The Relative Comment

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TRC’s thoughts on the SOTU.

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First and foremost: “Women should earn equal pay for equal work.”  It is amazing that is an applause line at the 2012 State of the Union.

Here is the strongest impression that the 2012 State of the Union left TRC: President Obama is, in his very core, devoted to bridging the differences and not being inflammatory and divisive. I know that will be disputed. But despite the scolding of Congress, the overarching themes are that we have to be one, not two. He was fairly moderate and did not go for any real bold liberal policies. Even tax fairness is not terrible lefty anymore, at least not in the public. His strongest language was that politics today is a campaign for mutual assured destruction. But that is mutual.

Here is a running series of TRC thoughts.

A remarkable amount of jeering and booing, or something like it. Did you hear that?

I think the President is doing a nice job of marrying policy and politics.

Then there was good but not terribly specific talk on taxes and middle class. Good campaign stuff. Fair share is the word, and I want to hear it more. And America is on your side on this one, at this time. Even if the Republicans in Washington are not. And yet, Obama was clear, as he needed to be, that obstruction will not be met with compliance. Then he just listed a bunch of tax cuts.

He said climate change. And that, my friends, is a victory itself. He acknowledged that now, in D.C., the attitude may make work on the topic impossible. But at least he said the words (how sad a celebration).

Why brag about how many acres have been opened for oil drilling? That’s nothing to celebrate. True, we are using less foreign oil than any time in the past 16 years. But we really do NOT need an all of the above energy strategy. That is not a clean strategy, Obama. That is a dirty, greenhouse gas based energy policy. So you know.

However, Obama is correct to point out the necessity of government involvement in renewable energy. New energy technologies do not surface and become profitable without government support. Energy does not operate on a free market like too many think it does. So that’s a good point.

End the tax payer giveaways to a industry that has never been more profitable and give that money to an industry that has never been more promising. Yes. Do this, Mr. President.

One of the difficulties facing renewable energy is that the utilities operate in regulated monopolies. It requires market creation. Thus, a clean energy standard to create a market for clean energy is an absolute necessity.

Refinance your underwater mortgage at low rates. Banks need to repay a deficit of trust. That’s a pretty good line.

I am quite happy to hear a defense of sound regulation. Regulation is a good in itself. Of course, there are complicated, unnecessary, and stupid regulations that need to be eliminated or reformed. (Side note: Obama deserved his skeptical response on his crying over spilled milk line. But point taken on the oil spill connection). We need to regulate Mercury, clean water, financial institutions. Obviously.

CSI: Financial Crimes Unit. I’d watch that. (Not really).

They keep showing Eric Cantor. He looks so mean. Even when he’s clapping he looks dickish. But not even close to Mitch McConnell.

“But in return.” That is one of the themes President Obama hits over and over. But why would he suspect he can get anything in return from the party who has made his failure their only priority?

Excellent debunk of the misuse of the “Class Warfare” attack. What Obama is talking about is not class warfare, it’s reasonable tax policy, encouraging people to maintain responsibility and meeting their needs. It’s simple.

Yes, President, we are all thinking nothing will get done in Washington this year. And you’re right, you’re performance in Washington last year was the biggest problem of last year’s economy. I wish you could do something about it. But this year, you can’t. “Both parties should put an end to it.” But they won’t.

It’s an interesting request: Grant the President authority to redesign the Executive Branch. More authority to hold less authority.

Politics as a campaign of mutual assured destruction. Too true. Highlighting your point by quoting Lincoln: always a good idea. And in principle, we all agree.

It’s interesting that any time Obama mentions working together, or passing a bill, the camera hits Mitch McConnel. Because we all know what McConnell famously said: Making Obama a 1 term president is the number 1 priority. Rub that in his face. That is the problem, and needs to be resolved. Which I think it will in November.

I also find President Obama’s militant desire for peace quite fascinating. But that is a fight I got scolded for once, so I will leave that aside. Suffice it to say, moving the world toward Peace should be everyone’s goal. Rattling the saber at Iran, and stating our Iron Clad Commitment (and he means Iron Clad Commitment) to Israel, might make peace a more distant goal.

Disappointed the achievements for gay and lesbian equality were not mentioned, as well as the task that remains, but it would not have really jived with the nature of this speech.

The President opened and closed with a salute to the military, and the example our military sets for all of us. It’s a lovely tribute and a strong reminder of what is important, and what all Americans can do to remember that political difference is…just…politics.


Written by Christopher ZF

January 24, 2012 at 21:24

Posted in Barack Obama, Politics

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