future, and not subsidize those of the past. The proposal to drop oil industry subsidies to pay for investment in clean energy was so spot on, and I think it is right political climate now to make that happen.

The Republican response was completely devoid of any rational plan. There is no sense that they understand that drastic cuts in government spending will hurt the jobs market, not help. They want to do it without touching defense spending, which is rediculous.

Posted by: mandelm2001 | January 26, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Eugene "I see white people" Robinson needs to put the Obama pom poms down, and take a drive down Stanton Road..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | January 26, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats election of Obama is akin to a Republican election of Palin. Both intellectually challenged and neither prepared for the Presidency. If a Pres. Palin had delivered the exact same speech, word for word last night, Eugene's column would have read how sophomoric and out of her league Palin was. Instead it's Pom-Poms and backflips as Eugene continues his never ending journey to be "Cheerleader in Chief".

Posted by: bobcatbuzz | January 26, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I see why Mr Robinson can't argue with it. It was a complete fantasy filled with soaring rhetoric and another expansion of government while lying by saying he would freeze spending.

Complete twaddle.

Posted by: thelaw1 | January 26, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

But what good is a "pretty package" when there's a ROTTING CORPSE inside?

Posted by: theFieldMarshall | January 26, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

The President talks pretty.

Like other good orators he also twists the meaning of words.

Investment = spending to buy the President votes from the President's support groups -teachers unions, unemployable liberal arts college professors, railroad, hobbyists and alternative energy investors who need the Government to bailout their losing investments.

It's not going to happen.

Posted by: jfv123 | January 26, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Republicans could make a good case that these were just liberal ideas with new, post-partisan packaging. But critics still have to deal the fact that it was a pretty package indeed.

===========================================

Obama is a pretty package, which explains why a man who never had a real job was elected President in the first place.

Posted by: bbface21 | January 26, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Though corrupt as hell, I get that the staff writers or "workers" at the Obama Post want to cover for their guy, but this is getting ridiculous. The man now has a record of devastation and failure all his own..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | January 26, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Arizona to pass 2012 eligibility law

Obama will 'have to produce birth certificate' to run again...

____________________
and under the US Constitution, AZ will have to accept the one HI issues, which is the one Obama produced.

Posted by: JoeT1 | January 26, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Well, last night put to bed ANY question of Obie's I.Q. It is <90. The American public took away the checkbook from Dems in November because of runaway spending. Obie just proposed 5 years of spending increases.

BZZZT. A box o' Rice-a-Roni for Obie and the back door in '12...

Posted by: illogicbuster | January 26, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

News Flash, Goober Nation: Obama IS great. Way better than the brain dead redneck we had for the previous eight years, and way better than the losers the GOP nominated in 2008.
Get used to it, Goobers, Obama is going to be around for another six years in office and much longer afterward.

Posted by: cjbass55 | January 26, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Oh Eugene you are so predictable. Your messiah gave a boring speech. Even Joe Biden was falling asleep. You really should be writing for the amsterdam news, more your color.

Posted by: lori9 | January 26, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

It was a speech. Last term was opague backroom deals with all economic substance going the way of big business and Wall Street Bankers at the expense of the little guys. Let's keep our eyes wide open and demand better before the next generation wakes up in the third world.

Posted by: SarahBB | January 26, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Of course you "can't argue with it" affirmative action Robinson, you'd be out of work if you did. Wait until Darrell Issa uncovers the extent of "stimulus" funds funneled to the Compost to keep the Obama propaganda machine up and running despite dismal numbers, kinda like msnbc..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | January 26, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I've always though Obama was a boring speaker. Too dry and unemotional. He never looks like he actually cares. Last night was no different.

Sure what he said was unoffensive but it was all just a bunch of words. Nothing that hasn't already been said a billion times by a million modern liberals.

Hard to argue against what he said but also hard to argue for it as well because there was so little content.

Posted by: BradG | January 26, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Eugene, you are so predictable. You are just not capable and smart enough to read between the lines. This jerk said absolutely nothing new in his speech The only thing new was another word for spending - INVESTMENT! You see Eugene, he is talking to nitwits like you who don't know any better.

Posted by: lori9 | January 26, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

This was a speech that didn't matter from a man who can't handle his job.

Posted by: ThisIsReality | January 26, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Where is the beef?

