Obama delivers a confrontational State of the Union address

“By using his State of the Union speech to draw sharp contrasts with Republicans on such high-profile issues as taxes and the housing market, President Obama opened an election-year debate on the role of government that could be more intense than any in decades,” according to the L.A. Times.

“Warning Congress that ‘I intend to fight obstruction with action,’ he painted a confrontational picture that stands in sharp contrast with the conciliatory approach taken by the last Democrat to seek a second term, Bill Clinton.

“In fact, Obama’s strategy more closely resembles that of George W. Bush in 2004, who used polarizing issues to increase turnout of his supporters and made few concessions to the center. The approach increases the chance that if he wins a second term, Obama could claim a mandate for his program. It also carries more risk of failure in a nation still deeply skeptical of government activism.

“Only a few months ago, many voters had seemed on the verge of writing Obama off. But in recent weeks, two developments have given him a chance to ask those voters for another look. One is the economy, which has started to show signs of improvement — declining unemployment, rising consumer confidence and reduced levels of household debt. The other is the way the Republican primary race recently has focused on the vast wealth (and relatively low tax burden) of the party’s sometimes front-runner, Mitt Romney.”

The rest of the article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

13 thoughts on “Obama delivers a confrontational State of the Union address”

  1. It wasn’t a 400-footer, but it definitely cleared the outfield wall. I’m sure it put some fear in the Republics hearing all that truth to counter their ocean of lies. It will have them backpedaling for a spell.

    A little too much Iraq war cheerleading but I guess you have to do some of that as POTUS to keep America’s war-mongers satiated. The can’t leave High School thing? Not sure that is very practical but maybe it’s worth a try.

    Mainly, he stuck it to the liars and I’m happy about that. And it was very necessary to shoot down the lie that those who oppose Republic policies that only benefit the 1% are “practicing the politics of envy”. What a load of hooey that is, thank you Barack for making that clear.

    1. Eric:

      It may have been long enough to sneak past the Pesky Pole at Fenway Park, but I fear that that’s the only part of any outfield fence in the Bigs where his speech would be considered a home run. He began strong and ended strong, but much of the middle was pretty pedestrian. Wish he could have done better, but it’s a long, long way to November.

  2. It is going to be an interesting year. Romney sure looks like toast (ouch). The angry southern white men have gathered at the gates, pitchforks in hand, Gingrich is their man; these are Quantrill’s Raiders, and their numbers are growing.

    It remains to be seen if Ron Paul takes the next step: fashioning himself a tinfoil conquistador helmet suitable for tilting at windmills both foreign and domestic, and going third party.

    Meanwhile in Europe, the policy shortcoming continue to bump off rational economic suggestions from Krugman and Soros: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/feb/23/how-save-euro/

    Can’t wait. Yippee.

  3. I think it is fascinating that the Tea Party, which is not really a party, is out with a response to the SOTU. In the opening they say, “many people have questioned whether the Tea Party is still in existence or if we have gone away”. I think they just answered their own question.

      1. …except we would run out of tinfoil if, in fact, all the voters decided to go there. Which they won’t. Alcoa stock is still a HOLD.

      2. John,
        Despite liking Ron Paul on many issues his domestic social issues are scary. They are based in total denial of the inequity in our system and around the world. This is why I am not a libertarian and registered Green Party. All the same civil liberties, decentralized power, and anti- militarism with being advocates of social justice on all levels. I hardly ever promote the Green Party but will give the ten key values of the worlds largest party.

        Grassroots democracy
        Social justice and equal opportunity
        Ecological wisdom
        Community-based economics
        Feminism and gender equality
        Respect for diversity
        Personal and global responsibility
        Future focus and sustainability

  4. Have you heard him sing?
    Seriously, soulful.
    He could have a great post-presidential run on America’s Got Talent.

  5. Here is what Ralph Nader had to say about the SOTU. I missed both the beginning and ending of the SOTU and need to go back and listen to it. Ralph Nader is on the mark but doesn’t bring into account the corruption that runs rampant within both parties that will not let rhetoric become reality. The perfect example is the democrats had the biggest majorities in living memory the first two years of the Obama administration and none of this rhetoric was aggressively pursued or done, why? Because enough representatives and agencies are captured by big industry which will not allow them to vote in the interests of the people over profit of big business. So everything remains rhetoric.

    Where Ralph gets it wrong is on OWS. President Obama didn’t mention the Occupy movement but the OWS definitely changed the national narrative from social cuts/ austerity to income inequality/ progressive taxation.

    As for now my vote in November is not going to the President, he has to earn it and hope you make him earn your vote too. Our votes are the only real bellwether for political parties to judge on what direction they should go. Nader has it exactly correct at the end when talking about the republican party creating a vacuum by shifting so far to the right the natural motion will be the democrats to fill it, which lands us even further into a corporatist state. Its up to us to force the democratic party to the left and become an actual opposition party not the republican light party.

  6. Confrontation seems to be peaking. I wonder if it is the solar flares? I rather doubt the following will stay up over at Rebane’s so I thought I’d drop a copy here. The image is of his blog, and a super tea Party style rant. Me: “You want quality kids, growing up to be quality adults, be a quality parent, and make sure the rest of your community consists of quality parents. [hint, minimum wage doesn’t make for a quality homelife, neither does stereotyping and dinigrating people for their station in life] If you use inferior materials, you get inferior daemons, and blaming teachers for ill prepared students from poverty stricken homes and the crashing economy, will result in God washing your mouth out with soap. Sorry George, but his tirade truly deserves this.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/keachie/6764361539/sizes/o/in/photostream/ peek-a-boo!”

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