The Startling contrast between President Obama’s and Senator Rubio’s remarks last night

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-life Sen. Marco Rubio and Pro-abortion President Barack Obama

Pro-life Sen. Marco Rubio and Pro-abortion President Barack Obama

Life is full of interesting twists and occasional awkward moments. But pro-life Senator Marco Rubio is handling his faux pas last night (while responding to the President’s State of the Union Address, Rubio unexpectedly grabbed a bottle to take a sip of water) with humor and grace.

No big deal—and it was funny—so who cares that social media predictably went wild. But we can only hope that the substance of what the Republican Senator from Florida had to say doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. It was very important.

For pro-lifers there were three things—one attitudinal, the other two comments–that provided clear differences.

First, the contrast with President Obama, whose petulance and small-bore agenda was embarrassing. Sen. Rubio had something to say and he delivered it in the spirit of optimism that instantly made you think of Ronald Reagan.

Second, the President is very uncomfortable with anything that suggests the United States is exceptional, let alone unique. Sen. Rubio thinks otherwise, and in the same sentence he affirmed that special quality, he also affirmed that the American dream is for everyone:

“But America is exceptional because we believe that every life, at every stage, is precious, and that everyone everywhere has a God-given right to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them.”

It struck me if, like President Obama, you don’t think the United States is unique, why would you think each individual human being at every stage– born and unborn–is unique?

Third, ObamaCare. Sen. Rubio pointed out the promise of the “Affordable Care Act” is not being kept, nor could it. To elaborate on what he said, we have talked often about how ObamaCare means abortion insurance will be heavily subsidized by federal taxpayers and how federal bureaucrats will be authorized to ration life-saving medical treatment.

As I re-read the speech just now, something else jumped out at me. Near the end, Sen. Rubio said

“In the short time I’ve been here in Washington, nothing has frustrated me more than false choices like the ones the President laid out tonight.”

And that, of course, is the sum and substance of how President Obama “negotiates” with Republicans. Whatever he promises is sweetness and light, thwarted by the bitter and dark impulses of a recalcitrant GOP opposition in the House of Representatives.

There will always be a throwaway line about mutual respect and how both parties are responsible for [fill in the blank], but this is wholly insincere and completely at odds with the basic Obama formulation: I am right, you are wrong, get out of my way.

Assessment? The First State of the Union address of Obama’s Second Term was Third-Rate.

Senator Rubio’s rebuttal was everything the President’s SOTU address was not.