The Way Back Machine and the SOTU

So, there’s this NYT article up today called  ‘Obama to Press Centrist Agenda in His Address’. Here’s the President’s own words on how the State of the Union address is shaping up.

“My No. 1 focus,” he said, “is going to be making sure that we are competitive, and we are creating jobs not just now but well into the future.”

“These are big challenges that are in front of us,” Mr. Obama also said in the video, sent to members of Organizing for America, his network of supporters from the 2008 campaign. “But we’re up to it, as long as we come together as a people — Republicans, Democrats, independents — as long as we focus on what binds us together as a people, as long as we’re willing to find common ground even as we’re having some very vigorous debates.”

So, we’re hearing themes of jobs, bipartisanship and coming together to focus on the future which probably includes spending cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.   Here’s another link for you from the with the headline of ‘Obama’s State of the Union: emphasis on job creation, immigration reform on limbo’.

President Barack Obama delivered his first State of the Union speech which ran for seventy-five minutes emphasizing in job creation, offering very few specifics, and listing a number of ‘accomplishments,’ such as cutting of taxes and preventing a ‘second depression’.

Obama talked Wednesday night about spending freezes as part of the solution to revamp the economy and to repay for the $1 trillion that it took to rescue the economy last year.

Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. Spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be affected. But all other discretionary government programs will. Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don’t.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but is the State of the Union address just going to be a mulligan for last year’s SOTU except this time he’ll be even more Republican friendly and business friendly while he delivers the same message?   One of the criticisms of Obama’s vision thang has been that he continually offers up the same things but just tinkers with the buzzwords because he sees that it’s not the message that’s the problem but  it’s the selling methodology that’s faulty.

Take for example his first stimulus which was about 40% business friendly tax cuts that really didn’t accomplish much in the way of job creation.  His latest tax cuts are still business friendly and probably won’t accomplish much in the way of job creation either.   This time around, however, he’s not going around giving speeches about ‘fat cat’ businessmen and Wall Street bankers.   Most of the Treasury Department is filled with left over Goldman Sachs folks.  Now, we have the West Wing filled less with politicians and more with fat cats.  Other than a few more musical chairs or a few less hostile names in the spirit of pre-election financing needs, how is this any different than what we’ve seen before?

Can he just basically recycle last year’s speech–sans the swipe at the Supreme Court–and still be seen as some change agent or some transitional figure?   I’m going to have to watch, but this lead up is sounding a lot like “Can you hear me now?” more than anything else.

And, what does it say that two years later, we’re still getting State of the Union addresses that need to focus on jobs?  How about that the stuff they’ve been trying really isn’t working?   Will using the buzz word “competitiveness”  just be the new frame from last year’s talk on “doubling U.S. exports over the next five years”?  Is this just a remarketing of the same five year plan with a few words meant to give Republican Congressmen hard-ons for hope?

The NYT is calling this “political rebranding”.  They’re hinting that he’s even going to talk on reforming the corporate tax code.  So, that means we get less of everything, they get more and it sounds like the same trickle down economics from the same set of tax cuts that continues to destroy the budget and brings on calls for decreases in “entitlements”.  I’m not seeing any real change here.  So, it took me a bit to get to the part of the article that raised questions with answers I’d personally like to hear.

While most midterm presidents use the State of the Union to take credit for their achievements to date, Mr. Obama is constrained by the facts that unemployment remains above 9 percent, that his signature domestic achievement — the expansion of health insurance coverage — remains unpopular with nearly half the country, and that prospects for withdrawing many troops from Afghanistan later this year remain uncertain at best.

So, I’m making my list of things I’d like addressed on Tuesday when we watch the SOTU and live blog it here.  The first is about this miserable surge in Afghanistan and the 6 month time line for the end.  The second is why are corporate profits setting records and the financial markets recovering if we’re so damned uncompetitive now and we have such a screwed up corporate tax policy?  How the heck are we going to export more stuff when we really don’t make anything to export?  How many copies of old Arnold movies can the developing world order?   Why do businesses and insurance companies want to keep HCR so much?   Finally, why do you think that more tax cuts are going to create jobs when they haven’t done so to date?

So, that’s my list.  What’s on yours?

Meanwhile, Republicans continue to prove they live in an alternate universe with no use for science,math or economic theory.

The Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said on Sunday that his party will vigorously oppose the spending initiatives President Obama plans to include in his State of the Union address on Tuesday because “it’s not a time to be looking at pumping up government spending.”

I’m thinking we might as well change the party names right now.  The usual republican suspects are now the leadership of the democratic party.  They get to become the Republicrat party. Republicans just may as well change their name to the National Right to Life and John Birch Society Party.  Where’s an old style Democratic voter to go?

33 Comments on “The Way Back Machine and the SOTU”

  1. makeuporcoke says:

    Obama feigns to care about jobs and unemployment, so if he really gave a damn I would think poverty and the shrinking middle class would be worth bringing up– Why is it that presidents get away with talking about the good of the people when the good of the corporation is obviously where their concern lies!? If citizens rightly mattered, there would be discussion of tthe extraordinary income polarization, the fact that there are still millions of food insecure people in one of the richest countries in the world, etc.

    • dakinikat says:

      Minx put this link on the thread below but it’s worth bringing up here and quoting what C&L thinks about that:

      Apparently this year’s theme is “winning the future,” and it’s about his preferred solution to everything: being “competitive.” (Corporate speak for “lower wages, no benefits and no pesky regulations.”)

      We have to “out-innovate, out-compete, out-educate.” Oh yeah, and and deal with our deficits in a “responsible” way, make government “leaner” and “smarter.”

      “Finding common ground while having vigorous debate” is important, too. (It’s worked so well, right?)

