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Posted at 11:23 PM ET, 01/25/2011

Obama's State of the Union Address reframed the debate

By E.J. Dionne

Some speeches hit you over the head with their main points, and absolutely no one could miss the fact that "win the future" was the central theme of President Obama's State of the Union Address. It was a smart speech aimed at scrambling the political debate, reassuring Americans that we can overcome challenges to our economic power, and redefining the political center.

It was also a bold defense of government's role in spurring innovation, supporting research, and promoting education. Obama wants the debate to be between practical, efficient, forward-looking government and diminutive, unambitious government. For progressives, that sure beats the big versus small government argument.

In American politics, optimism always triumphs over pessimism, as both Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan understood. Thus, another choice Obama was trying to frame: Optimism about what government might do or pessimism about its capacity to do much of anything. And progressives tend to do better in a competition of the future versus the past than of the left versus the right.

I've argued for a while that American decline is the specter haunting our politics, and that this could be the president's undoing -- or provide him with the opportunity to revive his presidency. Obama has clearly decided to take that challenge on, embracing the idea of America as an exceptional nation that always, well, wins the future. And he also believes that the "win the future" theme will be the key to winning a future election that is less than two years away.

By E.J. Dionne  | January 25, 2011; 11:23 PM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
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Comments

Well Dionne...you could also say his tepid speech was really a sneaky ploy to cement in and freeze the enormous spending increases across the board which he's implemented over the past 2 years...and to cast in concrete the coming government "rule by decree" by the "regulatory agencies" which he has now ginned up.

Oh, the little digs at his predecessor were once again petty. Pretty clueless speech imho. Where have all the leaders gone? Gone to Red States every one..I reckon.

Posted by: wjc1va | January 25, 2011 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Vague claims and undeliverable promises. Sounds like another State of the Union speech.

But, of course, EJ Dionne hands on Obama's evey word, so to him, it was a masterstroke.

Posted by: charlesbakerharris | January 25, 2011 11:54 PM | Report abuse

The only win I see in the future is when obama and his politics are voted out of office in 2012

Posted by: vageorge | January 25, 2011 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Nutty, nutty commentary by Republican responder in chief Ryan, as well as wjc1va on this blog. Tired, fictional campaign rhetoric. Bush Jr. hyper-inflated the deficit, with a Republican Congress which looked the other way. Now that a Dem is in the whitehouse, these types can't stop talking about money- mainly in an effort to transfer social security and as much of the national treasury as possible to the wall street hoodlums. & the "failed" stimulus is the biggest distortion of all- it appears to have saved the nation's economy & banking system from collapse. True, unemployment is high, but that's because the anti-labor corporate right has shifted so many jobs overseas that there is little left. Tax revenue and rates are the lowest in decades, deregulation is killing America, & these characters assert that more is needed. Wow. Funny how the Republicans ignore the enormously wasteful defense spending- more than 40% of every dollar spent- by continuing the fearmongering perpetuating their benefactors in the military industrial defense industry. Cut defense spending in half, problem solved!!

Posted by: rsampson02 | January 26, 2011 12:03 AM | Report abuse

The best thing that can happen now is for the Republicans and Democrats to defund this egotistical maniac. He believes that he is a self made god I believe the opposite is true. satan's disciple is more like it with his spell binding speeches and lies.

Posted by: vageorge | January 26, 2011 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Dionne, you need to keep your reports unbiased. You are losing favor here.

Posted by: vageorge | January 26, 2011 12:13 AM | Report abuse

The theme of Obama's speech was "lock in my over-the-top spending for the next five years. The speech was an insipid, bland, self serving, waste of time.

Posted by: mike85 | January 26, 2011 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah - Same thing I have heard for 50 years. Spend on education, teachers, firefighters, police, infrastructure, space exploration, careers, government.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | January 26, 2011 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Why is it so hard for people to see that we have been screwed by both parties? If you think that 1 or 2 administrations are responsible for the current situation I'd call you willfully ignorant.

Posted by: zoner07 | January 26, 2011 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Every article I have read on the speech seems to have been written before they watched the speech. There is no talk on the one actually unexpected and not completely boring part of it: the plan for federal agency reorganization. For a discussion of that see this: http://www.afoolsgame.com/?p=48.

-AFG

Posted by: AFoolsGame | January 26, 2011 12:51 AM | Report abuse

What a sad, boring, contradictory speech. In one part Obama is going to freeze spending for 5 years. Then we hears he is going to invest/SPEND tens of billions more of borrowed dollars on the teachers unions and insfrastructure? My question about infrastructure is that we've heard that before withe the trillion dollar stimulous bill. Where is all that money Obama? We heard shove ready till we thought we'd puke, but tonight you told us the infrastructure is terrible. What happened to the improvements you promised with the stimulous bill, and what rat hold did the money go down? And Obama is going to veto earmarks now that the Republicans have banned them. Didn't he promise that in 2008 only to sign tens of thousands of them over 2 years into law? What a bad speech. The extreme left wing agenda and massive spending spree is still alive and well in the White House!!!

Posted by: valwayne | January 26, 2011 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Classic Barry Soetoro speech - absolute egotistical lies - written by the Reverend Wrights speechwriters. No mention of Christianity ( the founding faith of America), but Muslims are to be granted special mention in the SOTU adress. And there are still those out there that actually believe this pathological compulsive serial liar is NOT a closet Muslim.
And Barry lecturing about bi-partisanship !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You'd have to have the same IQ as "I want my own jet" Pelosi to believe any of that.
Brought back respect from the rest of the world?? Every radical dictatorship in the world has given the US the finger - from N Korea to Iran to Venezuela to Mexico to Russia to the Chinese. There would not be a country on earth that would have any faith in the US today. The world has not EVER been closer to Armageddon than it is today. Who is stupid enough to believe a single word this psychopath says????
14 + Trillion in debt - 2 Billion in defficit spending, extended out as far as the eye can see - 24% increase in discretionary spending in 18 months - and this moron is going to tackle the deficit by FREEZING spending at these levels - and half the members of the House and Senate applauded!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bio fuels are going to save the world! During the 2008 election it was "correct" tire pressure that would more than overcome the importation of foreign oil. Then it was the grteen revolution and solar power - with the example being Spain - until disclosed that Spain is now bankrupt dure to it's investments in the mithical "green" economy.

How has this - whatever "it" is - got more than 12.5% support ??????

________________________________________________

"The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president."

Posted by: armagedon | January 26, 2011 1:35 AM | Report abuse

So he is endorsing 8.5 trillion more in deficits over 5 years and EJ supports this?
That would take us to 24 trillion in debt by 2016. I'm sorry that will not make us more competitive.

Posted by: apexmerch | January 26, 2011 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Here is your bold defense:

"Power, power, power! Give us more power!"

Posted by: rogueoperator | January 26, 2011 2:36 AM | Report abuse

I don't think any of these comments indicate that the person actually listened to the speech. They all need to take off there filters and try it again. We are all in this together, whether they like it or not.

Posted by: chlind | January 26, 2011 2:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm afraid Americans are deaf to quiet, their emotions hungry for noisy and exciting tirade. I was disappointed that Obama did not challenge the notion that we can move ahead by freezing in place. Many are willing to work to move us ahead but no one is showing us how.

Posted by: paulco | January 26, 2011 2:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to buy a Jaguar, and a house in Great Falls then freeze my spending..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | January 26, 2011 5:39 AM | Report abuse

what a load of crap!