Posted by: ZebZ | January 26, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Robinson said just yesterday that we should not be reducing spending in such a bleak ecomony. Today, he supports whatever Obama says about freezing all federal spending.

Eugene Robinson, you are a donkey.

Posted by: therube | January 26, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Robinson said just yesterday that we should not be reducing spending in such a bleak ecomony. Today, he supports whatever Obama says about freezing all federal spending.

Eugene Robinson, you are a donkey.


Posted by: therube
_________________
you apparently don't get the distinction between holding spending at current levels for five years and cutting non-defense discretionary spending by 40%, as some Republicans have. The latter was the proposition Robinson was responding to with the point that you do not cut government spending too dramatically in a recession. jobs building interstate highways matter.

Posted by: JoeT1 | January 26, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Robinson said just yesterday that we should not be reducing spending in such a bleak ecomony. Today, he supports whatever Obama says about freezing all federal spending.

Eugene Robinson, you are a donkey.


Posted by: therube
_________________
you apparently don't get the distinction between holding spending at current levels for five years and cutting non-defense discretionary spending by 40%, as some Republicans have. The latter was the proposition Robinson was responding to with the point that you do not cut government spending too dramatically in a recession. jobs building interstate highways matter.

Posted by: JoeT1 | January 26, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

The only thing Obama did was say what people wanted to hear, which is what he did while campaigning. Can you believe anything that he said, no not really. He talks of cutting spending and in the same breath talks of more spending. Which is it Barry?

Posted by: Jsuf | January 26, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

The only difference between a pile of horse manure adorned with a bow , and Barry's speech, is a bow. Get real Eugene.

Posted by: lbvanhoy | January 26, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

The "performer" me (musician) gives the speech a solid 9 1/2...

The former 60's radical in me gives the speech about a 5... Okay 5 1/2...

But Eugene is 100% correct in that overall, hey, it was okay + ...

Bob

Posted by: bobnpvine | January 26, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

THIS WAS HIS "MALAISE" SPEECH. TIME TO CALL JIMMY.

Posted by: DANSHANTEAL1 | January 26, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Leaders for today will no doubt influence the Leaders of tomorrow. Yesterday's Leaders were forced into a survival mode which grew into a political self survival mode to me. It's time to come out of the trenches, to face an artificial fog of war, made of illusion perhaps, in order to negotiate a mutually agreeable accord based on trust.

This accord I speak of (and to be gained through trust) must seek to re-establish a common security, welfare and prosperity to our Nation. And that, if our own house is in order, then our common Blessings need to be shared with the World. As, in order to seek an accord with our fellow inhabitants of Earth, we must establish common ground within and between own families.

If we can trust that common securities are being gained through our own government, for and by the people, then perhaps, on a global level, we are no longer viewed as a threat to peace and stability elsewhere in the world. As, through perspective, our good intentions are viewed as trespasses disrespecting the rights of sovereignty and self determination of other nations throughout the world.

For years, I have been thinking about building a pond on family property in order to raise some fish. Land and water are available in a addition to a specific location which affords a primary slope. Gravity will cause a natural flow of water downward to fill and maintain a specific level of water which is the basis of a water pond.

In my mind's eye, I can see that pond. I can see myself operating equipment in a construction phase of pond building, according to pond building plans and consultation that I had researched yesterday. A simple formality is to purchase, rent or lease a machine matched to my pond building need. Or, I could outsource the plan completely. But heck, that ain't no fun for me.

Frivolous as it may seem to be, I need to acquire a township permit in order to build a pond. And that, I need to consult with State agencies regarding environmental impact on neighboring property(s). State regulation is bound to federal regulation as we all must operate in accordance to regulation and standards lest we threaten Federal support now or in the future.

I am bound and determined to build that pond even though I am somewhat preconditioned to hate regulation and regulators in general. On a larger scope however, is first a potential reduction to home insurance premium having a local and readily available source of water in event of fire. Next, is a potential to increase equity of family estate property. And lastly, there is a potential to raise a specific breed of fish to supplement the food supply chain and stock my neighbor's lake. So that, I hope regulation will not kill the specific American Dream negatively impacting a vision of my own mind's eye.

[stop]

Posted by: MarcusOne | January 26, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson:

What happened to the President that promised to manage the economy? The one that said he would tell the American people the hard truths and make the hard choices? The proposal a 5 year freeze on some discretionary spending is a joke. It doesn't begin to address the cuts necessary to reduce the deficit.

