SOTU II Review: Same As It Ever Was

I’ve just finished reading the SOTU for the second time and cannot seem to get rid of the taste of vanilla out of my mouth.  The Talking Heads lyric referenced in the title really says it all about this speech. Predictable and the same thing he’s been saying since he took office.  Sections of it are trite and contain anecdotes that would make someone juiced up on 10 shots of espresso yawn in spectacular style. The bulk of it is about what we’ve come to expect from Obama – condescension and faux American spirit.

Here’s my run down of this repeat of the SOTU I and every other “speech” he has given since — and I am starting to use the term “speech” lightly around this man. It is clear he likes to have a heavy hand in the writing of them but they are less speeches and more like a repetitive manifesto or memoir.

No Crisis going to waste

“And as we mark this occasion, we’re also mindful of the empty chair in this chamber, and we pray for the health of our colleague — and our friend -– Gabby Giffords.”

“But there’s a reason the tragedy in Tucson gave us pause. Amid all the noise and passion and rancor of our public debate, Tucson reminded us that no matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is a part of something greater -– something more consequential than party or political preference.”

I know we got shellacked and will barely admit it

“Now, by itself, this simple recognition won’t usher in a new era of cooperation. What comes of this moment is up to us. What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow.”

“We will move forward together, or not at all -– for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics.”

“At stake right now is not who wins the next election -– after all, we just had an election.”

I do not believe in American Exceptionalism but I’ll fake it for the cameras

“It’s whether we sustain the leadership that has made America not just a place on a map, but the light to the world.”

“What’s more, we are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea -– the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny. That’s why centuries of pioneers and immigrants have risked everything to come here.”

My nose is growing with every word I utter

“Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again.”
“Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans’ paychecks are a little bigger today.”

“Already, we’re seeing the promise of renewable energy.”

I’ll talk about the jobs I’ve sent overseas and blame our lack of education and innovation

I’ve heard it in the frustrations of Americans who’ve seen their paychecks dwindle or their jobs disappear”

“Meanwhile, nations like China and India realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science. They’re investing in research and new technologies.”

I will drag out Sacred Cows in an attempt to inspire you to think I am still the answer if we give up our way of life as we know it for my personal vision of a level playing field

“The future is ours to win. But to get there, we can’t just stand still. As Robert Kennedy told us, “The future is not a gift. It is an achievement. Sustaining the American Dream has never been about standing pat. It has required each generation to sacrifice, and struggle, and meet the demands of a new age.”

I’m going to pull out an intangible concept to focus on that resonates my message that Together We Thrive without actually saying the words

“The first step in winning the future is encouraging American innovation. None of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will be or where the new jobs will come from.”

And I’m going to boldly state something I have impeded that last two years as the solution to that intangible concept.

“Our free enterprise system is what drives innovation.”

Then I will make reference to Soviet accomplishments to illustrate my point and in the same sentence show my biased view of history.

“Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik, we had no idea how we would beat them to the moon.”

This will of course tie into my Green Dreams and personal future financial windfall.

“This is our generation’s Sputnik moment. Two years ago, I said that we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven’t seen since the height of the Space Race. And in a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal. We’ll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology -– (applause) — an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people.”

Now I must appease my base and appear to not be spending anymore money.

“We need to get behind this innovation. And to help pay for it, I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies.”

And I better mention jobs again, even though two companies I bailed out just sent a combined 100 million in investments to India and Mexico.

“Now, clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy jobs if businesses know there will be a market for what they’re selling.”

I’ll need more czars for this endeavor to improve our technology by sending jobs abroad.

“Maintaining our leadership in research and technology is crucial to America’s success.”

But I have to blame the American people and push education spending again for our shortcomings in innovation. They won’t question spending millions on education with no real plan.

“The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations. America has fallen to ninth in the proportion of young people with a college degree. And so the question is whether all of us –- as citizens, and as parents –- are willing to do what’s necessary to give every child a chance to succeed.”

I’ll even give it a title so Michelle and I can have matching programs that over-reach and indoctrinate. No one can resist a focus on the children and education. Re-election here I come.

“That’s why instead of just pouring money into a system that’s not working, we launched a competition called Race to the Top. To all 50 states, we said, “If you show us the most innovative plans to improve teacher quality and student achievement, we’ll show you the money.”

I’ll blame the Governors for the mess our education system is in – they have no power over me.  I’ll replace No Child Left Behind with a program that spends twice as much and gets less results.

“Race to the Top is the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation. For less than 1 percent of what we spend on education each year, it has led over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning. And these standards were developed, by the way, not by Washington, but by Republican and Democratic governors throughout the country. And Race to the Top should be the approach we follow this year as we replace No Child Left Behind with a law that’s more flexible and focused on what’s best for our kids.”

I am not going to change my goal of giving amnesty to millions of potential new democratic party voters. Who cares if they are sucking our infrastructure dry and get benefits our legal citizens are being denied. I’ll change my position in a later paragraph and support securing the border for show.

