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[POTUS] State of the Union 2010: You guys stand and applaud! You guys stay seated.

YougottawannaYougottawanna Registered User regular
edited February 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
UPDATE: The full text of the speech is here.

UPDATE: Wikipedia has a summary of the speech's policy proposals: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_State_of_the_Union_Address

Youtube videos of the speech:

I hope you like text. And excuse the unusually highfalutin' language, much of this was adapted from something I originally wrote as an article.

A week from today, Obama will deliver the State of the Union Address, and if there's one thing most everyone can still agree on it's that the man can deliver a mean speech. In fact, it's arguably his main job. Strictly speaking the President has the power to veto bills or sign them into law, but his response to any bill that reaches his desk has already been accounted for during the legislative process. The signing is a formality. The remaining power of the office remains in the so-called “bully pulpit.” Or, by another name, making speeches.

Obama has faced criticism from the left for his use (or lack of use) of the bully pulpit. His hands-off approach to health care legislation is widely blamed for the many dead ends and frustrating concessions the bill has encountered in the Senate. Now, in light of the recent result in Massachusetts, the President has instructed his party not to “jam” health care through – in essence, to wait until Scott Brown, the new 41st Republican Senator, is seated. (link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/20/obama-to-dems-dont-jam-th_n_430134.html)

Since it would take 60 votes in the Senate to pass the health care bill, and since democrats can now only count on 59, the current bill is likely dead. This fact demands a mention in the State of the Union Address. Obama's liberal base (a base I include myself in) has watched with disappointment as initial high hopes for an effective bill have been methodically dashed. The media narrative is that failure to pass a health care bill will be a negative for Obama, even though by the time it finally died the bill's popularity had waned. A defeat of democratic legislation, we are told, constitutes a political defeat for Obama.

However, part of Obama's appeal has been a result of his ability to rise above, or at least be seen to rise above, the media narrative. This was most clearly demonstrated in his response to the inflammatory comments of Reverend Wright, which instead of being a negative for Obama led to one of the definitive moments of his political life. Over the course of his presidential campaign, he eschewed in large part the usual strategy of attempting to win every news cycle and control the message and language of the campaign. Instead, he created and nurtured a long-running narrative which took many rhetorical forms but which can be described like this: We can rise above partisan politics.

This belief, in my opinion, is at the heart of Obama's political identity and explains his decision to seemingly sacrifice health care reform at the altar of bipartisanship. He believes in bipartisanship. He truly believes that personal appeals to the same Republicans which have dug themselves in in opposition to health care reform can result in a consensus between politicians of both parties.

To those who have followed the legislative wrangling of the health care bill, this seems hopelessly naïve. Republicans, liberals say, care nothing for the substance of the health care bill. They will fight on principle against any bill whose passage can be attributed to democrats. So far, this has been true, as republican activity in the Senate thus far has been limited to anonymous holds and procedural gamesmanship.

In light of this Obama's belief that he can get a republican senator to vote on anything with his name on it is a source of endless frustration. To use a popular analogy on this forum, he resembles a Charlie Brown that is forever certain that this time Lucy won't pull the football away. But in epic fashion, this aspect of his character is simultaneously a weakness and a strength. He shares it with many of the most popular politicians in our country's history, with the likes of Kennedy and Reagan and even W. Bush: an unflappable, maddening certainty in his beliefs.

To a personality like Obama's, there are no insurmountable obstacles. The intransigence of 41 republican senators, to him, is something that must simply be overcome. This attitude is simultaneously a source of inspiration and despair, and this attitude will almost certainly be on display in the State of the Union address. For the sake of our sanity, liberals would be well advised to draw from it the former and not the latter.

Supposedly, the address will primarily concern job creation and deficit reduction (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1109/29471.html). However, this is a prognostication that predates the unexpected result in Massachusetts.

Basically this thread is for soothsaying what the upcoming State of the Union Address will, um, address. From a political handicapping perspective, I think Obama will use as an opportunity to reach out to Republicans, both to reinforce his image as someone above the party-line haggling of Washington and to create an environment in which undiluted opposition to everything (the "party of no") will be politically damaging. The speech will most likely result in an uptick in his approval rating, since almost all State of the Unions do that. And as an easily-duped liberal rube who likes when Obama gives pretty speeches, I'm ready for another dose of hopium to convince me that all is not lost.

Yougottawanna on
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Posts

  • PressCasePressCase __BANNED USERS
    edited January 2010
    Overview of Obama's first year in office:
    obamasaber.jpg

    PressCase on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    He will bizarrely and inexplicably take up the cause of deficit fetishization, plunging us into a deep, deep hell.

    enlightenedbum on
    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    Warren 2020
  • VeritasVRVeritasVR Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    PressCase wrote: »
    Overview of Obama's first year in office:
    obamasaber.jpg

    Yay! My friend was one of the guys he stabbed with the lightsaber at that event. 8-)

    VeritasVR on
    CoH_infantry.jpg
    Let 'em eat fucking pineapples!
  • Tiger BurningTiger Burning Dig if you will, the pictureRegistered User, SolidSaints Tube regular
    edited January 2010

    Basically this thread is for soothsaying what the upcoming State of the Union Address will, um, address.

    The text of the SotU, from the future:
    Jobs. Jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs. Jobs. Thank you and God Bless the United States of America.

    Tiger Burning on
    Ain't no particular sign I'm more compatible with
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited January 2010

    Basically this thread is for soothsaying what the upcoming State of the Union Address will, um, address.

    The text of the SotU, from the future:
    Jobs. Jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs. Jobs. Thank you and God Bless the United States of America.

    You forgot deficit deficit out of control spending cut taxes deficit, paradox of thrift what?

    enlightenedbum on
    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    Warren 2020
  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Both of you forgot "The State of the Union is strong."

    Tomanta on
  • YougottawannaYougottawanna Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    You don't figure the Mass. election will even merit a mention?

    Yougottawanna on
  • PressCasePressCase __BANNED USERS
    edited January 2010
    You don't figure the Mass. election will even merit a mention?

    He will likely say the Mass. Election is a sign that people are discontent with the pace of change, then he will say he shares that discontent.

    Then he will call out on the Democrats for being a bunch of spineless morons.

    Then he will say he looks forward to working with Republicans to bring about the change we need.

    PressCase on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    He won't call out the Dems for shit. He's already capitulated.

    I'm sick of "bi-partisanship" when it really means "Somehow, despite having 40% of the legislative branch, the Republican still get to dictate outcomes."

    enlightenedbum on
    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    Warren 2020
  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I wouldn't be surprised if he calls out the Republicans for being obstructionist, although it will probably be more subtle than outright saying it.

    Tomanta on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Nah, he believes in his Magical Unity Pony crap.

    enlightenedbum on
    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    Warren 2020
  • BarcardiBarcardi All the Wizards Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    PressCase wrote: »
    You don't figure the Mass. election will even merit a mention?

    He will likely say the Mass. Election is a sign that people are discontent with the pace of change, then he will say he shares that discontent.

    Then he will call out on the Democrats for being a bunch of spineless morons.

    Then he will say he looks forward to working with Republicans to bring about the change we need.

    That was on my facebook, obama said that on facebook

    Lets go write his entire speech for him on his facebook comments page.

    Barcardi on
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited January 2010
    Nah, he believes in his Magical Unity Pony crap.

    Sadly true. How fucking bad does it have to get before he gives up on this "bipartisanship is the Way and the Light" crap?

    Bionic Monkey on
    sig_megas_armed.jpg
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Barcardi wrote: »
    PressCase wrote: »
    You don't figure the Mass. election will even merit a mention?

    He will likely say the Mass. Election is a sign that people are discontent with the pace of change, then he will say he shares that discontent.

    Then he will call out on the Democrats for being a bunch of spineless morons.

    Then he will say he looks forward to working with Republicans to bring about the change we need.

    That was on my facebook, obama said that on facebook

    Lets go write his entire speech for him on his facebook comments page.