Posted by: qtaug | January 26, 2011 5:47 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama has done nothing in his life but talk. He has never distinguished himself, has accomplished nothing on his own, never held a real job, contributed no academic or scholarly papers, and has exhibited absolutely no signs of talent at anything except talking. That he should be in the White House lecturing other Americans about how to live, work, think, and behave is beyond astonishing. That anyone would think him wise or even specially able is a monument to human gullibility and wishful thinking. He himself is the biggest drag on the American economy and gravest danger to American morale. He has absolutely no understanding of the matters about which he presumes to instruct the rest of us. We can only hope that Republicans and rational Democrats will be able to restrain him from further harm to the country until his term of office expires. His election to the presidency was a nice gesture but a very big mistake, one that more and more Americans have come to realize and acknowledge with every passing day. There was never the slightest reason to think him qualified for the office - and there were many things about his still largely secret history to suggest the very reverse. Let up hope and pray that the worst part is beginning to be behind us and that "winning the future" includes and indeed depends upon saying farewell to Mr. Obama when his four years of fame are up.

Posted by: Teleologicus | January 26, 2011 5:53 AM | Report abuse

.....The usual obama retoric, no plan to increase jobs, no plan to cut the deficit,no leadership provided, just some pie in the sky challanges.

How about some leadership in problem solving.

Get unemployment down below 8%, figure out how to get 350000 new jobs every month from the private sector.

22 months to produce or be replaced.

Posted by: TBsportsguy | January 26, 2011 5:54 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 6:27 AM | Report abuse

Your analysis is spot on. Thank you for being so clear with your words. The President is not afraid to be honest. And he is clever. It is depressing to me that so many comments here are just personal gripes and not in reply to what you have written. Or maybe they simply resent the capable man you are writing about.

Posted by: TiredWP | January 26, 2011 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the right wrote their comments before they actually heard the speech. Must have slept through it, too. Hard to understand how anyone could criticize such a speech. He pandered to business, where all the election money is (thanks to the Robert's court) and he pandered to the deficit hawks (such as their is from a party that broke the bank). He did that cute little Reagan thing with stories of great Americans. That's the stuff of all SOTU speeches. Yee gads, remember George's speeches? However, if one was not asleep yet he said some very interesting things. Going after oil tax breaks was one. How we can continue to rationalize giving big oil 100 times more subsidies then alternative energy is not good for anyone except for big oil. His call for us to get our act together or risk becoming a second tier country was clear and telling. We either pull together on this, Republicans and Democrats (forget the Tea Partiers - they have no real ideas) or we eat dirt. We cannot cut our way back to greatness. Can't be done and anyone who cares about America's future knows this.

Posted by: lancegmorton | January 26, 2011 7:02 AM | Report abuse

"It was a bold defense of government's role in spurring innovation, supporting research, and promoting education."

Then why did Obama laud individual Americans like the rescuer of the Chilean miners who took the initiative to make things better totally without government support?

You're still drinking Kool-aid, E.J.

Posted by: spamagnet987 | January 26, 2011 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Dear 1bmffwb :

Are you suggesting we shouldn't invest in infrastructure? Or just saying that what he said, has been said before? Either way, the history of the last 50 years shows that when we invest in our schools and police and highways and now our digital infrastructure, a whole generation benefits.

And by benefits, I mean -- saves jobs, safe and stable neighborhoods (which means your house is worth more), better access and competition (new jobs and affordable services), and -- in the long run -- lower taxes.

The last few times we made these investments as a nation we ended up with blah, blah, blah budget surpluses.

Posted by: guybrarian | January 26, 2011 7:22 AM | Report abuse

I think this is called DENIAL. Progressives/leftwings/liberals/socialists take your pick have a really bad time understanding what the public sentiment is. And the sentiment is stop spending and decrease the size of government. By the way, Obama is going nowhere with his agenda. It is DOA. We will see if he allows spending cuts to become law.

Posted by: FanDaElis | January 26, 2011 7:27 AM | Report abuse

"Invest in infrastructure" = cash flow for unions

Repeal the Davis/Bacon Act which mandates that Federal construction be bid at union wages

Obama is a failed socialist.....no one bought into his delusion last night

Posted by: georgedixon1 | January 26, 2011 7:29 AM | Report abuse

I remember when Ma Bell owned EVERY phone in the country - you paid rent each month for your rental phone.

That was centralized planning and the reason why America is last in cell phone innovation - we were suffocated by a monopoly and it hurts us 30+ years later.

Well Porky Pig Government is a monopoly and it is killing us - Obama and the boys are picking winners and losers instead of free markets - we are imploding because of this.

Liberals live for this and see nothing wrong with it - they must be swept out of office before America fades from superpower status............

Posted by: PerryM1 | January 26, 2011 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Hello guybrarian, looks like you have made an art of saying things that are not based on facts at all. Just saying something, does not make it so.

Posted by: FanDaElis | January 26, 2011 7:41 AM | Report abuse

There was nothing new in the SOTU speech. Same old stuff. Job killing energy proposals that if followed would make U.S. business less competitive. That's pretty much it!

I have no faith that Obama or congress will truly tackle the spending issues that need to be cut to sustainable size. I have come to believe that the U.S. will default on its debt.

Posted by: EnergyCzar | January 26, 2011 7:43 AM | Report abuse

The only part of the speech that was meaniingful was when he said government has to look at the regulations that stand in the way of creativity and business

Posted by: wbindner | January 26, 2011 7:44 AM | Report abuse

What Obama was really saying:

"I promise to freeze spending at the massively inflated levels of the Pelosi/Reid congress."


BTW - Bernanke's inflation is starting to kick in. Food prices are soaring.

And while Obama wobbles back and forth on drilling for our own oil - our enemies in the Middle East and South America ransom our economy for 100+ dollar/barrel oil.

And everyone talks about "green" energy to replace the hundreds of coal fired plants which provide half of our electricity. But no one will admit that nuclear is the only "scalable" technology currently available that could replace our huge dependence on coal over the next several decades.

Posted by: Parker1227 | January 26, 2011 7:48 AM | Report abuse

The SOTU was one of the most vacuous and irresponsible "million points of trite" that I've heard in some time. Taxes and regulations kill business and jobs. Period. Employers would much rather have their companies here in America where they could keep a much closer eye on them. Business-owners also tend to be quite patriotic. But when you have a hardcore leftist at the helm denigrating your every effort, promising to throw more roadblocks in your way and vowing to his submoron supporters to steal even more of his wealth, well, that businessman is probably going to leave. Or quit.

Posted by: fmcdermott1 | January 26, 2011 7:50 AM | Report abuse

The SOTU was one of the most vacuous and irresponsible "million points of trite" that I've heard in some time. Taxes and regulations kill business and jobs. Period. Employers would much rather have their companies here in America where they could keep a much closer eye on them. Business-owners also tend to be quite patriotic. But when you have a hardcore leftist at the helm denigrating your every effort, promising to throw more roadblocks in your way and vowing to his submoron supporters to steal even more of his wealth, well, that businessman is probably going to leave. Or quit.

