The State Of The Union

My take on the State of the Union speech last night was that it sounded more like a lecture to Congress, rather than a speech for the people. I am all for that, because more than ever, it seems that the Senate and House have far more problems getting work done than Obama. And Obama is a constitutional scholar; he respects that Congress is the primary body politic of the US and that it needs the most power compared to the President and to the Supreme Court.
I am naturally a libertarian (except when it comes to children), and would lean Republican, but have yet to vote for one. I can’t see myself supporting a party overrun by Jesus with an M-16. I’ve never been able to fully support Democrats because I think they want government to do too much for us, plus I don’t much care for Unions or hippies.

So to me, the speech went well. I like to hear the ideas of rolling back the government a bit in order to, you know, pay for things we promise. And I really liked that Obama vocally disagreed with the Supreme Court (Roberts as CJ = we’ll be paying for Bush for a long, long time), and that he admonished both parties in Congress for failing to do work.

Democrats, you have a majority, do something with it. Republicans, just saying ‘no’ to everything isn’t leadership. Seriously, this is why I can’t support any of you right now. (Note: I do support Democrat Tarryl Clark for Congress in my district for so many good reasons I named above.)

It’s been interesting reading the immediate responses to the speech out in the blogosphere. The truly liberal are ragingly pissed about Obama’s concessions to cut spending and still wanting to work with Republicans. The political commentators seem wary that the speech did anything. And, well, I don’t have many conservative writers in my RSS feed because they sound as though they’re foaming at the mouth more than anything else.

Frankly, I thought Obama passing the responsibility on to Congress to get things done, particularly telling Republicans that if they have a better idea, he’d like to hear it. I think that’s a great way to call them out on their empty critiques.

I spent the speech just sitting there watching and reading a couple of other live-blogging events. There were only a couple of points that made me react. Here’s from my Twitter feed:

Did he really just end the Iraq war, or has that date always been set?

YES! Repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell! [I actually clapped and shouted ‘Yes!’ when I heard that.]

These are big deal things to me, and he had better follow through. Now, I know Obama said that combat troops would be out of Iraq, so that means we’d still have support personnel on the ground. Frankly, I see a permanent base there, similar to the leftovers of World War Two.

As for DADT, I’m excited, but the history I’ve read from other blogs is to be wary. Many things have been promised in the past to the gay community and so many went unfulfilled. But I can see DADT ending with Iraq engagement and taking care of two big shifts in the military at once.

To wrap up, I want to note the Republican response to the State of the Union. Interesting to note, Governor McDonnell gave the response before an actual assembly rather than in front of a camera in a room. It’s just different than what has been done before.

However, Governor McDonnell said nothing. The entire time, he sounded like an empty shell. I kept waiting and waiting for a single idea that could be presented as an alternative to any of Obama’s plans. I heard mention of off-shore drilling, but that was all, and Obama even hit on that himself.

So it was a non-speech. Even my wife kept repeating to me, he’s not saying anything. But according to pundits, the bar was so low, all he had to do was not cut an audible fart in front of the camera. Good job, McDonnell. At least your speech was only ten minutes so you didn’t have to worry about saying anything relevant.