Jan 25, 2012

Obama Delivers a SOTU Speech Outlining His Campaign Themes. [But, will he revert back to a soft, compromising, and ineffectual style?]

Good speech by the president in the SOTU address, which revealed the main themes of his re-election campaign. Obama is a centrist and will play to the so-called independents and the "floaters"--which, for now, have left but many can be convinced to return, especially given the Republican challengers this year.

There are many reasons why we progressives can't stand the conservatives and this loony, extremist Republican party. Yes, that party whose ideology and public policy proposals go against the vast majority of Americans, in spirit and as public policy.

Obama talked about those American values that unite us. Well, let's see, what are those values, besides nationalism, patriotism, American exceptionalism-center of the universe, "support the troops," motherhood and apple pie?

I'll take them in order as Obama mentioned them, without the president being blunt and drawing his highlight pen to expose the Republicans as the ones against those American values.

1. Tuition assistance and generally the cost of education. Access to opportunity, and, of course, having an educated population is good for the US. The Republicans are against grants, tuition assistance, and want the ..marketplace to price education.

2. Immigration. Well, need I say more? OK, I will. The GOP is hostage to a shrinking but still xenophobic base that is more concerned with "border security" and arresting and expelling anyone who lacks documentation (heck, anyone who can't produce papers on demand). Giving amnesty to all those who have benefited from a hard-working, low-paid labor pool is fine with the Republicans, but giving a path to citizenship to those who have been here more many years, are productive, have paid taxes, and have stayed out of trouble, well, this is a no-no for the Republicans.

3. Public funds for scientific research. What is science anyway? It's just some theories who have gaps and the ..liberal scientists are conjuring up hoaxes on the American people... according to many Republicans. We have no money for science, we must balance the budget... unless we have to pay for another war against Iran. The Republicans are against funding for science and exploration, and research for alternative energy, etc.

4. Public projects. We built them even during the Great Depression and under sensible Republicans like Eisenhower. Not any more according to Republicans today. Infrastructure, communications, the internet, national parks, and even electrification were some of the deeds the GOP has opposed.

5. Regulations about consumer protection, conservation, environment, reckless Wall Street practices, etc, are all opposed by the Republicans.

6. Extending the payroll tax breaks to the middle class workers is opposed by the Republicans. Yet the GOP is in favor of keeping the Bush tax cuts for the millionaires!

7. The super rich like Romney pay a lower percentage of taxes than the middle class. I don't see why the millionaires (and anyone who earns over that amount) couldn't pay more. The Republicans oppose that, even when the country was about to default in paying its bills (many expenses a Repub prez and a Repub Congress authorized), because the GOP wanted to shove it to anyone (98% of Americans) but the rich.

What I find fascinating is that a major political party can advocate for policies that go against the interests of the vast majority of Americans, and even against what the public wants right now [ie, spend to create jobs as opposed to balancing the budget], and yet this party is allowed to have so mach political power. The Republicans should not be allowed to govern, because they don't believe the government can do anything well or any good--unless it's about fighting the evil doers. Oh, and tell us how not to fuck.

It's going to be an interesting campaign season. Have I mentioned that I endorsed Newt for the Repub nomination?  I could go with Mittens but I think the campaign for the general election might be too much about style and personalities. However, with Newt being the GOPer, we may finally have the debate about the kind of conservatism inappropriate for in America of the 21st century and beyond. It's about time the conservative vision and policy proposals are clearly defeated and dismissed for good. Maybe then a more modern Republican party can emerge. That would be good for the country.