Posted by: fmcdermott1 | January 26, 2011 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Calling spending "investing" makes some people feel good and serves to disguise what is actually going on, namely, spending. Investing is always a gamble under the best circumstances. Those who desire to make the Federal government their investment broker manifest the triumph of hope over experience. Like most career Democrat politicians Mr. Obama has practically no idea where wealth comes from and what is required to sustain it. His banalities and platitudes may inspire the faithful, i.e. other people who do not understand how the world actually operates, and who are able to convince themselves that massive Federal spending is actually "investing" that is going to reap fantastic rewards instead of being more money that we do not have that is being poured down the Federal rat hole. The real threat to the American economy is none other than Mr. Obama and his clueless far-Left Democrats who are constantly striving to expand government and to extract as much wealth as possible from those who actually create it. If Mr. Obama had ever held a real job and had to support himself and his family he would have a better handle on economics. The same is true of most Democrats in politics who are forever trying to lay their hands on other people's property in order to use it to pay for, or at least to be a down payment on their juvenile socioeconomic fantasies. We need a Constitutional amendment to the effect that no one who has never actually worked for a living and supported themselves should be able to campaign for elective office in which they would have influence over how public funds are spent. Such people are like children who think money grows on trees. What was true in Mr. Obama's speech is not new - and what was new is not true.

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

EJ, I thought the speech was great and I also believe that it moved a lot of freedom loving Americans to look forward with renewed vigor. I grew up during a time when America was envied around the world because of our innovativeness and uniqueness on the world stage. We do need to lead the rest of the world on all fronts, besides just having the best military in the world. We have American citizens that are brilliant in their ability to create new technologies. We need to beat China in getting our collective house in order so that we are unquestionably number 1, again! PS: Most of these haters on this site probably didn't watch the speech anyway so I wouldn't count on a lot of objective feedback from this very small crowd.

Posted by: ruthella10 | January 26, 2011 8:00 AM | Report abuse

ruthella, having not seen the speach perhaps I have forfit my right to comment on your reply. Even so, I think that your hope that new technologies will be enough to pull the US economy out of its lethargy rather optimistic.

The biggest problem in the US is the redistribution of wealth towards the top 1% that has taken place over the last 40 odd years. A review in Foreign Affairs summed it up rather well as the "Second Gilded Age." Corruption is no longer the exception when stock options and off-shore banking allow fortunes to be made while an American company is broken into pieces and sold off.

This is the problem that has to be addressed and would require more willingness than any token "bi-partisan" act can muster. CB

Posted by: chrisbrown12 | January 26, 2011 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Blah, Blah, Blah.

And a couple of months ago, Obama's 'central theme' was 'Republicans gotta sit in back.'

For the first two years of his Administration his theme was all about attacking corporations, profits, and all things business.

NOTE TO EJ: Just in case you did not understand what Obama's message was last night, it is quite simple:

1. SPEND MORE MONEY!
2. LET THE GREAT MESSIAH DECIDE THE WINNERS AND LOSERS!
3. SPEND MORE MONEY!


Posted by: TECWRITE | January 26, 2011 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Dionne, I submit that the President reframed nothing. He simply used different words to describe the same old thing. Just like Clinton changed "tax and spend" to "contribute and invest", Obama has used different words to describe his same vision. A world where the Federal government continues to operate outside it's Constitutional boundaries and tries to solve all the problems we face.

So much for "the era of big government is over".

Posted by: RichmondGiant | January 26, 2011 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Government restructuring and Tax reform, with the aim of cutting the corporate tax rate by getting rid of loopholes.

That's pure gold. That's how I know none of the Conservatives here actually saw the SOTU.

Posted by: IAmATroll | January 26, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Generations of buying votes and funding special interests by deferring maintenance of the real obligations of government has ruined the world's greatest nation. But rather than face up, defund the myriad mis-spent trillions, citizens. voters and taxpayers are told that NOW we need to invest in education, research and infrastructure.

Cynical politicians did not maintain either our intellectual or physical 'infrastructure'. They took the money they knew was needed for that and wasted it. The money to care for the least among us and fund the 'greatest good for the greratest number' is already in and flowing to government coffers. But only if real government leadership stops doing stupid things and really governs. What's the chance that this will happen? All but nonexistent I fear.

Posted by: fuller1 | January 26, 2011 8:55 AM | Report abuse

EJ and the rest of the JOURNOLIST cabal are SPINNING away today, to frame BO's speech as one of the greatest in history, hitting all the right notes, etc etc. sis boom bah!

these articles were written by the JOURNOLISTS' DAYS ago, not even needing to listen to the speech.

Posted by: morphy | January 26, 2011 8:55 AM | Report abuse

With one eye on 2012, it was the best speech he could make. But it did not hide the fact that we are in deep trouble and no one has a cure for it. He has picked up the George Bush idea that a thriving economy will help solve our problems. But
Obama's solutions have not worked. "Clean energy" might be a catchy phrase but it won't create the needed overall job growth. The innovations must come from the market place and not from the government. Better education will prepare the workers but the entrepeneurs will create the jobs.

Posted by: 86yroldObserver | January 26, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

"Can do" will win.

Can't never could.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | January 26, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

"It was also a bold defense of government's role in spurring innovation, supporting research, and promoting education."

Translation: He wants to spend even more because he doesn't know how to do anything else.

E.J., leave Reagan out of this. Obama never saw the day he could compare himself with the great one and Reagan would wretch if he was here to see what Obama has done to his beloved country.

Posted by: IUT1 | January 26, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

It is always amusing when a progressive like E.J. Dionne invokes Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately for all of us, even a senile Ronald Reagan had a better handle on the "State of the Union" than this apparatchik.

Posted by: ronadolph | January 26, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

So much vitrol for the President. So much blame coming for the people who love to say "Personal Responsibility". You guys can slave away for the absolute minimum the Capitalists will pay you. As for Me, I'm going with a guy and a party, whom think that society is more than a "free"-market and that people are more than labor assets.

Posted by: JoeMck | January 26, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

E.J.,

Again you do not disappoint, I can always count on you to pan gold out of sludge. Never mind that it is fools gold.

How many times will we have to listen to Boboma tell us he will create jobs and conjure up energy out of thin air. This guy can't create much more than a bad argument.

Even you will soon have to come to the conclusion that this community organizer is way over his head.

Posted by: hornby5 | January 26, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

"Obama's State of the Union Address reframed the debate" - He has opened our eyes and we can see again. He has parted the waters and saved the lost soul. He has moved the mountain and freed the people.

Let's be honest, E.J. ..... He has spread his BS and is now leading the country to ruin and you love him without question.

Posted by: richard36 | January 26, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Let's try with a visual teaching aid for you EJ. Imagine a portrait of a pile of steaming animal waste. Now imagine that same portrait of with a different picture frame around it. Ok, what do you see??

Posted by: jellymon | January 26, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

After last year's State of the Union, I could not stand to listen to or watch the president last night. My husband, however, heard excerpts of it on NPR this morning and was struck by how insincere Obama sounds when he talks. He also questioned why he is considered a powerful orator. I did watch Ryan's presentation of the GOP response and was struck by his candid, adult to adult delivery. It would be very interesting to see these two men debate issues live on TV.

Posted by: PamK | January 26, 2011 10:01 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

Some day I hope I hope we have some Republicans literate enough to write comments without empty name calling, with eyesight good enough to see wild spending during Republican Presidents' terms in office. Thier comments are so predictable and so empty of any contribution to America that it is amazing.

Posted by: withersb | January 26, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

To the negative comments here

Most of you have little in the way of constructive comment.

There are paranoid xenophobes who are still unable to cope with a non-white or a person who lived in another country as a president. The less said to them the better (suffice to say, I hope the proper authorities are evaluating that persons' threat potential).

To the rest you seem mainly responding to what your pre-concieved notion of his policies are, not to anything he said last night. You are responding also to his delivery of the speech as well. You are probably angry that a leader you had written off and vilified is in the process of regaining his power and position in spite of, actually because of the vituperation you spew at him. Makes you think doesn't it?

All your comments about the "Great Messiah" are even more ludicrous when you remember the veneration and cult level status that Reagan still holds in the GOP. In your minds, "hero worship" is only justified when it is a Republican; otherwise, it is a freak show. Once again, you portray your dim understanding of democracy and hostility to the concept when you don't win. Maybe you could move to China where candidates are chosen by the Party, the people are forced to vote them in and any outliers are visited by the Secret Police.

Posted by: chuck2 | January 26, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

chuck2,

you do realize that the comments you espouse are as negative as those you malign.

Posted by: MarkCrawford1 | January 26, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Obama wants the debate to be between practical, efficient, forward-looking government and diminutive, unambitious government.
---------------
The problem E.J. is that the less "diminutive" the government is the more "diminutive" the private sector is. Many of us don't want to make google or apple smaller so amtrak can be bigger and more "forward looking"

Posted by: stljoe | January 26, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Why does Obama have to be like Reagan to be great?

The march of socialism is still on. Obama is going to double down on spending and rule by executive order now that the people have rebuked the liberal agenda.

The new framing of the tea party is that they endorse slavery.

Posted by: thelaw1 | January 26, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

EJ Dionne, pandering idiot of the liberal media. there is no one more inane, or more irrelevant.

Posted by: subframer | January 26, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm just about ready to give up. There seems to be no room for respectful disagreement, just ugly venom. Nothing will satisfy except total destruction of the evil others. As a decorated Vietnam vet, a successful business man for 30 years, and a church-going Christian, I see the vitriol in most of the above comments as the loss of a sense of a shared country. The last time a president was derided with this much anger was 1860--are we going to see thousands die again in a new civil war? These angry, blinded people are playing with fire.

Posted by: kcleft | January 26, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm just about ready to give up. There seems to be no room for respectful disagreement, just ugly venom. Nothing will satisfy except total destruction of the evil others. As a decorated Vietnam vet, a successful business man for 30 years, and a church-going Christian, I see the vitriol in most of the above comments as the loss of a sense of a shared country. The last time a president was derided with this much anger was 1860--are we going to see thousands die again in a new civil war? These angry, blinded people are playing with fire.

Posted by: kcleft | January 26, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

To the negative comments here

Most of you have little in the way of constructive comment.

There are paranoid xenophobes who are still unable to cope with a non-white or a person who lived in another country as a president. The less said to them the better (suffice to say, I hope the proper authorities are evaluating that persons' threat potential).
------------------

The race card lives! It is dog-eared and tattered, faded and wrinkled, and it is not played nearly as often these days as it was a short while back. But there are always holdouts.

It is, of course, slanderous nonsense to accuse others of racism when there is no evidence to back it up. Most people who used to play the race card seem to have figured this out - or at least that they were not doing themselves and their cause(s) any good by such vulgar character assassination. But there are always exceptions.

The objection to Mr. Obama is not his mixed race. (He is 50% black and 50% white, but in the curious calculus of race, this seems to be the same as, or as good as, 100% black). The objection is that he is an inexperienced, unqualified, unaccomplished, un-American nitwit. The only reason he was elected was that he happened to be 50% black and Americans thought it would be cool and prove something to have a 50% black president for the first time. Kind of mile marker or something. Had he not been black, i.e. 50% black, he would not have stood the proverbial snowball's chance in Hades of becoming president. He is not qualified for the job. We tried to tell people who were going to vote for him that his C.V. and resume were inadequate for the position - and of course we were accused of being racists for stating the simple and obvious objective truth. The actual racists are those who voted for Mr. Obama not in spite of but because of his race, and who were so fixated on America's First Black President that they simply refused to face the cold, hard, unpleasant facts. There was never anything in Mr. Obama's actual record, his C.V., experience, accomplishments, associates, ideology, past performance that should have led anyone to think he would make a satisfactory president. Everything pointed in precisely the opposite direction. He was a bad choice for president but about what one would expect from citizens such as America has now. We just need to get through the remainder of his term and move on. His principal accomplishment is one for which he might not wish to receive the credit: he destroyed the Democrat party, blew the treads off that supposedly invincible behemoth, stopped it dead in its tracks and set it ablaze, giving the Republicans a much-needed opportunity to begin to get their act together and start to reconquer lost ground. He has been an unqualified blessing for Republicans and conservatives - and everything, including his latest speechifying, indicates that he will continue to be the gift that keeps on giving.

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

Teleologicus. Your arrogant fulminating is matched only by your ridiculos chosen name. My, aren't we clever.

Posted by: kcleft | January 26, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Dead Blogging the State of the Union Address.

Don't miss our handy Clip 'n' Save Scorecard!

http://bit.ly/dWS8CP


Posted by: campaignoutsider | January 26, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Ooops - try:

www.campaignoutsider.com

Posted by: campaignoutsider | January 26, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Obama was high on "green" energy....like use of solar panels....Americans can provide the technology and research....but where will these panels be manufactured? Did I hear China or India? Surely, we can't afford to manufacture them here! Labor costs are too high and American labor can't compete with Indian or Chinese labor!!!
\

Posted by: SeniorVet | January 26, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Classic Barry Soetoro speech - absolute egotistical lies - written by the Reverend Wrights speechwriters. No mention of Christianity ( the founding faith of America), but Muslims are to be granted special mention in the SOTU adress. And there are still those out there that actually believe this pathological compulsive serial liar is NOT a closet Muslim.
And Barry lecturing about bi-partisanship !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You'd have to have the same IQ as "I want my own jet" Pelosi to believe any of that.
Brought back respect from the rest of the world?? Every radical dictatorship in the world has given the US the finger - from N Korea to Iran to Venezuela to Mexico to Russia to the Chinese. There would not be a country on earth that would have any faith in the US today. The world has not EVER been closer to Armageddon than it is today. Who is stupid enough to believe a single word this psychopath says????
14 + Trillion in debt - 2 Billion in defficit spending, extended out as far as the eye can see - 24% increase in discretionary spending in 18 months - and this moron is going to tackle the deficit by FREEZING spending at these levels - and half the members of the House and Senate applauded!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bio fuels are going to save the world! During the 2008 election it was "correct" tire pressure that would more than overcome the importation of foreign oil. Then it was the grteen revolution and solar power - with the example being Spain - until disclosed that Spain is now bankrupt dure to it's investments in the mithical "green" economy.

How has this - whatever "it" is - got more than 12.5% support ??????

________________________________________________

"The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president."

Posted by: armagedon | January 26, 2011 1:35 AM | Report abuse
============================

It is time that the people of the US demand that Barry Soetoro come clean about just who he is and make him unseal his personal records. We have a man leading this country who by all accounts is not a US citizen and is not legally qualified to be president. That means that every bill he signs and everything he approves is null and void, and he is setting this country up for the biggest constitutional crisis imaginable.

Posted by: mike85 | January 26, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

No birth certificate. Obama is not qualified to be president. Even a democrat can understand this if they would be honest for i second.

Posted by: carlbatey | January 26, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

The usual Libertarian/Conservative Republican bloggers at this site sound out-of-date and, dare I say it, boring. Yap, yap, yap. Their time has come and gone. Pres Obama's on the high road to the future!

Posted by: dudh | January 26, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Teleologicus. Your arrogant fulminating is matched only by your ridiculos chosen name. My, aren't we clever.

Posted by: kcleft
---------

A Democrat and an Obama supporter, I presume.

One can always recognize them by their signs:

1. Bad manners
2. Bad thinking

Bad manners and bad thinking are closely connected. One seldom encounters good, i.e. clear, pertinent, rational, productive thinking in the company of bad manners.

This poster immediately personalizes a difference of political opinion, ignores the debatable points, and goes right to work insulting me for expressing an opinion he/she does not like in a fashion he/she does not like.

None of this has anything in the world to do with whether Mr. Obama is qualified to be the president of the United States. It is purely personal now, all about ME! This is characteristic of Leftist thinking - which is to say, immature thinking. Such people have difficulty with abstractions and hence personalize differences as a substitute for grappling with the ideas themselves.

Is Mr. Obama qualified for his job? What are his qualifications? What experience, background, accomplishments, achievements, associations, attitudes, values, loyalties &etc. does he possess that would qualify him to be president of the United States? I say he has none. Not one single thing about his entire life should suggest to any reasonable person that he would make a satisfactory president. The only reason he was elected was that he was 50% black and a sizable number of Americans thought it would prove or disprove something for America to elect its first black president - even though he is only 50% black. The racists, those who make big deal out of race, are the ones who voted FOR Mr. Obama on the basis of his skin color. They did not bother to review his C.V. or read his resume'. He was 50% black and he talked pretty - and that was good enough for them.

He is still 50% black and he still talks pretty - but the novelty has worn off. Actually, surprisingly to some, he is a crashing bore. One quickly gets the hang of his oratorical cadences and gestures, which begin to seem inauthentic, staged, and above all, dreadfully boring. He is not inspiring but nagging, hectoring, pestering, bragging. He wags his finger and talks down to American citizens as though he thinks he is wiser and smarter and better than the rest of us. He does not know how to be president. He was never anything but a mediocre "community organizer" and a less than mediocre Senator. He has a sophomoric notion of how the world works and does not come close to comprehending geopolitics and international relations. He has the mind of a child and is embarrassingly naive about identifying and protecting America's interests. He actually thinks he can be friends with America's enemies when he cannot even be friends with his political opponents. There is something badly wrong with his personality that causes him to have delusions of grandeur.

Posted by: Teleologicus | January 26, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

You, Milbank, Capehart, Schumscher-Matos, Cohen, Robinson and Meyerson need to lighten up on the sauce, Dionne; you're all starting to drool, babble and repeat.

Posted by: hared | January 26, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Well said. I liked the speech. I liked that emphasis on cooperation and the need for compromise between right and left.

What needs to happen now is the President needs to stay in the spot lights and needs to keep going on this "conversation" with the public. One of the problems the Dems have is that they don't tell and sell their story. So, Obama needs to stay in the spotlight and he needs some others who are middle-line Dems to be out there speaking, too. Forget Pelosi and Reid. Who are the good Dem spokespersons?

Posted by: amelia45 | January 26, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, he needs to keep lying, so that people may be lulled into a seductive trance, sort of like what Bubba Slick Clinton does.

Posted by: hared | January 26, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Huh? So, EJ thinks Obama believes in American exceptionalism. That's probably news to the Obamas, one of whom had a racist, anti-Semite preacher as his mentor for 20 years and the other who self-professed that she never had any pride in her country until her husband was elected.

Posted by: dknight12345 | January 26, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Here is a summary of Obama' shopping cart speech ...... Or first Campaign speech for 2012 .
Obama truly sounded like he was on Drugs .

This Speech had the substance of standing on Thin Ice . As a Bird Hunter he fired large spread 10 bird shot hoping his Hot air stuck to the wall . It didn't !

Quote - The Govt. will build Jobs .Big Fat Lie .... FDR tried that for 12 years and it Failed terribly .
3.4 has been spent in Stimulus money for so called Jobs ... We have less Jobs than in 2008 by far . The National Debt is 14.3 Trillion dollars not counting Freddy and Fanny's Trillions .
Obama has spent 21.9 Billion on Green Jobs and Cos .... less than 400 people have been employed . 5 Wind and 3 Solar major Cos have closed down . 3 other Cos have moved to China .
The Calif. green Window Co Biden praised never opened .
8 were hired in Atlanta at a cost of 5.6 Million dollars .
The Private sector mainly Small Business Creates jobs ... 72.4 % of all Jobs in America are small Business . Not to mention pays 1/2 their Soc,Sec, Health care, retirement and three other Govt, bills .

In Four paragraphs Obama said ...... Create green Jobs ... Spend More , Spend less , Freeze our economy but Spend more on Roads , Bridges and high speed Railroads (Meaning Hundreds of Billions of Dollars maybe even Trillions ???????

It is Obvious Obama never had kiddy garden math , 1+1 = 2
.... And then he said Invest . Huh ? What ??????? The Nation and our People are dead Broke and on Chinese Life supports systems now ....... Barrack !

We owe China and 5 other Countries more Money than Europe and Japan owed America for rebuilding their Nations after WW2 .
Education ? Obama wants to spend Billions more yet We spend the most amount of money in the World on Education now yet we rank 18-24 Th. on all Important subjects .

If Bush would have babbled this crap .The media and the left would have laughed him off the Podium.
Yet the media and left praised his garbage "" Something for everyone Speech .

Here is what he didn't say ? For every $ 2.00 tax dollar we take in . We spend $ 3.23 .

His Comments on praising Ruthless Communist China is too painful for me to comment on sadly .

Posted by: same15259 | January 26, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

vageorge wrote:
"The best thing that can happen now is for the Republicans and Democrats to defund this egotistical maniac. He believes that he is a self made god I believe the opposite is true. satan's disciple is more like it with his spell binding speeches and lies."

***

Why is he Satan's disciple, or, a self made God? What words or actions has he used that makes you say that (no Rush Limbaugh talking points - reference The President)?

Posted by: TedfromRichmond | January 26, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Every good idea can be ruined. Now, "invest" is the same as "spend"! Talk about nasty politics and meaningless rhetoric!
I really hope Obama can fulfill his ideas.

Education is vital. Right now, higher education is too expensive and primary education is ineffective.

Infrastructure - we need better trains - a cheaper and job-creating idea - and may reduce our dependence on oil.

Research - The example of NASA and the Internet were great examples of Govt. research in applied sciences.

Faster Internet/telecom lines will mean - more can be done with the net, thereby making it cheaper. Imagine a day, when I can work from home through email/video conf/data transfer - thus allowing me to waste less time getting to and from work and businesses can hire across geographical boundries.

Imagine, being able to see a nurse/doctor via video conf! Talk about lowering costs of healthcare.

Imagine, the number of small businesses that train stations support. The number of support jobs it will create.

Imagine the next generation of kids being sharp in math, science, computers, electronics, engineering and medicine. the kind of revolution we will have in all of those areas!

Keep up the good work EJ.
I learnt this from Obama - though your oponents are malicious and cus and spit at every good and decent thing - keep on working hard. Persevere. History will tell a different story.

Posted by: redrider2 | January 26, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Eugene - Obama and America an exceptional nation is an oxymoron. This being the first Nobama ever uttered the two. It was so unbelievable - you saw his discomfort.. it was totally nauseating. All this hope and change has been nothing more of the same dribble from the left...and a downing of America. 2012 can not come faster enough.

Posted by: short1 | January 26, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse


I notice all the Obama haters here have no alternatives to who should be in office instead?

Democrats aren't that good at governance, Republicans even less so.

You whiners have nothing to offer.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | January 26, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

His Comments on praising Ruthless Communist China is too painful for me to comment on sadly .

Posted by: same15259 | January 26, 2011
--------------

Like other Democrats, e.g. Hillary Clinton, he actually thinks he is winning friends and influencing people(enemies and potential enemies) by such pandering. This is a sophomoric delusion common on the Left in regard to foreign countries. They seem to think they can reason together with declared or implied foreign adversaries in ways they cannot with domestic political opponents who they regard as evil, irrational, and intransigent. The explanation for this folly is not obscure: foreign adversaries play along and tell them what they want to hear, while domestic opponents tell them the truth. If there is any area in which Leftist infantilism is particularly dangerous it is in dealing with real, dangerous, honest to goodness foreign foes of America. Leftists are suckers for every kind word and never seem even so much as to consider that they are being played like fiddles.

Posted by: Teleologicus | January 26, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

America's ship of state is sinking. There is a huge hole in the hull called "lack of sane trade policy". As the ship takes on more and more water, the Republicans and Democrats continue to argue about how to rearrange the deck chairs. The whole nation is caught up in "the great deck-chair-arrangement- controversy", paying no attention whatever to the fact that we are all drowning.

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

If E.J. the D.J. were to overhear Obama talking about his bowels he'd rush to his PC to proclaim it the best and most transformative speech of his budding career.

He likely writes this tripe ahead of time so he can snooze through yet another burst of Obama's soaringly empty rhetoric; soaring, boring, and sooner than later, snoring...sweet dreams E.J., could thing you already filed your report.

Posted by: tom75 | January 26, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

To Tony in Dunham, who says: "I notice all the Obama haters here have no alternatives to who should be in office instead?"

Anyone will do. Just go down to your local skid row, close your eyes, point your finger, and pick the bum closest to where you point. Then, swear him in on a stack of AA bibles and give him a shot of hope and change to wet his whistle.

"Mr. President, do you swear to uphold the
constitution..." etc. etc. etc.

Whoever you pick would be bound to be an improvement.

Posted by: tom75 | January 26, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

so EJ and the rest of JOURNOLIST cabal got a tingle DOWN their legs as they listened to the Pontificator in Chief. 5 trillion in debt later and the great BO asked for a "FREEZE"??? only a FREEZE???

this guy still has doobie hangover from college.

Posted by: morphy | January 26, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

obama sounded like cristina kirchner; he was swept away by his own fantasy of putting people to work, investing in infrastructure programs to save America's future and holding foreign powers responsible for our economic misfortune. the only thing missing from the speech, although not from his general perspective, is that the opposition lives and breaths to undermine him. We don't need a third-world president

Posted by: batigol85 | January 26, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

In my opinion, the speech was both eloquent and inspiring. It made me look forward to a better future for our country.

Point blank – we are fortunate that we have someone of his intellect and temperament as President. Can you imagine the disaster we would still be in if McCain had won?

It is quite shocking and amazing to read all the vitriol being spewed by many of those commenting. In my opinion, from my observation of the writing style(s), it seems that the disloyal opposition has decided to do a “denial of opinion” attack on E.J. Dionne. It does seem that a small group or perhaps even an individual has been assigned the job of attacking any positive OP-Ed pieces, not for any legitimate complaint about the speech or the President, but to perpetuate sheer negativism.

The truth of the matter is, if Mr. Obama were a white male, he would not have all these insults and suspicion thrown at him. People should get over themselves – THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT IS A BLACK MAN, WHOSE FATHER HAPPENS TO BE KENYAN. GET OVER IT!!!!!

Posted by: chorka | January 26, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Teleologicus-It occurs to me that you've chosen a Roman souncing name. I bow to your superior intellect, politeness, reasonableness and humility. "Bad manners and bad thinking are closely connected. One seldom encounters good, i.e. clear, pertinent, rational, productive thinking in the company of bad manners." Really? Please know I didn't mean to be rude. I meant to be helpful. People out here are laughing at you. And the company you keep....and the horse you rode in on!

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

"The truth of the matter is, if Mr. Obama were a white male"

chorka, what are you implying here? Either you're more extreme than the birthers or you've been repeating the same argument too long

Posted by: batigol85 | January 26, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

In the words of Judge Smails.."Don't any of you have homes?!!"

Posted by: smith6 | January 26, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I am not implying anything. I'm saying it as I see it ... I know bigotry when I see it.

Do I agree with all that Obama has done, said or plans to do. Not quite. However, I do see logic and reasoning backing most of it. On the other hand, much of the stuff being spewed here is basically an extension of the Limbaugh, Hannity, b.s. And by the way, I'm no extremist. I'm a fiscal conservative, moderate in my social outlook.

Posted by: chorka | January 26, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

batigol85: I am not implying anything. I'm saying it as I see it ... I know bigotry when I see it.

Do I agree with all that Obama has done, said or plans to do. Not quite. However, I do see logic and reasoning backing most of it. On the other hand, much of the stuff being spewed here is basically an extension of the Limbaugh, Hannity, b.s. And by the way, I'm no extremist. I'm a fiscal conservative, moderate in my social outlook.

Posted by: chorka | January 26, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

E J Dionne, the perennial liberal ideologue admiring another ideologue with continuing praises on anything that comes out of Obama's mouth.

The truth is that after 2 years of Obama's leftist agenda, the moving to the center approach of now is nothing more than a hypocritical stunt of Obama just thinking about winning a reelection.

All of the sudden he considers this nation to be EXCEPTIONAL, after 2+ years of beating this nation down and trying to undermine our core values and constitution. His proposals for a 5 year spending freeze, his tepid defense of Obamacare, the lack of points on defense of the stimulus and the economic theory around it were far removed from the HOPE and CHANGE original Obama. Frankly, I laughed when I heard him use the term EXCEPTIONAL: here was a desperate Obama now turning to be Clintonite and trying to go back to the 90's. No, he is not taking us to WIN THE FUTURE, but all points made yesterday meant a journey back into our past.

The use of terms WINNING THE FUTURE and WE DO BIG THINGS came across as totally disingenous. Under cover his concepts of INVESTMENT in many projects, oozed SPENDING more money. And to sum it up does Obama really meant to suggest that the engine of the US economy is government spending?

Overall, the speech was a lot like the Obama presidency claiming a phony bipartisanship, too much spending followed by totally unconvincing rhetoric on fiscal restraint and not enough attention to foreign policy and national security.

And his speech was totally overtaken by our Congressman Paul Ryan who very eloquently and to the point argued that our debt is out of control and brought home the point that we are now in a fiscal crisis. And that as americans, we must comfront it responsibly and that the GOP budget proposal will have to deal with entitlements. With his speech, Paul Ryan brought a breath of fresh air in the middle of noxious fumes surrounding our President.

So, last night the battle between the status quo big government liberalism and reformist limited government conservatism was drawn. The Obama administration has become the Clinton administration taking us back to the 20th century.

The Republican Party has become the party of Paul Ryan's express, the party of HOPE and CHANGE. What an irony!

