By Dave Andrusko
Granted, pro-lifers would not have been expected to anticipate much from President Obama’s State of the Union address last night. Indeed, for that matter, given his struggles over most of the last year, probably only his staunchest supporters could’ve expected (hoped for?) an extra-base hit from the President.
Instead, it’s arguable that Mr. Obama would have been better served if he never left the dugout. Consider….
· The Republican response, delivered by pro-life House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), was head and shoulders better. While the President’s remarks were not as off-putting as his minions suggested in advance they would be, they were not exactly an invitation to “Come now, let us reason together.” He didn’t exactly say my way or the highway, but he came close.
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By contrast Rep. McMorris Rodgers’ address was uplifting and congenial. (See “The true state of the union lies in your heart and in your home”—Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers) Media outlets you would never expect to have a kind word for any Republican—let alone a Republican woman—appreciated that her speech was essentially flawless. If you missed her speech, you can watch it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzQcJmswOvk.
· As many have already commented, several media outlets (including the Washington Post and the Associated Press) fact-checked the President’s remarks. Mr. Obama was hammered for (among other sins of commission and omission) cherry-picking statistics, subtly taking credit for things he shouldn’t have, grossly misrepresenting the “success” of Healthcare.gov, and the like.
· Again, even if you are an Obama partisan, when he finished his 65 minute speech last night you might be tempted to ask the same question the National Journal’s Ron Fournier began his analysis with: “Is that all there is?” Pretty small potatoes for Mr. Obama’s sixth State of the Union address.
· I was busy with other things, so I didn’t see the run-up yesterday to the speech. A Washington Times editorial this morning noted that a “promotional video put Mr. Obama’s speech in the context of other great remarks delivered to joint sessions of Congress,” including those from Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter. The Times hit the nail on the head:
“With perhaps the exception of Mr. Carter’s ‘America held hostage’ remarks, Mr. Obama has never risen to the occasion to match either the importance or eloquence of these key presidential speeches. The speeches that people remember are moving statements of principle, delivered at just the right moment. Mr. Obama just can’t find it in him to rise above the endless political campaign. For him, matters of principle are just words for the moment at hand. He’ll talk about bipartisanship and promise to work with leaders on both sides of the aisle, only to go it alone with “executive action” that skirts the will of Congress and snubs the Constitution and its checks and balances. Mr. Obama asks not what he can do for his country, but how his country can reflect him.”
Much more could be said, but to what end?