What Obama Left Out of His SOTU AddressPosted: January 26, 2011
After Obama’s pro-corporate, cliche-ridden SOTU speech filled with right wing talking points, I think anyone with a brain has to admit that the mask is off. This man is Ronald Reagan without the folksy anecdotes and charisma (I never saw it, but supposedly he had it).
The speech last night demonstrated once and for all that Obama is heartless, self-involved, and narcissistic. He cares nothing about the fate of ordinary Americans, or what will become of this country once he has eliminated the middle class. The only thing he cares about is making sure he has a soft life giving speeches and serving on boards of directors after he leaves the White House.
To accomplish that Obama needs to try not to piss off too many rich people and he has to finish the job that Reagan, Bush I and Bush II started–handing over the U.S. treasury to the wealthiest 1% and in the process destroying the country.
I read the SOTU speech carefully, and there are quite a number of important topics that President Obama completely failed to address. Here are some relevant words that were never even mentioned in Obama’s 2011 SOTU address:
Gulf of Mexico
How could this man get up and address the country without once mentioning the rapidly ballooning poverty and homeless rates and the millions of unemployed Americans–many of whom have completely exhausted their benefits? How could he talk about our schools without mentioning the many children who are struggling to get an education while living on the streets or in families who can’t afford enough food?
How could he talk about the shootings in Tucson without discussing the need for some kind of rational gun control?
How could he freeze government salaries and ask Congress to freeze discretionary spending for five years while recommending more corporate giveaways and tax cuts for corporations?
How could he talk about cutting the deficit without getting us out of the two wars we’ve been fighting on borrowed money for longer than any other war in U.S. history?
How could he talk about competition for jobs without seriously addressing corporate outsourcing or the possibility of the government creating jobs as Roosevelt did during the last Great Depression?
I was sickened by Obama’s call for “sacrifice.”
The future is ours to win. But to get there, we can’t just stand still. As Robert Kennedy told us, “The future is not a gift. It is an achievement.” Sustaining the American Dream has never been about standing pat. It has required each generation to sacrifice, and struggle, and meet the demands of a new age.
And now it’s our turn. We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time. We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world. (Applause.) We have to make America the best place on Earth to do business. We need to take responsibility for our deficit and reform our government. That’s how our people will prosper. That’s how we’ll win the future.
Bullshit! What sacrifice are you going to make Mr. President? What sacrifice will you ask of your corporate masters, of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and Bank of America? Do tell. No, the sacrifice you talk about is to be borne by public employees (who, btw, are “disproportionately Black”), the citizens of states that will go bankrupt, the poor, the elderly, and the shrinking middle class.
I was nauseated by Obama’s call for universities to
open their doors to our military recruiters and ROTC. It is time to leave behind the divisive battles of the past. It is time to move forward as one nation.
The “divisive battles of the past?” Meaning the fight to end the Vietnam War? The endless war that has now been exceeded in length by the mess in Afghanistan?
I was also disturbed by Obama’s claim that Americans “share common hopes and a common creed.” Really? What hopes do I share in common with John Boehner or Michelle Bachmann? What “creed” is he referring to? If it’s Christianity, many of us don’t share that either.
There was so much wrong with Obama’s speech last night. But worst of all was the President’s complete lack of compassion for those who are suffering while bankers and CEOs get bailouts and tax cuts. Much of the corporate media has either praised Obama’s speech or made excuses for it. Here’s an antidote from Patrick Martin at the World Socialist website:
Obama displayed utter callousness and indifference toward the social distress of tens of millions of Americans. There was virtually no reference to unemployment or the staggering growth of economic inequality, and no proposals for creating jobs for the 17 million workers who are jobless or forced to subsist on part-time and temporary work.
The words “poverty,” “foreclosures,” “hunger” and “homelessness” were not uttered, despite sharp increases in all four during the first two years of Obama’s tenure.
Listening to Obama’s desultory remarks, one would never have guessed that just 28 months ago the American financial-corporate elite brought the American and world economy to its knees, precipitating the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The speech was a paean to American capitalism and the very financial bandits who are chiefly responsible for the catastrophe facing the American people.
Obama boasted of the good fortune of corporate America, which is making more money than ever. “The stock market has come roaring back,” he declared. “Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again.” Under conditions of near double-digit unemployment, he claimed to have “broken the back of this recession.”
The state of our union is not strong. Our society is sick and getting sicker by the day. We desperately need leadership, but it doesn’t seem like we’re going to get it soon. I don’t know what the answer is, but Barack Obama is not going to help us find it.