A couple of thoughts on the State Of The Union

President Obama’s recent State Of The Union speech is a the very definition of a target rich environment for political snipers and pundits. Provided in this piece are three targets that have been overlooked.  We chose our targets as examples that typify this Presidents speech tactics. President Obama has a habit of setting up straw men, using confused logic, and stating as fact items that are demonstrably untrue. In the speeches before and after the State Union, President Obama continues to utilize the same three techniques.   The use of straw men is so pronounced that I’m sure that future students will be able to identify an Obama speeches simply by counting the number of phrases like “some say” or “my critics say” followed by some preposterous statement.

 

The  State Of The Union address starts off classic Obama;


“It’s tempting to look back on these moments and assume that our progress was inevitable — that America was always destined to succeed. But when the Union was turned back at Bull Run, and the Allies first landed at Omaha Beach, victory was very much in doubt. When the market crashed on Black Tuesday, and civil rights marchers were beaten on Bloody Sunday, the future was anything but certain. These were the times that tested the courage of our convictions and the strength of our union. And despite all our divisions and disagreements, our hesitations and our fears, America prevailed because we chose to move forward as one nation, as one people


For those of you that don’t know – the Battle of Bull Run was one of the first major engagements of the civil war and it was a rout for the Union.  The President needs a course in logic. The United States DID NOT move forward as one nation or one people during the civil war.  We were a country fighting ourselves for gosh sake! To wit the conflict, the bloodiest in our history, is called “The Civil War” because we were not moving forward as one nation.  To this day remnants of the civil war from monuments to flags still cause a great deal of disunity in this country.  Did no one on the President’s team see this huge failure of logic or common sense?  Isn’t a course or two in logic de rigeur for constitutional lawyers?

 


“We can’t afford another so-called economic ”expansion” like the one from the last decade — what some call the ”lost decade” — where jobs grew more slowly than during any prior expansion, where the income of the average American household declined while the cost of health care and tuition reached record highs, where prosperity was built on a housing bubble and financial speculation.”


The phrase “lost decade” is a phrase that is most often used in reference to the 1990s in Japan. Understanding what happened here is extremely instructional considering our current economic morass. Long story short, after the economic boom on the 1980s the Japanese government tried (in vain) for ten years to spend it’s way to economic growth with the Japanese government going further into debt.  It was the over spending government stimulus that economist agree hampered and prevented a true recovery in Japan.  It is supremely ironic indicative of Obama logic that the President would use the phrase “lost decade” while pushing for the same policies for the US that created the lost decade in Japan.  Housing and tuition costs skyrocketed because of Government involvement in both and President Obama’s solution is more government involvement. What was Einstein’s definition of insanity again?

 

What is most disturbing for me is how convincingly the President can misrepresent his policies.

we need to invest in the skills and education of our people. Now, this year — this year, we’ve broken through the stalemate between left and right by launching a national competition to improve our schools. And the idea here is simple: Instead of rewarding failure, we only reward success. Instead of funding the status quo, we only invest in reform, reform that raises student achievement, inspires students to excel in math and science, and turns around failing schools that steal the future of too many young Americans, from rural communities to the inner city.


The entire paragraph about education sounds great, but to date the President has actually done the opposite.

 

With a super majority in Congress the Democrats withdrew funding for Washington D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, a program that was a proven success raising at risk minority student academic achievement.  The President and Congress have chosen to reward failure.  If the President truly believes what he says then the very first thing he should have asked Congress to do was to restore funding and expand this proven program.  He did not. The President’s rhetoric sounds great but his actions belie an stronger allegiance to the teacher’s union than to student success.

 

If the President Obama wishes to elicit American support for his policies he will have to abandon his current speech writers. The writers penchant for straw men and disregard for accuracy and logic make the speeches President Obama gives a laughing stock.  After the State of The Union it is the American people that jumped up and said “you lie” and that is far more damaging for a President than an unruly Congressman.