And if this preview just released by the White House is any indication, President Obama will again go full-bore humane Republican in tonight's demagogy:
“It is our generation’s task, then, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class.
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.There he goes again with the personal responsibility narrative so beloved of the ruling class. We are warned that only by responsibly working our asses off for the Big Boss can we possibly thrive. The implication is that the weak, the infirm, the elderly, the chronically unemployed, the marginalized, the servant class and the mentally challenged do not deserve a place in our great exceptional meritocracy. This homage to Horatio Alger feeds right into the GOP mythos of Makers vs Takers. The nod to gay rights is meant to appease the pseudoliberals.
It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few; that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation of ours.”This is pure Obama doublespeak. The government will work on behalf of the many and not just the few, as has been its wont. But, but, but -- you have to be an entrepreneur and make it on your own, because traditional employment no longer really exists. Don't even think of relying on direct hiring by the government, either. If you don't have what it takes for a corporate hoarder to give you a job due your own lack of "individual initiative", fuggedaboutit. If you are feeling mentally depressed, your president wants you to snap out of it by sheer force of will. Obama has already cut the federal government workforce, and has actually frozen the pay of all federal employees.
Re-reading this segment of his speech actually makes me suspect it was plagiarized from any one of 1000 identical Thomas Friedman columns. To wit: only the above-average children of Lake Woebegone will succeed, because the only way to succeed is get high-tech, get on the Intertoobz and start your own start-up. Lift yourself up by your bootstraps, people! The guvmint will cheer you on from the sidelines. You may even become a prop in a presidential campaign-style speech as he travels the grand landscape of Amerika.
“A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs – that must be the North Star that guides our efforts. Every day, we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation: How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?”Uh-oh. Whenever a politician mentions a guiding star, it's like the Bible. He doesn't intend for you to take him literally. The way to attract more jobs to our shores smells like a ploy for the tax- evading, deregulated corporations to repatriate their overseas profit stashes at little to no cost to themselves. It sounds like the corporations are going to get even more government subsidies to train more American wage slaves, get Obamacare waivers and the like. I am anxious to hear how he will ensure that "hard work" (laboring till you die? 60-hour work weeks?) will translate into a decent living. Will he propose a federal minimum wage? I am waiting with baited breath.
“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.”Uh-oh again. It is the knell of doom that he mentions The Deficit at a time where there is a humanitarian crisis of unemployment, underemployment and downright poverty. I can't wait to hear about this jobs program that is not paid for and conforms to the cruel austerity package laid out in the recent hostage-taking negotiations. He again embraces the Republican credo of Small Government. Nope -- it does not appear that the federal government will be doing any hiring. Nor does it appear that your father's Democratic Party will be making any great comeback tonight.
Hope I am wrong. But unless he suggests stuff like scrapping the cap on Social Security FICA contributions and imposing a financial transaction tax on Wall Street trades, tonight's speech will just be more droning on and on and on. And if he suggests "entitlement reforms" such as chained CPI, that impose even more suffering on already struggling people, I am going to throw my sock at the TV. I am not so stupid as to actually throw a heavy object at my TV, because then I might miss out on all the talking heads talking up The New Improved Aggressive Obama.
Suggestions for fun: take a drink or throw a sock every time he mentions Middle Class, Deficit, Fair, Responsible, Balanced Approach, and Future.