      I would so much prefer to have confidence in our president, but I think he’s too deep in the bubble, and he clearly believes in ideas that have already been proven to harm the rest of us.

      We’re being softened up for continued corporate servitude.

  2. Minkoff Minx says:

    Yes, Obama is always re-branding the same old stuff. Remember, he even had the Mythbusters redo a myth that was previously done on the show…

  3. TheRock says:

    I’m waiting to hear when he says he is leaving the White House. Other than that, there really isn’t anything that he could say that would peak my interest.


    Hillary 2012

    • TheRock says:

      I am gambling heavy that the American people will not be so stupid as to fall for Obumble’s parlor tricks. He has used up his ‘change’ strategy, and it doesn’t seem that the mean ol republicans strategy will work based on the midterm results, and with the tea party identifying the military as a potential place for budget cuts (let’s see how well they follow through), the populist message might be swinging away from the democrats. I wonder if any mention will be made about campaign financing?

      We are so f*^(ed.


      Hillary 2012

    • bostonboomer says:

      My reaction was similar. I want to know why he doesn’t resign immediately.

  4. Fannie says:

    I’m gonna go down to the discount store and get a couple of jars of pickles, you know the ones made in India, and a couple jar marinated artichokes, you know the ones made in China, knowing that we are the capitol for artichokes and pickles, and that our Governor just declared California’s Fiscal Emergency State. I don’t want to get in trouble by telling him or Obama, the solution is hire us to make our damn pickles and marinated artichokes. You know what I’m saying?
    I’m getting crazy.

    • Sophie says:

      Yeah, well..our pickles and artichokes are *really* expensive because we have y’know, standards, otherwise known as regulations. We have environmental standards, pay standards, edibility standards. And we don’t lie (as much) when we say Organic on the label. But people want cheap food and are willing to let the standards go.

      I’m certain that part of our new “competitiveness” is to lower our standards. We’ll call it deregulation so it will get bipartisan support. Look for loosening up on the environment, pay for workers, and other “bureaucracies” that impede our ability to compete.

      Why can’t we just refuse to import anything that doesn’t meet our standards and make others compete on our playing field?

  5. Fredster says:

    Oh I loved this part of a comment from an obot over at C&L:

    Objectivity does not = being critical

    Of course not, objectivity = having your nose up his behind and seeing how far it will go in while nodding in awe of his sheer magnificence.

  6. Fredster says:

    For all of you who are going to watch the SOTU (I almost typed STFU!), please go here and print out your BINGO card and play along as he speaks.

    I’m so glad the blogger still had this up and I’ve saved it now for future references.

  7. Fredster says:

    If you wish, you can print out your card here:

  8. HT says:

    My condolences – I wonder if Obama ever thought about being the end of the American dream? I keep a close eye on what’s happening down there, because our government has a tendency to follow suit later. I don’t have any soothing comments to add, because between Obama and the roster of Republicans that look to run against him in 2012, you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.

  9. […] The Way Back Machine and the SOTU […]

  10. HT says:

    Costa Rica could be an answer – so check it out. We could use some more liberals up here because your evangelicals are overrunning the place – even lobbying the government – some nerve but that’s another discussion. Mind you our weather would be a shock to your system – intense cold in the winter, intense heat in the summer, but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

    • dakinikat says:

      Hey, I’m an atheist. Don’t blame any crazy evangelicals on me. They travel the world to persecute people. No one really wants them. They’re like fleas.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      @HT, now this is completely off topic. I just saw this movie called Pontypool. It is a Canadian film, and it is set in Pontypool, Ontario. There are a lot of references to life in a small Canadian town. That made me think of people I know that live in Canada.

      It was good, if you ever get a chance to see it, watch it. It is this weird zombie psyco horror flick, about some sort of virus that passes from person to person via English words. The movie has scenes that are like psychotic voices in your head. Where understanding the word is what passes on the virus. So to keep from getting sick, you have to associate another meaning to the word. Weird, freaky stuff.

  11. paper doll says:

    And, what does it say that two years later, we’re still getting State of the Union addresses that need to focus on jobs?

    Hilarious…it says the SOTU speech is where you stick stuff you don’t plan to actually address…ever

    You know the damn theme of his AZ speech? “Together we thrive?” That’s what a parasite says to a host…just saying .

  12. […] got this from Fredster, who posted it at Dakinikat’s place. There will be punishments, […]

  13. Uppity Woman says:

    He’s in campaign mode, gang. He’s going to bullsh*t everybody until Novemeber 2012, then get his sorry butt re-elected and do whatever the heck he wants with executive orders. I saw that old familiar and revolting tone from 2008 at the Tucson “Memorial”. You know the routine. The one where he shouts platitudes above the applause and gets all hepped up when people cheer, and then sticks his nose to the sky and sniffs the adulation with half-closed eyes. I was sickened. He’s going to snowball people again. I can feel it. And it’s not going to be pretty if we get four more years of this turkey. We already know this is a mean, vindictive, USA-hating, woman-despising man. I fear that the Republican field is shaping up to be hopeless. This could easily be the first time I stay home on election day.

    Somebody hold me.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Somebody please shoot me. Put me out of my misery.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Uppity Woman and BB, sending hugs while I say this…”there has been some negotiation, some changes have been made and everything is going to be alright.” (This quote is from the movie “Its a mad, mad, mad world.”)

    • dakinikat says:

      Actually, I’m hoping I’m an expat by that time.

      • Fredster says:

        You trail-blaze ahead for the rest of us.

      • Branjor says:

        I wish I could go to France. I like the healthcare and conditions of employment. I’d fit in with my French name and I’d finally have to learn the language.
        I’m really quite fed up and I fear for my future in this country.