On Tuesday night at the State of the Union Address, the President set his agenda going forward. It began with a stated commitment to the middle class and strengthening the roots of America.
As the President explained his vision, he left very little out. Passing every idea and solving every issue that the President explained in his speech would dramatically alter the way that America looks right now for the better.
77 percent of viewers said that they had a somewhat positive or very positive view of the President’s proposals and 71 percent believed the country would be better off with his proposed policies, according to instant-polling done by CNN/ORC.
The speech was clearly a success.
Polling aside, the speech was effective because it accomplished two missions: to put pressure on Congress to take legislative action, and to raise proposals and goals for Americans to think about. After mentioning climate change in the speech, Google search interest about climate change jumped 1,100 percent, according to Google.
The fact of the matter remains that too many people are uneducated on certain issues. They catch their crazy uncle talking about Obama being a radical. But when his plans and proposals actually surface and manage to cut through the garbage, large numbers of skeptics realize they fall in line with most of what the president believes. During his speech Obama brought Americans to a happy medium and gave us goals to encourage our government to reach for.
If Congress decides to only deal with half of what the President put on the plate for them, they’ll have an extremely busy term.
In time, every legal immigrant would have a fair and easy way of becoming a U.S. citizen and every child would be guaranteed a quality preschool education. Minimum wage would be set at nine dollars, buildings would be greener and more efficient, roads and bridges would be repaired, infrastructure would be modernized, and science and technological research would see more investments. The country would be energy independent and environmentally-friendly, dangerous guns would be harder to get, high schools would be reformed and effective, colleges would be cheaper and our workforce would be more skilled and educated.
Those were half of the president’s proposals.
Traditionally, politicians are criticized for being too bold during their campaigns and too lazy while they’re in office. Obama is looking to be the opposite.
Were there moments for disagreement? Absolutely. But at least there are specific, new ideas being brought to the table that can have a substantive debate.
Some of the ideas are doable now, and some need the House to be controlled by Democrats. Regardless, there is vision, there are facts, and there is a goal.
Senator Marc Rubio gave the official response to the Statue of the Union — a refutation which did not go well. The whole idea of refuting the State of the Union is bizarre and unwarranted, and it never goes well. The response normally features someone up and coming in the opposing party.
Here is where your crazy uncle may come in and say how great Rubio’s speech was, but in reality, there were too many errors for it to be taken seriously.
He criticized the government for being responsible for the housing and financial crisis, which has been refuted countless times. He criticized Obama’s goals to stop the effects of climate change as useless attempts to ‘control the weather.’ He talked about how much his mother meant to him; though he voted against the Violence Against Women Act. Most ironic was the way he condemned government despite going into huge details about how government helped him personally.
His fallacy that if Democrats support a lot of programs, Republicans automatically favor smaller government is wrong. Both parties want government action; they just want it in different places.
The speech was a successful ‘copy-and-paste’ from Mitt Romney’s campaign speeches. It lacked plans, facts, vision, attacked the President like a Chihuahua with rabies and it indicated that the GOP doesn’t plan on changing its message, just the messenger.
The broader Republican leadership is in a drought because it’s been a long time since they’ve had any good ideas. They didn’t learn any lessons from the financial collapse and are steamrolling ahead.
President Obama concluded his speech by saying that he wanted a new chapter to go forward in America. But the GOP and Rubio are just trying to find a different story-teller for the same horror novel.