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State Of The Union 2013; Yeah, I Voted For The Right Guy

February 13, 2013

I love the State of the Union. I love it. I luuuurve it. Seriously, for policy geeks like me State of the Union night is like the Super Bowl, the Grammy Awards and prom all rolled up into one. Because I am a huge geek. this can’t be new information to anyone who has been a reader for any length of time.

let’s get into it:

SOTU

So that happened right up front. Once again, the president pointed to the LGBTQ community and said “I see you.”

Thank you Mr. President.

I’ve talked before about why being seen matters. It’s huge. It’s vital and it’s clear that the president isn’t going to abandon us. It’s huge.

He pivoted pretty quickly into the economy and the sequester, which I enjoyed because he tagged that policy with the words REPUBLICAN IDEA so hard he practically used the words, “you built that.”

I kind of wish he had. That would have been awesome! Not particularly adult or anything but still, awesome!

I’m going to skip the specifics of a lot of the economy section, not because it’s unimportant but because if you have heard any kind of political news for the past two years, you’ve heard it all already. It was not unlike his constantly evolving stump speech during the campaign or the two or three mini speeches he’s given on that subject since the campaign.

He did soundly rejected their ideas to gut social programs while keeping defense spending as it is. That was nice.

Here’s one very important things he said

A year and a half ago, I put forward an American Jobs Act that independent economists said would create more than one million new jobs. I thank the last Congress for passing some of that agenda, and I urge this Congress to pass the rest. Tonight, I’ll lay out additional proposals that are fully paid for and fully consistent with the budget framework both parties agreed to just 18 months ago. Let me repeat – nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.

It’s important because when I talk about Marco Rubio’s rebuttal later you’ll need to keep it in mind. That up there? It happened. He said it. It’s all over the internet.

Moving away from the economy, a bit, the president moved on to climate change.

But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.

The good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.

In other words, do your jobs or I’ll do it for you. Also, science? It’s a thing.

Then he went on to mention “American oil,” which is fictional and phrase that pisses me off so, no. Bad speechifying. Stop doing that.

However, he did propose both halving energy waste in American buildings and getting the US off the oil teat!

That is an outstanding idea! It’s also probably a futile one, but it’s something that is dear to my heart so I was happy to hear it.

The Fix-it First program he proposed made me happy as I’m planning to move to the Twin Cities and they had a bridge just fall into the river there a few years ago.

Dear brother-in-law,

A reminder. The time to talk about the bridge disaster is not while driving across a bridge over that same river.

I’ll never let you live it down,

Me

The College Scorecard thing seems like it could be an interesting idea but I fear it will be all sizzle and no steak. Conversations about education reform in the SOTU are generally surface at best and laughable at worst.

He hit immigration reform in a rational, factual way. This was another thing that I enjoyed hearing him do as it once again kept pressure on Congress to do what they say they are going to do.

Raising the minimum wage!

Coupling the minimum wage to the cost of living increase! HOLY CRAP LOOK AT THOSE LIBERAL POLICIES! That’s step one to a living wage people! Wheeeeeee!

LGBTQ rights!

Gender equality and a shout out to VAWA!

Barring the standard “energy independence, American exceptionalism” schtick, this speech ramped up in the middle and ran left, hard.

It was a delight!

Gun control! This was probably the last shadow we’ll see of “Yes We Can,” as he went into his list and then the call to arms.

Hadiya [Pendleton]’s parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote.

Gabby Giffords deserves a vote.

The families of Newtown deserve a vote.

The families of Aurora deserve a vote.

The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence – they deserve a simple vote.

They deserve a vote and the democrats and some of the many victims of gun violence in the chamber took up the chant.

I don’t care what you think of the president, he knows how to give a speech!

All of these moments were good but the one that really stuck me was this:

We should follow the example of a North Miami woman named Desiline Victor. When she arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours. And as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say. Hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line in support of her. Because Desiline is 102 years old. And they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read “I Voted.”

When Ms.Victor was born she was barred from the voting booth, both by nature of her gender and her race. Today, her president, her black president, said her name during the State of the Union and pointed to her and the whole chamber rose to its feet to applaud her.

people, I don’t care where you fall on the political spectrum, that is something that we can all be proud of.

Desiline Victor

She is the living embodiment of the work we have done and in his final remarks, the president pointed us forward to the work we have still to do.

And then Marco Rubio lied about pretty much everything and took a

drink of water.

SOTUNCrubio

That’s really the best summary of the speech I can come up with. Almost nothing he said was true.

Feel free to incessantly watch the water grab for 20 minutes. Then go check out what was trending on Twitter during his rebuttal. I did.

This may have been the best SOTU President Obama has ever given. and you know, Rubio is going to open SNL this week. Oh and Rand Paul spoke but no one seemed to care much which is exactly the correct about of attention to give him and the Tea Party.

This was a great speech. This was a brilliant, determined man who knows he has four years and no election.

Let’s go do a job.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 14, 2013 7:03 AM

    Deception makes you thirsty.
    And I loved the speech. I was very pleased to hear this: “It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country – the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love” although I did joke to my husband that I felt as though I were listening to a Unitarian Universalist sermon. In a good way.
    Bonus: No attention was given to that douchebag Ted Nugent. Well, not on CNN; probably on Fox, but at least there was no mention on CNN. I’m pleased.

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