Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of the Union

I was too lazy to take notes during the speech. I thought it started a little slow, but ended up doing all the right things it needed to. He was talking straight. He backed up his Democratic initiatives, said he'd stand strong on them, said he'd be open to Republican ideas and offered lots of tax cuts that they didn't even applaud for (he even mentioned that once). He went after the banks and the Republicans also didn't applaud. Good luck with that. He also called out the Republicans on being obstructionist but framed it as a problem in all of Washington.

He even called out the Supreme Court on the Citizens United decision (of which I expect to have a long post about next week), saying "Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests – including foreign corporations – to spend without limit in our elections." and cameras caught Justice Alito shaking his head and mouthing "that's not true". I think whether you agree with the First Amendment principles of the majority or not, Obama's statement is still clearly true.

Good speech, we'll see what comes of it.


kim said...

I almost expected Stevens to stand and applaud when Obama railed against the Citizens decision. Looking forward to your post on it.

Richard said...

I am always looking forward to your SCOTUS posts. I am glad he called them out on it.

I thought that the speech was powerful and frank. I really want to believe he can do the things that he says. I liked that he reminded us of the dire situation he was handed as when he became president, and then specifically outlined some of the successes that his administration has mad. I wonder if people forget all of that.

I liked the line that if the Republican Senators are going to filibuster everything then they have to lead too. It seemed like he was being tough, but also saying to them, come and help instead of being obstructionist.

It was amusing to watch who stood and clapped for what. I worry that most people are very entrenched in their positions and it might be difficult to sway them to a different view.

Let's see what happens.

kim said...

I've learned that Stevens wasn't in the audience for the speech. Too bad, it might have been a nice counterpoint to Alito's reaction.

Howard said...

SCOTUS Justices and Military officials are not supposed to show any reaction to the speech. They are supposed to remain neutral. So some pundits (like Glenn Greenwald) have jumped on Alito for such a breach of protocol and how it indicates his extreme ideology. I just noted it as an interesting point, but don't make much more of it.

I mean we know how he feels about the topic based on his vote. So there's nothing new here. Maybe he was referring to Obama saying it opens the door to foreign companies influencing elections and the ruling left that out. If so, you could read that either way, but until the court rules on it explicitly, then Obama's claim is correct.

Roman said...

I was about to listen when my son wanted to play some soccer... so, priorities being important, we played some ball in front of TV. So, I missed most of it, however, it was nice to play ball in front of non-idiot president.

Howard said...


Howard said...

More on Alito and Obama's claims: