Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The State of the Union and the White House's Lessons Learned From Massachusetts

The economy is still in the crapper and his own party, with a seemingly insurmountable supermajority as recently as 10 days ago, is reeling. And apparently President Obama's solution to these problems and others is....another prime-time speech. Technically this will be Obama's first State of the Union address, but one wouldn't know it from the number of times his mug has appeared on TV in the last year. Whether it's catching a pass from Drew Brees on the White House lawn or fielding puffball questions from Ed Schultz in a staged press conference, one can't accuse the President of being camera-shy.

So shortly after Republican Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy's former Senate seat with a 'populist' campaign against big government and out-of-control spending, Obama tried re-establishing his populist cred by railing against financial institutions that took TARP money (as opposed to GM or Fannie Mae). That sort of backfired when the Dow-Jones Industrial Average slid down about 500 points in two days.

Of course, liberals are angry too and actually blame the results of the Massachusetts election on Obama not being liberal enough, not spending enough taxpayer money and not cramming through dubious legislation and reforms fast enough. Hell....some dolts were stupid enough to try and convince us that Bush is to blame for a Republican winning in Massachusetts.

Whatever the case, the punditocracy doesn't think the public will be buying whatever Obama's trying to sell tonight. The President himself is probably aware about that, which is why we can probably expect his address to be peppered with vague platitudes about pressing national issues like 'Don't ask don't tell' or high speed rail while trying to paint himself as a fiscal hawk and highlight his Potemkin spending freeze while in reality, his economic policies have already poured fuel on the proverbial fire.

This probably will come off as unkind, but is it too much to hope that the election of Scott Brown will have made this used-car salesman we call a President a lame duck in his first 365 days in office?

In any event, 2010 is shaping up to be a pretty rough year for Obama and his party- reminds me a little of that Chinese curse 'May you live in interesting times'. Regardless, I'm not going to lose too much sleep over whatever circumstances are hindering this President's agenda.

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