“One last point about education. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of students excelling in our schools who are not American citizens. Some are the children of undocumented workers, who had nothing to do with the actions of their parents. They grew up as Americans and pledge allegiance to our flag, and yet they live every day with the threat of deportation. Others come here from abroad to study in our colleges and universities. But as soon as they obtain advanced degrees, we send them back home to compete against us. It makes no sense.”

I’ve wrecked the country so I am going to state the obvious and take no blame.

“The third step in winning the future is rebuilding America.”

China and other nations who took all our high paying jobs can keep them, we’re going to focus on making the United States a nation of ditch diggers – paid with tax money  of course.

“So over the last two years, we’ve begun rebuilding for the 21st century, a project that has meant thousands of good jobs for the hard-hit construction industry. And tonight, I’m proposing that we redouble those efforts.”

Here comes my “pie-in-the-sky-it-I-don’t-ever-expect-it-to-really-happen” idea which I also used in a few other speeches because well, it sounds good.

“Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail.”

Now I will put the onus of the 800 pound gorilla that is the IRS in the lap of Congress, where it will never be addressed because my party will never agree to the rich paying the same as everyone else.

“So tonight, I’m asking Democrats and Republicans to simplify the system. Get rid of the loopholes. Level the playing field. And use the savings to lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years –- without adding to our deficit. It can be done.”

I’ll make it look like I am keeping busy trying to streamline government by creating yet another commission whose recommendations I will ignore and question.

“To reduce barriers to growth and investment, I’ve ordered a review of government regulations. When we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them.”

Here comes my righteous indignation part of my speech: Health Care. I’ll compromise only if I get what I want and I will veto any repeal that comes to my desk. I don’t care that it’s breaking the bank and the nation hates it, it’s what I want in my utopia.

“Now, I have heard rumors that a few of you still have concerns about our new health care law. (Laughter.) So let me be the first to say that anything can be improved. If you have ideas about how to improve this law by making care better or more affordable, I am eager to work with you. We can start right now by correcting a flaw in the legislation that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses.”

I will Blame Bush.

“We are living with a legacy of deficit spending that began almost a decade ago.”

I will then repeat a promise I failed to deliver on last SOTU, but it sounds good and campaigny.

“So tonight, I am proposing that starting this year, we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years.”

I will repeat that white lie about what I’ve cut already and of course, suggest we cripple our nation’s defense again.

“This freeze will require painful cuts. Already, we’ve frozen the salaries of hardworking federal employees for the next two years. I’ve proposed cuts to things I care deeply about, like community action programs. The Secretary of Defense has also agreed to cut tens of billions of dollars in spending that he and his generals believe our military can do without.”

I will hang anyone out to dry who talks about cutting the biggest entitlement program and fund leach we have. You will do it my way or I will demonize you as my minions have begun to with Paul Ryan.

“To put us on solid ground, we should also find a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations”

I will paint the Republicans with the same brush because they can’t respond right now and it makes me look like a uniter despite the fact we just unzipped our fly and are now exposed. I will ignore that just because they are not deployed does not mean they won’t make more and sell them to those who want us dead.

“Because Republicans and Democrats approved the New START treaty, far fewer nuclear weapons and launchers will be deployed”

I am still going to bow to human rights violators, simper to terrorist countries and in general slap the United States around at the U.N.

“With our European allies, we revitalized NATO and increased our cooperation on everything from counterterrorism to missile defense.”

“This March, I will travel to Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador to forge new alliances across the Americas.”

“Because of a diplomatic effort to insist that Iran meet its obligations, the Iranian government now faces tougher sanctions, tighter sanctions than ever before”

I will make a token gesture to honor our troops, whom I wish I could dismantle totally.

“We must never forget that the things we’ve struggled for, and fought for, live in the hearts of people everywhere. And we must always remember that the Americans who have borne the greatest burden in this struggle are the men and women who serve our country.”

I’ll also have to put in a word about DADT. Meh. If I don’t support their marriages, why would I support them serving? Oh yeah, my base expects it and it is one more way to undermine the military.

“Our troops come from every corner of this country -– they’re black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American. They are Christian and Hindu, Jewish and Muslim. And, yes, we know that some of them are gay. Starting this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love.”

Now I will start ramping up my speech and invoking my campaign voice as I attempt to channel MLK, the second sacred cow I have dragged into this address. The anecdotes associated with it will only garner an anticipatory yawn, I wonder why?

“That dream is why I can stand here before you tonight. That dream is why a working-class kid from Scranton can sit behind me. (Laughter and applause.) That dream is why someone who began by sweeping the floors of his father’s Cincinnati bar can preside as Speaker of the House in the greatest nation on Earth. (Applause.)

That dream -– that American Dream -– is what drove the Allen Brothers to reinvent their roofing company for a new era. It’s what drove those students at Forsyth Tech to learn a new skill and work towards the future. And that dream is the story of a small business owner named Brandon Fisher.”

I will sum up with more fluff about America being great which I do not believe and then invoke God’s name three times in order to sound convincing even though I refuse to put my hand on my heart at the playing of our anthem or wear an American Flag pin on my lapel.

“The idea of America endures. Our destiny remains our choice. And tonight, more than two centuries later, it’s because of our people that our future is hopeful, our journey goes forward, and the state of our union is strong.

Thank you. God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.”

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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