    It's actually kind of interesting reading said Facebook page. It's like 20% gloating Republican, 20% I looooooove you, and 60% for the love of God, stop letting these asshats push you around.

    enlightenedbum on
    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    Warren 2020
  • YougottawannaYougottawanna Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I've decided, basically arbitrarily, to hold out hope that his bipartisan appeal will work. Maybe not specifically on healthcare, but in general that he'll be able to get certain republicans to break ranks enough to get some good things passed. Basically, he's hoping that certain GOP senators actually care about the country somewhat, that if he takes the high road they'll be tempted to join him. It only takes one, strictly speaking.

    Yougottawanna on
  • deowolfdeowolf Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    "Larry Wilbon is right, folks. - I'm not magic. <scattered applause> But I have Marines who have to do what I say <riotous applause>, and they're currently barring the doors until we get some of this shit sorted out. <silence> There are some pizzas on the way but, sorry, Larry Craig just followed Barney Frank into the only bathroom..."

    deowolf on
    [SIGPIC]acocoSig.jpg[/SIGPIC]
  • agoajagoaj Top Tier One FearRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    deowolf wrote: »
    "Larry Wilbon is right, folks. - I'm not magic. <scattered applause> But I have Marines who have to do what I say <riotous applause>, and they're currently barring the doors until we get some of this shit sorted out. <silence> There are some pizzas on the way but, sorry, Larry Craig just followed Barney Frank into the only bathroom..."

    A little bit of Hocus Potus is all we need.

    agoaj on
    ujav5b9gwj1s.png
  • No-QuarterNo-Quarter Nothing To Fear But Fear ItselfRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Nah, he believes in his Magical Unity Pony crap.

    And he'll ride it right out of office.

    No-Quarter on
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'm placing 2:1 odds that a Republican takes Joe Wilson's lead and starts a heckling session.

    As for the speech... well, it'll be like every other joint session lately: everyone dissects the advance speech and has an opinion pre-formed before Obama opens his mouth. There will be a bit of lip service paid to his speaking abilities before the poo-flinging starts again.

    Unless someone heckles. Then that will be the entire narrative. "Could the heckler have been right?"

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
  • BarcardiBarcardi All the Wizards Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Gosling wrote: »
    I'm placing 2:1 odds that a Republican takes Joe Wilson's lead and starts a heckling session.

    As for the speech... well, it'll be like every other joint session lately: everyone dissects the advance speech and has an opinion pre-formed before Obama opens his mouth. There will be a bit of lip service paid to his speaking abilities before the poo-flinging starts again.

    Unless someone heckles. Then that will be the entire narrative. "Could the heckler have been right?"

    But that said if it turns into a boo fest, and i could see that happening, i could easily see the public as a whole being outraged that such a thing happened. Not that anyone inside the beltway would care.

    Also will be interesting to follow tweets this time around.

    Barcardi on
  • CoinageCoinage Heaviside LayerRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010

    Basically this thread is for soothsaying what the upcoming State of the Union Address will, um, address.

    The text of the SotU, from the future:
    Jobs. Jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs. Jobs. Thank you and God Bless the United States of America.

    You forgot deficit deficit out of control spending cut taxes deficit, paradox of thrift what?
    Fuck the paradox of thrift.

    I think he will spend a significant amount of time trying to convince people that healthcare isn't dead. I don't know whether or that is true.

    Coinage on
    t1iylq0d7o1p.png
  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Call me Ahava ~~She/Her~~ Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Ok, I know this is probably stupid and I can find it elsewhere...

    But a time. What time is the speech? I have to work until 9pm. if I run home, will I make it? Or should I just catch it online?

    lonelyahava on
  • Crimson KingCrimson King Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    So, people keep complaining about Obama's bipartisanship. What would you like to see him do instead? I don't think I fully understand how, given the way Congress and the Senate are structured, there's another way for him to get his bills passed then by working with Republicans.

    Crimson King on
  • HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking of Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    So, people keep complaining about Obama's bipartisanship. What would you like to see him do instead? I don't think I fully understand how, given the way Congress and the Senate are structured, there's another way for him to get his bills passed then by working with Republicans.

