Thursday, January 28, 2010

Another pretty speech, now how about some action ?

I don't have a lot to say about the State of the Union address the President gave last night. Other than the announcement of the spending freeze, there weren't really any surprises (and the only surprising thing about the freeze was that he decided to go ahead with it, there had already been reports he was going to announce one). Just more of the same old, same old. This was both good and bad. The good part of it was that he still seems committed to some very noble goals. The bad is that he still refuses to see that no matter what he does or says, every time he reaches his hand across the aisle, the other side is going to slap it away. The Republicans aren't interested in bipartisanship. They've made it clear since the day Obama was elected that they planned to oppose him at every turn, no matter what. Last night, the President made note of the fact that the Democrats hold one of the biggest majorities they've had in a long time. It would be nice if he started ACTING like he was aware of this fact. He needs to start pushing things through. He needs to pass what he can with the Democractic votes he has. If some of the Republicans want to join the Democrats on some of these things, great ! If not, then screw them !

Oh, and one other thing. The President talked about working with Congress and the Joint Chiefs on repealing the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy on gays in the military and allowing them to serve openly. This is something he promised to do during his campaign. And he has been getting a lot of flak from the LGBT community about the fact that he hasn't done so yet. So he threw them that bone last night, basically saying "I want to do this. Hopefully, Congress and the Joint Chiefs will be willing to help me with it." Here's the thing. He doesn't need to work with anyone on this. When Truman desegregated the Armed Forces, he did it by Executive Order. Obama could do the same. With one stroke of the pen, he could end discrimination in the military and allow men and women who want to serve their country to do so without having to hide who they are. So why not just do that ? Good question. When it comes to equal rights, he talks a good game, but doesn't seem willing to put his money where his mouth is.

Obama said in an interview recently that he would rather be a really good one-term President than a mediocre two-term President. If he doesn't start governing as if his party holds the White House and majorities in both houses of Congress (which they do), if he doesn't actually start fulfilling some of the promises he made to those on the left who were instrumental in getting him elected (things like closing Guantanamo and repealing DADT), then he will be a one-term President, but he won't have been a really good one.

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