Thursday, January 28, 2010


I listened to the SOTU speech tonight and still find it very refreshing to have a president who can give a speech easily, fluently and with real words in it.

The contents of the speech were not bad, either. The president focused on jobs which was needed. He covered the question of Wall Street Banksters and the health care mess fairly well, from the PR angle. I personally enjoyed his jab at the SCOTUS for their silly activism from the bench and a similar jab at the Republicans for refusing to hold the hand extended across the aisle.

Psst, Barack. They will never grab it except for the purposes of sawing it off.

There were also actual proposals: More money for Community Colleges, help for people paying back their student loans, tax breaks for small businesses and so on.

For us feminazis there was a mention of women in Afghanistan and Iraq (I suppose it was for us because women in Afghanistan and Iraq don't vote here) and the enforcement of the Equal Pay Act. I would have liked Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to be mentioned, too, because men and women far too seldom actually have exactly the same job classification due to gender segregation at work.

I didn't like the mention of offshore oil and gas exploration. It reminded me of the "Drill, Baby, Drill!" Palin campaign. But at least it was combined with a stern word to the climate change deniers.

Speeches are not acts, of course. But it wasn't a bad speech, on the whole. Indeed, it might be the best Republican SOTU I've ever heard.

A couple of Echidne questions, though:

1. When did "small businesses" become the most quoted interest group in a presidential speech? I understand that small business employ a lot of people. But the majority of new small businesses also go bankrupt in five years and small businesses often don't offer retirement benefits or health insurance.

2. What's wrong with the ideas of justice and fairness? I noticed Obama used "freedom and human dignity" as the desirable attributes. But those smack a little wingnutty to me, given the way the Pope always uses "dignity" to explain why women should not be free and the way Bush always talked about "freeance and peance."
Oops! I almost forgot. DADT must go. A good thing.