Open Thread: State of the Union Reaction

The consensus from last night seems to be that Obama learned little from the midterm shellacking his party was handed in November. Despite paying lip service to spending cuts, deficit reduction, and market economics, Obama wholly embraced big government liberalism throughout the speech. The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes summed it up thusly:

Less than three months after voters across the country expressed their utter disdain for Washington and an overreaching government, Barack Obama’s second State of the Union address, and the mindless symbolism surrounding it, validated their judgment and demonstrated that many in the political class, beginning and ending with the president himself, learned nothing from that election.

As with any political speech, of course, Obama's was chock full of lofty rhetoric about rosy-sounding programs, with no mention of the costs or downsides of them (high speed rail comes to mind). And for all his talk about the deficit, the policies he prosposed were heavy on spending but light on savings, Associated Press fact-checkers reported:

The ledger did not appear to be adding up Tuesday night when President Barack Obama urged more spending on one hand and a spending freeze on the other.

Obama spoke ambitiously of putting money into roads, research, education, efficient cars, high-speed rail and other initiatives in his State of the Union speech. He pointed to the transportation and construction projects of the last two years and proposed "we redouble these efforts." He coupled this with a call to "freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years."

But Obama offered far more examples of where he would spend than where he would cut, and some of the areas he identified for savings are not certain to yield much if anything.

The speech was so boilerplate-liberal, in fact, that the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin proclaimed: "There is no new Obama, just a less snarly one."

This is of course a very small sample of reactions. Have you seen any take that you particularly liked? Share the link. What did you think of the speech overall?

NB Staff
NB Staff