    The president of the leader of his party. He could have strong armed the Blue Dogs to tow the party line. He could have strong armed Harry Reid into changing the filibuster rules. He could have made a solid commitment to the public option, which remains popular.

    Hachface on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    So, people keep complaining about Obama's bipartisanship. What would you like to see him do instead? I don't think I fully understand how, given the way Congress and the Senate are structured, there's another way for him to get his bills passed then by working with Republicans.

    Nuke the Senate.

    Either the filibuster elimination or actually detonate a small scale weapon during a vote.

    enlightenedbum on
    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    Warren 2020
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited January 2010
    So, people keep complaining about Obama's bipartisanship. What would you like to see him do instead? I don't think I fully understand how, given the way Congress and the Senate are structured, there's another way for him to get his bills passed then by working with Republicans.

    He can't do much directly. But when we're getting reports that the White House is telling the Senate Dems to give Lieberman whatever he wants, something is obviously broken.

    Lean on the Dems more. Force them to grow a fucking spine.

    Bionic Monkey on
    sig_megas_armed.jpg
  • HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking of Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'd be willing to cut Obama lot more slack if he wasn't so passive.

    Hachface on
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    It really is the big knock on him-- he's too nice.

    I mean, being nice is fine and all, but you know. We're all waiting to see the Chicago-politician stuff manifest itself and it's not. We know he knows how to pull off some awesome maneuvers, we saw it in the campaign, but he just... forgot how to crack open the playbook somehow.

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
  • HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking of Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    It's getting really really hard to believe that he gives a shit.

    Hachface on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    The Fierce Urgency of Whenever is how Andrew Sullivan started referring to his stance on gay rights. Which seems kind of accurately more broadly.

    enlightenedbum on
    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    Warren 2020
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Hachface wrote: »
    It's getting really really hard to believe that he gives a shit.

    Oh, he cares. If he didn't care, he'd be doing whatever the Chicago equivalent to clearing brush is. I think it's the community-organizer mindset betraying him after it worked so well for him in the campaign. I don't know how many times back in Chicago that he had to organize people that didn't want to be organized, but I can't imagine it was often.

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    ...Take Haiti. That one's not even a debate. It was just so obviously something that required assistance, immediate, massive assistance, that he could get right to work on it, and he's done about as well as it is possible to do. He had a golden opportunity to do his organizing thing, and he just ran with it.

    It's there. The potential is there. The lockstep opposition thing is just killing him. He's not used to it.

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited January 2010
    And to be fair, has any President, ever experienced this kind of pure brick-wall resistance from the opposition party? It seems like this is pretty damn unprecedented.

    Bionic Monkey on
    sig_megas_armed.jpg
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    And to be fair, has any President, ever experienced this kind of pure brick-wall resistance from the opposition party? It seems like this is pretty damn unprecedented.

    Clinton?

    Couscous on
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited January 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    And to be fair, has any President, ever experienced this kind of pure brick-wall resistance from the opposition party? It seems like this is pretty damn unprecedented.

    Clinton?

    I know the GOP tried to destroy him, but did they vote en masse like this to deny him any kind of win?

    Bionic Monkey on
    sig_megas_armed.jpg
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    And to be fair, has any President, ever experienced this kind of pure brick-wall resistance from the opposition party? It seems like this is pretty damn unprecedented.

    Clinton?

    I know the GOP tried to destroy him, but did they vote en masse like this to deny him any kind of win?

    Yep. Did well at it too, then took control and tried to impeach him.

    Also: Johnson, arguably Jackson.

    enlightenedbum on
    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    Warren 2020
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    And to be fair, has any President, ever experienced this kind of pure brick-wall resistance from the opposition party? It seems like this is pretty damn unprecedented.

    Clinton?

    I know the GOP tried to destroy him, but did they vote en masse like this to deny him any kind of win?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_government_shutdown_of_1995
    The Republicans were also a bunch of fucking pussies then.
    The Republicans tried to blame Clinton for the shutdown, but Clinton got a break two days later when Gingrich made a widely-reported complaint about being snubbed by Clinton; Tom DeLay called it "the mistake of his [Gingrich's] life".[1]

    DeLay writes in his book No Retreat, No Surrender:[3]
    "He told a room full of reporters that he forced the shutdown because Clinton had rudely made him and Bob Dole sit at the back of Air Force One...Newt had been careless to say such a thing, and now the whole moral tone of the shutdown had been lost. What had been a noble battle for fiscal sanity began to look like the tirade of a spoiled child. The revolution, I can tell you, was never the same."

    Gingrich's complaint resulted in the perception that he was acting in a petty, egotistical manner, and Clinton defended the seating arrangement as a courtesy to Gingrich, the back of the plane being closer to his pickup car.[1] Later polling suggested that the event badly damaged Gingrich politically.[4]

    The shutdown also influenced the 1996 presidential election. Bob Dole, the Senate Majority Leader, was running for president in 1996. Because of his need to campaign, Dole was anxious to solve the budget crisis in January 1996 despite the willingness of other Republicans to continue the shutdown unless their demands were met.[5]

    Couscous on
  • YougottawannaYougottawanna Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    One glimmer of hope is that Obama generally researches and thinks before he acts. Now the entrenched narrative is that the democrats needs to move to the right, but I don't know that Obama personally will fall for that. I imagine he'll notice how strongly individual bits of progressive policy poll and act accordingly.

    In fact, the new legislative strategy being proposed by some house members is to break the bill down and pass the popular parts one at a time. This is in concert with Obama's remark in the last interview: "I would advise that we try to move quickly to coalesce around those elements of the package that people agree on. We know that we need insurance reform, that the health insurance companies are taking advantage of people. We know that we have to have some form of cost containment ... Those are the core, some of the core elements of, to this bill,"

    There may be some promise to this strategy.

    Yougottawanna on
  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I know this won't go over well here, but I think bipartisanship and sensibility could have produced a health care bill that would have succeeded.

    It is certainly true at this point that the media have made health care reform a referendum on Obama's re-election. And to that end, I'm sure most Republicans would gladly sacrifice anything with the word "health" on it now, just to bolster their own party.

    However, it is my take on the health care reform debacle that the tone from Democrats in Congress has always been one of overconfidence. I won't say arrogance - they were gracious - but overconfident nevertheless. If this had been approached from the start in a different fashion, it might never have become a partisan battle.

    See, a pragmatist might look at the issue of health care and ask, "let's analyze and determine exactly what the problems are, and then let's propose some moderate solutions to those problems." Instead we got zero discussion on what problems we were actually trying to solve. We just got Obama saying, "we need more competition in insurance, so we'll need a public option" which is incorrect in every fucking word and was just a pathetic attempt at trying to sound "free-market" about a public health insurance option. And then we had a battle which seemed from the start to be about little more than creating a public health insurance option, something we never needed, and which although it might address some anecdotal concerns, would probably only further aggravate the existing problems with the system.

    I really wanted health reform, too, but what was proposed was shit, and what it turned into after partisan wrangling was even worse shit.

    And I agree that Obama would do better to continue to rise above the media fray. Instead, he has let one election in MA convince him that he needs to apologize for his entire presidency. He's let the media convince him that the MA Senatorial race was a referendum on his first term.

    Maybe instead of coming out and saying, "Republicans have no ideas," he should make a public showing of sitting down with some Republicans who have proposed their own health care reform bills, and identify some key elements that need to be worked into an understandable set of goals. No one ever understood the goal of Democratic health care reform, except to create more government. Let's focus fixing the mess that is the employer system, lower costs, subsidies for people of certain income, and pre-existing conditions, and let's make it look like we're doing it hat-in-hand to a Republican vtriumph on this issue, so they can feel like they've won and stop using this as a battle against Obama.

    Yar on
  • YougottawannaYougottawanna Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    What exactly is your argument against the public option? It would aggravate existing problems in the system how exactly?

    Sit down with Republicans who have proposed their own bills? Like who?

    The GOP planned fighting health care pretty much from the start. They said it would be Obama's "waterloo" if he failed to pass it.

    Basically your post contains so many things I disagree with I'm have trouble knowing where to start.

    Yougottawanna on
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