America's Dire State of the Union - by Stephen Lendman
Like last year, Obama's address was empty rhetoric, signaling business as usual with a twist - more than ever embracing reactionary extremism, promising harder than ever hard times on Main Street.
Last year, an earlier article discussed his first State of the Union address, accessed through the following link:
Results again this time were predicable. Democrats loved it. Time magazine called the Republican response "frosty," saying "Stand-up comics call it a tough crowd."
Released prior to the address, Rep. Paul Ryan's response stressed "work(ing) with the President to restrain federal spending," saying "(o)ur debt is out of control. What was a fiscal challenge is now a fiscal crisis."
His message was clear - reward the rich, soak working Americans, and fund America's war machine generously, an agenda enjoying bipartisan support, very much so by Obama clearly signaled in rhetoric and policy.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's response following Obama was also predictable, saying:
"What government should not do is pile on more taxation, regulation, and litigation that kills jobs and hurts the middle class....Today the federal government is simply trying to do too much....The circumstances of our time demand that we....restore and proper, limited role of government at every level."
Like Ryan and Obama, he's pro-business, pro-elitist, pro-war and anti-populist, but so are most Democrats - together responsible for harder than ever hard times for working Americans they plan to worsen, not ease.
Predicable Media Response
Newsweek editor Jon Meacham said, "There (were) least three moments where (Obama) expressed explicit humility." He and ABC News host George Stephanopoulos called his speech Reaganesque. NBC's Matt Lauer and Washington Post columnist Tom Shales also stressed humility, Shales saying, "Obama does have the ability to snatch humility from the jaws of hubris." He also mentioned his "directness, candor (and) neighborliness."
MSNBC's Chris Matthews caalled Obama "seductive" while Rachel Maddow said his address was "more of a CEO-style pep talk/prayer to the free market, to the nation building in our own nation." She added that he defined the political center "not so much by what's wrong with both sides, but by what Mr. Obama likes from each party's wish list." Other MSNBC hosts and analysts also expressed strong support.
So did Washington Post columnists Anne Komblut and Scott Wilson headlining, "State of the Union 2011: 'Win the future,' Obama says," adding:
"President Obama sought to rouse the nation from complacency....urging innovation and budget reforms that he said are vital to keep the United States a leader in an increasingly competitive world."
WP columnist Eugene Robinson headlined, "Hard to argue with Obama's State of the Union address," calling it "eloquent, post-partisan, (and) unit(ing)-not....divid(ing)."