Yes, President Obama we are an EXCEPTIONAL COUNTRY and Yes WE CAN DO BIG THINGS, but WE WILL WIN THE FUTURE not under your leadership, but by reclaiming our ideals and values that you worked so hard to steal from us. Yes, WE CAN DO BIG THINGS and it will be insuring that YOU are only a ONE TERM PRESIDENT!

Our eyes are quite opened and we clearly see your phony statements and political opportunism and we trust in God to save us from the liberal idiots that continue to follow you.

YES WE CAN DO BIG THINGS and we will insure that 2012 comes and we can certainly send you to where you belong and out of a Presidency that you never earned properly!

Posted by: Hispana | January 26, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse


Dionne, queen of the leftists, is still pimpin' for Barry as usual. Barry's so called "spending freeze" was immediately followed by a new call for a litany of tax & spend boondoggle programs totally in the tens of billions of dollars.

Miserable failure Obama

Posted by: screwjob23 | January 26, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Great speech? EJ, testing, testing. EJ, 1,2,3. EJ, come in. Come in EJ.

EJ, now YOUR MOTHER'S embarassed!

Posted by: JohnLeeHooker1 | January 26, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Why is it so hard for people to see that we have been screwed by both parties? If you think that 1 or 2 administrations are responsible for the current situation I'd call you willfully ignorant.
Posted by: zoner07
---------------------------
zoner07. Are you saying that the people who voted for Obama based on his promise to change the way things are done in Washington are willfully ignorant?

Posted by: mafox1 | January 26, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Hispana: That was a lot of HOT AIR. Err ... meant to say Republican talking points re-hashed. Where were you guys when W was p**sing away trillions of $$ in Iraq on a war founded on lies. Were you asleep when the big banks stole from us and devalued our accumulated wealth? If you want to know what is wrong with this country, you don't have to go too far. Just look in the mirror. It's you and your ilk.

Posted by: chorka | January 26, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Look Dionne, do you even remember what the President said last year? I'm a Democrat, and it sounded like he copied most of last year's speech...again.

Unfortunately, he is unbelieveable. He has already broken the trust of We the People. Then most of his speech has been about spending more money.

He and the Republican right don't get it. We the People are sick of corrupt politicians, and WE are going to do whatever it takes to sweep them out of office.

The Republicans didn't win last November. The Tea Party won. No matter how they bury their heads in the sand, the truth is we will keep voting until all the yahoos that want to destroy our country are out of office.

You can yap about Democrats and Republicans all you want, but the truth is Americans are what this country needs, not more of the bs you pundits dish out.

Posted by: Belle6 | January 26, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Liberal fascism is the enemy of the American people. The way to destroy it is to shrink the federal government down to nothing, then rebuild a Constitutionally limited form of goverment, unlike the illegitmate oligarchy we now have.

Posted by: doctorfixit | January 26, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

MarkCrawford1

I'm just telling the truth. When one pushes the lie that Obama is not a citizen, but a closet Muslim and a dangerous entity who shouldn't be "entrusted with the country". I call this poster out and you call me negative? Is the "fair-minded" response to roll over and give license to continue his diatribes unchallenged?

Cut to the Great Messiah comments. Why shouldn't one be able to point out the hyprocrisy of the right, whose reflexive Reagan worships borders on the ridiculous, but they feel it is ok to call Obama's supporters cultists?

Lastly, consider this quote: It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president." Does that sound like a poster who is commited to a representative government when his side doesn't win?

Posted by: chuck2 | January 26, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

chorka my point was that you were calling him a woman and that was more extreme than the birthers, who at least acknowledge his sex

Posted by: batigol85 | January 26, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying, but I've been told, that Obama's dog won't come when Obama calls!!

Posted by: Kendrick1 | January 26, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse


an army of pompous phrases marching across the landscape in search of an idea.

Posted by: jpalm32 | January 26, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying, but I've been told, that Obama's dog won't come when Obama calls!!

Posted by: Kendrick1 | January 26, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying, but I've been told, that Obama's dog won't come when Obama calls!!

Posted by: Kendrick1 | January 26, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah - Same thing I have heard for 50 years. Spend on education, teachers, firefighters, police, infrastructure, space exploration, careers, government.
==============

Its interesting that the Denver school Barry lauded for being so successful, became successful by ditching the teacher's union. I'll bet he didn't know that.

Posted by: mike85 | January 26, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

EJ, PIG, rat vermin traitor and enemy of freedom liberty constitution god and country.

1.5 TRILLION DEFECIT IN 2011.

QED PIG. Take your goebbels / lippmann propagandist liar seditionist.

Posted by: mickrussom | January 26, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

batigol85

You know perfectly well what I meant. But I will clarify it to you, just in case: White males get the benefit of the doubt, no matter how good or bad their policies or performance on the job. In other words - White males are assumed to be competent whether they are or not. Others have to prove themselves over and over again.

Whether you admit or not; Obama was the clear-headed one in October 2008 when both GW and McCain were flailing about during the financial meltdown. During his campaign he laid out a clear vision for the country's future and a majority of the voters accepted it and voted him into office. Obama led the country out of a deep, deep crisis - to stability. Now with a lot of hard work, mutual sacrifice, cooperation, and some good fortune, we can rebuild the economy and start to prosper. Has he made mistakes? Yes, off course. Has he been a disaster, not at all. I cannot say that about his predecessor.

Posted by: chorka | January 26, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Obama's SOTU speech, as loaded on his teleprompter by the most competent dialectians in his radical TSAR corps, can be summarized with a single quote: "We will move forward together or not at all." Translated from Obama's Marxist dialectic the quote is translated as: "Join with me in implementing the Cloward-Piven strategy of spending America's existing economic structure into oblivion, from the ashes of which we shall raise our vision of a Socialist Utopia on the American homeland; or, I will obstruct every legislative move that the new House majority attempts to make." And, Obama's current budget on the table with a CBO projected $1.5 Trillion deficit, an obscene spending level which Obama proposed in his SOTU to freeze for the next five years, verifies Obama's arrogant persistence to continue to govern in direct opposition to the expressed will of the majority of the American people. Compounding the calamitous and unsustainable level of deficit spending, cloaked in platitudes and cliches', is Obama's SOTU pledge to add even further deficit funds for infrastructure, etc., rhetorically disguised as "Investments". If the overwhelming majority of the American electorate doesn't soon open their eyes to the destructive nature of the arrogantly pompous intruder that we have unwittingly elevated to the Presidency of the United States; and, demand Impeachment, our Nation is doomed. Greg Neubeck

Posted by: gneubeck | January 26, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Obama's SOTU speech, as loaded on his teleprompter by the most competent dialectians in his radical TSAR corps, can be summarized with a single quote: "We will move forward together or not at all." Translated from Obama's Marxist dialectic the quote is translated as: "Join with me in implementing the Cloward-Piven strategy of spending America's existing economic structure into oblivion, from the ashes of which we shall raise our vision of a Socialist Utopia on the American homeland; or, I will obstruct every legislative move that the new House majority attempts to make." And, Obama's current budget on the table with a CBO projected $1.5 Trillion deficit, an obscene spending level which Obama proposed in his SOTU to freeze for the next five years, verifies Obama's arrogant persistence to continue to govern in direct opposition to the expressed will of the majority of the American people. Compounding the calamitous and unsustainable level of deficit spending, cloaked in platitudes and cliches', is Obama's SOTU pledge to add even further deficit funds for infrastructure, etc., rhetorically disguised as "Investments". If the overwhelming majority of the American electorate doesn't soon open their eyes to the destructive nature of the arrogantly pompous intruder that we have unwittingly elevated to the Presidency of the United States; and, demand Impeachment, our Nation is doomed. Greg Neubeck

