Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Quick reaction to the SOTU.

The werewolf is still waiting to be impressed by the President. He thought Obama would pivot more aggressively toward the center in light of three recent electoral wallopings. Obama seemed flat, condescending, self-centered, vague, combative and a little out-of-touch. But then again, would you expect a classically liberal werewolf to see anything less?

Ups: The content about the expansion of the nuclear power grid and more off-shore drilling permits, along with earmark reform was long overdue. The werewolf can raise a paw to those in good conscious.

Neutral: Repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell. Interesting. The camera shot of Sec. Defense Gates applauding was very telling. The werewolf is deferential to the military on most personnel decisions and thinks certain things should be left to them internally. He's neutral on this issue, but thinks it is a bold move and wonders if it will go anywhere.

Downs: What was so shocking was what went unmentioned by the President. Where the hell was GITMO and the pending terror trials in NYC? Last year, the werewolf recalls these being cornerstones of the President's agenda. He missed his deadline on GITMO and has been perceived as very weak on security with his administration's propensity to mirandize all foreign Jihadists.

The slavish attachment for archaic climate legislation as the quid-pro-quo to being pro nuke and oil exploration. Climate change science gets shadier and less reputable with each passing day. It needs to be ejected, until a relevant and meaningful rationale for it can be advocated with a straight face.

The doublespeak about lobbyists. The president promised no lobbyists, yet, he hired dozens into his administration at the get-go. He should be called out for that.

Are the only advocates of that heinous healthcare bill the president and the Democratic leadership? The president was given the golden opportunity to recognize how ugly his pet project had become, yet, he doubled down on it. Brave or retarded? His ears must really be tin at this point.

The most bizarre and strangest part was the dressing down of the supreme court over the favorable 1st amendment ruling on campaign-finance reform last week. Has a US president ever directly admonished the supreme court during a SOTU? (The werewolf doesn't know) What's really galling is that Obama is the first serious presidential candidate in recent memory to bypass the public financing of his campaign. The hypocrisy and incongruity of his attack on the pro-1st amendment ruling issued by the supreme court has to be one of the most stark moments in political hypocrisy. Even liberals have to cringe at that moment.

There were still some blame Bush diatribes. At this point, with such massive Democratic majorities and an exacerbation of our collective economic woes, blaming Bush displays a lack of internal confidence and is a rhetorical slight-of-hand aimed at the gullible and partisan audiences. If he were half the man he claimed to be, he'd step up and take ownership of his presidency. That's we expect of our leaders.

The werewolf doesn't have the energy to address to jobs double-speak at this point. It all left something to be desired.

Finally, Gov. McDonnell provided a great contrast to both Obama and last year's disappointing rebuttal by Jindal. His star will be shining brighly for some time.

There is much more the werewolf would like to dissect. However, tomorrow's op-ed's and political coverage will do a much better job than your humble exiled correspondent.


  1. I think Charles Krauthammer has put forward a meaningful rationale for being worried about climate change: We can't reasonably expect to keep pumping as much CO2 into the atmosphere as we do and not expect SOMETHING to happen. So I think we should be worried about our polluting, even if we should also be skeptical of green-on-the-outside, red-on-the-inside environmentalists who make up numbers to increase state control over the means of production.

    As for SCOTUS: I'm still wondering how to react to that. On one hand, it seemed totally out of place. On the other, it's not like the courts don't take their fair share of shots at the executive and legislature. So I'd say it was definitely tacky, even if not quite tyrannous. And I too was wondering if there were precedents...

    About McDonnell: Why the heck is the Republican response coming from a state capitol? Is this the Virginia response to the U.S. SOTU? I think that's weird. In fact, I think the whole idea of a response is weird, and a bit tacky itself. When did that tradition start?

  2. Agreed. The problem with the Climate Bill as it currently stands as it really has no meaningful emissions reduction components to it. Beyond pimping the carbon-offset fraud, creating another burdensome tax regime, it creates skewed incentives for bio-fuels, ethanol, while raising prices on the current grid. Not kosher. Also, I think it goes without saying that seeking utility via greater efficiencies is desirable, but it doesn't need to be done via the doomsday cult of global warming. The link between emissions and temperatures grows more dubious each passing day. De-link the two, drop the shoddy science, and then look for honest ways to promote a desirable goal.

    It's fine for the executive to take pot shots at the Supreme Court. But to dress them down at the SOTU. Creepy, bullyish, and a total break in precedent. It was also done on very flimsy ground.

    Great point on the McDonnell response. I liked the contrast between the two halls of government and didn't think to see it a Virgina response. I saw it as trying to break away from the bland, and underwhelming Jindal blunder. I think the response to the SOTU has deep democratic society roots going back to the shadow ministries issuing responses in Britain(pulled out of my ass). If executed well, I like them, but wonder when they became a fixture of U.S. Politics.

  3. Nice review and analysis of SOTU, Werefolf. I did not find very much press coverage of Gov McDonnell's response--but maybe this shouldn't come as a surprise.

    At the end of the day, though, I think the SOTU speech is normally a wash. People won't remember it one way or another two months from now.