The President touted the proposed cuts in defence proposed by Sec Gates. This wouldn't pass in his own party let alone the Republicans. His own party which controlled both houses in the last congress wouldn't even pass the 3 year freeze in limited domestic spending. So, now they are going to sign on to this magic 5 year freeze?

The deficit cannot be reduced unless there is entitlement reform. Yes, that means Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The President promised the country to LEAD! I don't see any leadership here. Just more of the same.... Tax the upper income earners, eliminate tax breaks for oil companies that are trying to drill new wells for oil we are absolutely required to have for at least 20 years and now "investment", this years replacement word for stimulus. All add more SPENDING! Where are the reductions he promised?

Where are the hard truths and the choices he talked about? Investing in renewalable energy is a laudable goal that may well bear fruit in 20 years. You think "Joe Average" cares about that investment that raises his gas price on top of a market headed to $5.00 a gallon at the pump?

He is well on his way to a one and done experience in the White House.

Posted by: InsrnceAdm | January 26, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Once upon a time there was another great speach giver, his name: Adolf Hitler. Unemployment is the highest it has been since the great depression and gas will be $5 a gallon this summer. That's what counts and it doesn't look good. Robinson will tell you that unemployment would be much worse if it weren't for Obama and that we should pay $5 a gallon for gas. Obama could deficate in the front yard of the Whitehouse and Robinson would declare it was brilliant. Who cares what Robinson has to say?

Posted by: Howsthathopeandchangeworkingforyou | January 26, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

eugene did u have a dream or actually listened to what obozo said? liar in chief at his best

Posted by: pofinpa | January 26, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

While constantly tossing Barry's salad must cost Eugene a fortune in chapstik and breath mint, it doesn't do anything to address the MOST impotant question of all. Obozo's #1 cheerleader in Hawaii, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announcended today, despite his prior claim, THERE IS NO OBAMA BIRTH CERTIFICATE ANYWHERE IN AMERICA. Simply stated so even a negr racist Like Eugene can understand. Obozo is legally not the president and shouls be impeached.

Posted by: carlbatey | January 26, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

DOW hit 12,000 today. Obviously, the speech is working.

Posted by: js_edit | January 26, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

it used to amuse me to observe the "haters" in politics (i was too young to observe Nixon), but then Karl Rove & Dick Cheney outed Valerie Plame and i became one.
it took what was an act of treason (although scooter got off light) to make me so angry as to be hyperbolic.
i didn't "hate" on McCain, but i did ask which McCain was the real one.
He wouldn't have been my cup of tea, and i believe he would've done far worse than President Obama, but he would've been my President. and i would've given him all due deference and respect.
that is what civil society is all about. Rep. Ryan is many things i disagree with politically, but he is *thinking* and deserves credit. Rep. Bachmann on the other hand...uh oh better listen to my mom and leave that alone.
thoughtful people deserve support, demagogues need to be outed.

Posted by: mykulw | January 26, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Basically, Mr. Robinson says that Obama gave his tried-and-true "hope and change" speech, which Robinson likes. Many of us recognized it as hooey when he was campaigning and now even more do. It's a shame we didn't elect McCain, because at least he would lead instead of politick.

Posted by: dknight12345 | January 26, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Can't argue with wishful thinking and pie in the sky?
A million electric cars in the forseeable future will bring the power grid of our 8-10 most populace cities to a daily brown out.
Clean energy? The Liberals have killed nuclear time and time again, and their is no other energy source on the horizon that appears to be even the least bit viable.
Green jobs? If there were a true market for green jobs, corporations would have already arisen to begin tapping that market.
Lets just tell people any thhing that sounds good? That will work.

Posted by: kesac | January 26, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Invest - Invest - Invest = Spend - Spend - Spend. Well - we have been investing in our education for the past 50 years and we continually fall behind...especially per cost per student to other countries. So much for that mantra. Teachers keep yelling class room sizes....ah so we get down to 20-30 along with a teachers aide..and classroom scores keep falling...while Japan has 40-50 students per class and their grades keep rising - hhhmmmm,,go figure. It is time for a new paradigm.....the spending one is old and stale and obviously does not work.

Posted by: short1 | January 26, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse


The reason Soetoro comes across as unbelievable is because he RESENTS a strong America. He does not think she is fair. He and Ms Soetoro disdain America and Her values, Her Constitution and Her form of Govt. That is who they are.

Posted by: ChangeWhat | January 26, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse


Abercrombie Admits There Are No Obama Birth Records In Hawaii:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvrb7YqdvxE

How about it Barry?

Posted by: ChangeWhat | January 26, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"I have yet to see something, anything, that Robinson disagrees with Obama on. Even if Obama handed the keys of the country to China, Robinson will still shill for him. That much we're used to.

Posted by: Single_Payer | January 25, 2011 11:30 PM "
__________________________________________

5 second google search followed by a minute of reading:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/will_obama_fight_for_health_care_reform_20100121/

I'm exhausted. It's hard facing reality.

Posted by: Patzer111 | January 26, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Pretty package indeed.

The U.S. government in Washington D.C. has always been long on looking good, and short on substance and deeds. One of the reasons I so disliked being stationed at Andrews AFB.

Half the problem with our nation can be laid at the feet of "lumping together" or linking something bad for most, good for one, with something good for most and bad for few; just to buy support for the bill. The problem with that is the cream rises to the top and gets skimmed off; while the crap at the bottom just keeps getting deeper and deeper, out of sight until that's all that's left.

The checks and balances built into our Constitution were put there specifically to PREVENT compromises; to stop the tyranny of run-away government. Government was supposed to be inefficient to the point of total immobility except on issues where everyone would agree that it was in our best interests, or the circumstances were dire enough that a blind man could see them.

The immigration question needs to go back to the beginning. Is any immigration of benefit to the U.S? What kinds of immigrants are of benefit to the U.S.? How do we let the ones we want in and keep the ones we don't want out? How to we get rid of (forget punishing) the ones we don't want who snuck in?

Posted by: mhoust | January 26, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

The reason Soetoro comes across as unbelievable is because he RESENTS a strong America. He does not think she is fair. He and Ms Soetoro disdain America and Her values, Her Constitution and Her form of Govt. That is who they are.

Posted by: ChangeWhat | January 26, 2011 12:50 PM

--------------------------------------

Mr. Spock has a goatee in your world, doesn't he?

Posted by: js_edit | January 26, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Gene the Dems have been throwing money at welfare and education for 60+ years in the name of common good, competing etc. Folks are starting to wise up and realize you can't just throw more money at a problem and it will go away. He would have done far more good if he said "The federal government is banning TV from 5-7PM every night so parents and kids can do their homework and we're banning divorce and if you have a child out of wedlock it's a $5000 fine to both parties father and mother.

Posted by: FLvet | January 26, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Swerdy wrote: "If we could turn up the intelligence about 50 points and turn down the vitriol, we'd be in better shape."
==========================================
THANK YOU! I concur with you wholeheartedly. Based on many of these posts I can't help but wonder how many of these are written by people who have graduated from an institution of higher learning or even attended one. Money may be able to buy a higher education but it can't buy character.

Like or dislike the president; agree or disagree with him, one thing is true: a house - or in this case a nation - divided against itself cannot stand. Our nation cannot afford to become any more divided than it already is, nor can it afford to remain as divided as it has become.

Posted by: SEdmo27421 | January 26, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Dear God - we are so hosed for the next two years.......Spend - Spend and more spend is his motto. One can only hope the House being repubs keeps this man in check.

Posted by: short1 | January 26, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

"Why does he always take a gratuitous cheap shot at someone in the business community - this time it was oil

Posted by: marknelso | January 26, 2011 8:34 AM
_________________________________________

Because they deserve it?

Posted by: Patzer111 | January 26, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who actually listened to the content would realize that he touched on so many issues that he was able to include everyone. He made everyone happy with that speech. He touched on cutting spending and streamlining government, but at the same time he spoke about expanding government spending into new areas. This is totally contradictory, but I guess that doesn't actually matter. As long as everyone went to bed with a smile then all is well. This guy is a complete fool.

Posted by: Jsuf | January 26, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Really, Eugene? It was as if the Bodysnatchers had gotten hold of Mr. Obama and put a sixth grader's brain in him. There were only a few glimpses of Obama the "intellectual" socialist on display last night. Mostly, his speech sounded as if it could have been given by any 1958 Republican elementary school student. The problem is that this is not 1958 America. I wish it were.

Posted by: jahoby | January 26, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Robinson. Are you really that ignorant, or do you have to work at it. What about the November election where your hero, NOT mine got pounded, shellacked, beaten. In last year's charade, this economic disaster mentioned "JOBS" 29 times. How are those shovel ready job, great paying "green" jobs and those jobs from your personal slush fund, aka stimulus package working out for ya. How about another census; good paying government jobs,
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Posted by: nomobarry | January 26, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Rusty2 wrote: "Feel-good fast-talk in a time of desperation, exactly NOT what was needed."

You're wrong, Rusty. The economy (borrowing, spending, and investment) are heavily influenced by psychology. The psychology of the financial markets and anticipation of failure were tremendous contributors to the recession. Two years of gloom and doom with no light at the tunnel becomes a self-fulfilling event.

Someone has to stand up and remind us that it's not the end of the world and that we are capable. Otherwise, the Eors and Doomsayers like you will continue to undermine the naiscent recovery.

Posted by: RufusPlimpton | January 26, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

That's the Robinson who exclaimed how WE were all ignorant regarding black liberation theology souted by that Chicago Fharrakan wannabe, Jeremiah, the bullfrog. WHAT A CROCK. Some of us are old enough to remeber Friday night strolls in Harlem, years ago, and being accosted by smooth-talking pimps...

Posted by: craigslsst | January 26, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

To me it was not a State of the Union -but rather a State of Where The Union Could Be If I Knew How to Actually Get Any of This Done. Eugene is right though - he did talk about things that no one could really argue with - everyone wants better education, better healthcare, better scientists, to be ahead of China, etc - but what you can argue with, or ask I should say, is "how and when will these things happen? And who will make them happen?" Talk is cheap. Just like in his campaigns and as he continues to do presently, he can promise the moon and stars and all his lemmings say "ewww" and "awww", but he knows he can't deliver. It was a nice try - and nice thoughts - but it was fluff with no meat.

Posted by: AsstGM | January 26, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Medicare actuary more confident in Paul Ryan’s ‘Road Map’ cost controls than Obama’s health law:

The government’s chief actuary for Medicare spending on Wednesday said he had more confidence that Republican Paul Ryan’s plan to reform entitlements would drive down health-care costs than President Obama’s recently passed overhaul.

Posted by: ChangeWhat | January 26, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Hard to argue with Mr. Obama? Oh, please!

CUT, don't freeze! How hard is that? Oh Gene Gene Gene..

Posted by: mftill | January 26, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

President Obama's agenda spelled out in his well-received State of the Union address would boost spending an additional $20 billion and lead to higher taxes, according to a line-by-line analysis from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation.

LOL !!

Posted by: ChangeWhat | January 26, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

If Barry thinks this is our "Sputnik" moment (simply a stupid thing to say) then he really is our Edsel moment.

Posted by: ChangeWhat | January 26, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

..."hard to argue with it" except for the fact that it was insipid.

There is a reason that people are said to be all talk and no action. When there's little if any chance of their talk being converted into significant action.

The reason the Chinese are kicking our butts is that they are not bound by failed and logically-flawed idealism like we are. They've had thousands of years to refine their philosophies. We've had a couple-hundred. They control a much-larger surface-area of the planet and have 4 times the population. Plus most if not all Chinese citizens are, well, you know: Asian. The only way that we are really going to beat them playing our game by their rules is to go to war with them. That's what we had to do in the 1860s, and that's what we would have to do now.

The first step is plain and simple: stop buying Chinese-made goods. And that includes Chinese debt.

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | January 26, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"How about another census; good paying government jobs,
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA"

Politicians must play a dangerous game of convincing the public that they are the best candidate for their job all while the economy refutes that about the electorate.

Ultimately politicians are left to pay lip-service to the concept of creating jobs and hope that the fact that only 10% of the public is unemployed will cover for that. I think that this is really what sent Larry Summers grumbling back to Harvard. The role of government leadership is to manage the government, not get unemployment down. The government is not an employment center...we have traditionally pinned our hopes on the capitalist market in that regard.

The problem is that the capitalist philosophy is failing the American people as a whole. And now we don't really know *what* to do. Can't quite return to imperialism, communism is out for political reasons, and even "socialism" has real problems here. 10% unemployment also equals 90% employment. People who are doing well in this economy (and there are many) and those who are struggling but getting by (and likewise there are many of those as well) aren't eager to pay high taxes to support the mass of failures in this society. But our real problem is when we shift from a society of producers to a society of "service people" to a society of government workers and capitalist scavengers. When the rats are the only ones winning, someone needs to put their foot down and force the rats to play well, not eat-up everything.

That is what "good government" is all about. Obama is in the middle of a delicate dance between the farmers and the rats, here. Farming is farming, plain and simple. There's only so much technology that can be brought to bear to make food. Rats will happily eat it all, providing little if anything in return.

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | January 26, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Robinson is incapable of arguing with anything Obama does. Two years of painfully pandering columns aren't enough proof of this?

Move on and read columnists who maintain some shred of credibility. Why the Post still employs this guy is beyond all reason.

Posted by: charlesbakerharris | January 25, 2011 10:59 PM | Report abuse

-------------------------
Dude, they need the token black guy on staff. Can't be regarded as a respected liberal institution unless you have a few token blacks on staff.

Posted by: luca_20009 | January 26, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

More Bla Bla Bla from the "Clown Prince"! More Government is not the answer. Obama only knows government answers. He's looking for something that is not there. Private enterprise and productive effort is the solution to all of the problems in the US today.

Posted by: jimkearney19761 | January 26, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I liked the new seating arrangement. No distractions like last year (you lie) with each side standing and clapping in unison. That was absolutely sophomoric. Some of them were looking around like 'am I supposed to stand?''should I stay seated?' 'what are my people doing?' 'oh crap, I'll just stand and clap.' That part was pretty funny. Oh, and I thought the President was wonderful too.

Posted by: jpawlik1 | January 26, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Excellent analysis as usual Mr. Robinson.

It never ceases to amaze me when I read the comments of the holier-than-thou folks on the far right. The pious and virtuous attitudes toward President Obama are amazing. I often wonder where were these folks when the leaders of the Repubs stated "deficits don't matter". Please read the article below and help me understand what has changed other than President Obama is now the Commander-In-Chief.

Wednesday, June 9, 2004; Page A11

The line is not likely to make this week's eulogies to Ronald Reagan, but when Vice President Cheney allegedly declared, "Reagan proved deficits don't matter," he summed up an enduring argument from the former president's economic legacy.

In late 2002, Cheney had summoned the Bush administration's economic team to his office to discuss another round of tax cuts to stimulate the economy. Then-Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill pleaded that the government -- already running a $158 billion deficit -- was careering toward a fiscal crisis. But by O'Neill's account of the meeting, Cheney silenced him by invoking his take on Reagan's legacy.

It wasn't that Reagan's policies proved that government borrowing had no impact on the economy. But his administration's record -- particularly with some years of hindsight -- did give reason to question traditional thinking and provided a new context for future arguments about deficit spending.

"The lesson we should have learned [from those years] is that deficits have little or no short-term economic impacts," said William A. Niskanen, a member of Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers.

As important, they appeared to have no impact politically, said Stephen Moore, a conservative economist at the Club for Growth who worked in Reagan's budget office.

"Voters and politicians became anesthetized to big deficits," Moore recalled. "Reagan was running these big deficits, and liberals argued it was going to be Armageddon. We were going to ruin the economy. Interest rates were going to go through the roof. And none of these things happened."

The fiscal shift in the Reagan years was staggering. In January 1981, when Reagan declared the federal budget to be "out of control," the deficit had reached almost $74 billion, the federal debt $930 billion. Within two years, the deficit was $208 billion. The debt by 1988 totaled $2.6 trillion. In those eight years, the United States moved from being the world's largest international creditor to the largest debtor nation.

Posted by: TruCherryHillNJ | January 26, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

This sycophant would yell "3 cheers" even if Obama announced he was eliminating all taxes on people making over $1 million a year.

Posted by: alexandria6351 | January 26, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Empty rhetoric from an empty suit:-)

Posted by: DQuixote1 | January 26, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Obama spent a billion dollars bailing out his political interests such as the unions with nothing to show for it. Now he is calling for more massive government spending having already increased the budget by 43%. Today the Medicare actuary revealed people will have to change insurance companies and costs will not go down. Looks like the tax and spend liberals including Gene have sold the country a big bill of goods.

Posted by: topgun97365 | January 26, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

The country is broke. Obama doesn't get it.

Posted by: Betty8 | January 26, 2011 6:59 PM | Report abuse

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