Posted by: gneubeck | January 26, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Teleologicus-It occurs to me that you've chosen a Roman souncing name. I bow to your superior intellect, politeness, reasonableness and humility. "Bad manners and bad thinking are closely connected. One seldom encounters good, i.e. clear, pertinent, rational, productive thinking in the company of bad manners." Really? Please know I didn't mean to be rude. I meant to be helpful. People out here are laughing at you. And the company you keep....and the horse you rode in on!
-------------

More personalization of differences, typical from the Left. Somehow the subject has become ME, my personality, intellect, communicative style, my many and indubitable deficiencies and shortcomings. This is not an interesting and very likely not a productive topic. It does not address the political differences themselves. It is, so to speak, a dead end. Ad hominem argumentation, like bad manners and personalization of differences, is not by any means restricted to the Left - but it has been my usual experience that it is many times more common on the Left than elsewhere. One almost never disagrees with a Leftist in a forum like this without being personally insulted, frequently viciously so. Most, though not all Leftists seem incapable of separating disagreements about political matters from comprehensive personal attacks and character assassination of those with whom they happen to disagree.

Another rude and bad mannered and bad thinking Leftist made the familiar fantastic allegation that critics of Mr. Obama are just upset because a black man is president. My response was to this collective smear of critics of Mr. Obama. My counter-claim is that Mr. Obama is unqualified for the presidency by every known marker and measure of such qualification. He lacks the experience, the accomplishments, the background, the associates, the values, the ideology, and anything and everything else that an American president should have. His family background, what we know of it, is disconcerting. He has foreign, not American values. He is obviously a Marxist. He hangs out with un- and anti-American people - and of course with crony capitalists and corrupt counselors. He shows no understanding of economics, geopolitics, international relations, Islam, American politics, or anything of the sort. He is poorly educated and historically illiterate. He is, to be blunt, a nitwit that could never possibly have become president if he were not 50% black and Americans had thought it would be a nice gesture, cool, novel, and would reflect well upon them if they elected their First Black President. He is an affirmative action hire. A white candidate with his lack of qualifications and his positive disqualifications(Marxism) would not have had a chance even to run. He got the job because he is black - or 50% black, which for some reason I do not quite understand counts as being 100% black.

The above or some other topic, not me, would seem to be the more profitable path - if such exists.

Posted by: Teleologicus | January 26, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I think it is erroneous to say that he reframed the debate. What he truly did was try to change the focus to other policy initiative as a way to deflect attention from the fact that his previous ones haven't done much. To continually use the euphemism "invest" to suggest that the country will see some marginal return in the future doesn't change the fact that "invest" means spend. Would America be better with better educated citizens? Sure. But school curriculum and funding is not a federal issue so his words are hollow.

As for his optimism, at best it is a recently discovered attribute. Since the President was but a wee candidate he has been the painter of gloomy caricatures of America as an ordinary, somewhat wounded nation. Now he decides to be Mr. Happy and articulate a vision beyond throwing money into every progressive firepit he sees. It's simply not a credible transformation.

Posted by: bri1701 | January 26, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Smart speech?

Come on EJ, this was just another sad, dull, hackneyed speech by the current Hack in Chief. What percent of this speech does the POTUS believe? How much of his twittering rambling will become a fait accompli? Recall his 2010 SOTU speech or the speech to the joint session of Congress in 2009 shortly after his election. How did all the gobbledegook laid down on those occasions translate in the real world? Our country is sucking wind and only a complete shill can fail to realize that the only thing that can save us is a real tranformative change in the citizenry. We Americans are going to have to suck it up and toughen up;everyone who wants to ride in our boat is going to have to pull an oar if we are to survive. Even if we overcome the inertia of our ennui, we still have to prevail in a world ever more hostile to our country. We don't need and can't depend on "leaders"--we need to realize that leaders can't save our bacon. They just talk and pontificate and try and flim-flam the naive with rather transparent slogans and buzz words. Hey, we need a President and a Congress (somebody has to sling the BS), but these guys and gals are not up to the difficult task before us as we try dig ourselves out of the hole we have put ourselves in with decades of laziness and sloth while burning through the capital inherited from the previous and greater generations of Americans. And, of course, the old, the very young and infirm can't pull their oars very hard but at least they can have the privilege and dignity that comes from doing what they can. The very strong alone are not strong enough to keep the boat moving forward. There is no free lunch and lots of us who are busting our buns only to have D.C appropriate our hard-earned money (and then toss it down one of a million different rat holes in exchange for votes) have had enough. Enough! Get it?

Posted by: Ja_Mais | January 26, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

E.J. - I can remember, going to STEP parenting classes, when they talked about our "window of acceptance". It seems to me that your "window of acceptance" when it comes to looking for substance in Obama's speeches, is so wide that, if he just opens his mouth and utters a coherent phrase, it's a winner in your book.

When I listened to the first 45 minutes of the speech, I felt like I was in a time warp, listening to every Presidential SOTU address from the past. It was so full of platitudes and yet said nothing that I wanted to scream, "We've got 9.5% unemployment, the National Debt is approaching $15 trillion, and you're proposing we spend more money on projects that will do little to solve those problems."

Then I see where you are just in love with the optimism he displayed. As much as I'd like to say, "It's about time." the words seemed to be just words, placed in a speech to show he really loves and cares about the country as a whole, not just those union parts or those parts with Democrat voters, or those states with Democrat governors, but the whole country.

Please E.J., hold our President to higher standards than your willing to accept. Close your "window of acceptance" so that you will only be willing to accept excellent performance of his duties as President, all of them, not just those political ones that the Democrats seem to love.

Posted by: bflat879 | January 26, 2011 10:42 PM | Report abuse

E.J. the Kool Aid drinker. I've been pounding Hugh Hewitt about you for months. Here's my latest: "But, his heart wasn't really in his WaPo piece post-SOTU. Still, his lack of integrity is pronounced. I have no respect for him." Plus, you're a faux Catholic, like Nancy Pelosi - that's what "liberal Catholic" means and all real Catholics know that. Just admit you're Episcopalian and we'd all have more respect for you. No one's forcing you to remain Catholic and it's obvious you're really not in communion with the Holy See. No one forces you to be so. Be honest. I've suggested to Hugh that he no longer have you on his show due to your lack of candor. Cheerleader.

Posted by: ucrjjm | January 26, 2011 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Once again the WAPO inhales the essence of Obama's anus and loves it.

Posted by: KRoyall1 | January 27, 2011 2:40 AM | Report abuse

Obama's speech was mostly empty fluff, a "feel good" piece designed to appeal to everyone from the far left to the far right and therefore signifying nothing. One the one hand, he promises to increase "investment" (the latest "progressive" code word for more government spending) in research, clean energy, mass transit, etc. and in the next plays lip service to "fiscal discipline" by promising a "freeze" on "some" government programs without even attempting to address the two elephants in the room: social security and medicare/medicaid.

At the core, his protestations of "centrism" aside, Barack Obama is an old-school statist liberal. That will never change. Hopefully the Republicans will nominate a decent candidate (i.e.: not Sarah Palin) in 2012 so that we can make him a one-term president. We will never get our fiscal house in order with Barack Obama in the White House. That's simply a fact.

Posted by: danram | January 27, 2011 8:11 AM | Report abuse

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