I tried to find things to like about the 2015 State of the Union Address. Despite my frequent disappointment at the words and actions of this President, I would have been happy to find myself joining with other Americans in support of his noble vision for America. This was, after all, to be his “Legacy” speech, as he winds down the final two years of his presidency.
Alas, I was disappointed again. While Obama’s demeanor seemed more stately than in some earlier addresses, his message was defiant, contentious and relentlessly partisan. He was harshly critical of the Republicans, threatening to veto legislation this Congress passes, sneering “I won”; yet he had the audacity to say this:
“A better politics is one where we debate without demonizing each other; where we talk issues, and values, and principles, and facts, rather than “gotcha” moments, or trivial gaffes, or fake controversies that have nothing to do with people’s daily lives.”
Obama has again shown himself to be unable to work collaboratively, building a bridge across the aisle to engage both Republicans and Democrats in working toward a common mission. Again he shows himself unable to find a way to lead; he can only find a way to bludgeon, and so he uses aggressive messages like “I will not relent” and “I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts.”
His focus on what he calls “Middle Class Economics” promises greater government intrusion into private lives–establishing universal child care, making it more productive for a mother with young children to work outside the home, rather than establishing government programs which incentivize and protect mothers who would prefer to be their children’s primary caregiver during the early childhood years. “Middle Class Economics” means redistributing Americans’ wealth through tax programs to fund free community college tuition for all, and to impose what some are calling the failed Obamacare health care program.
Obama touted the importance of raising the minimum wage–a topic I’ve addressed before, explaining my view that there is a demand for starter jobs and for self-correction in a free market economy, and criticizing the Obama Administration’s drive toward greater income equalization.
Sometimes he spoke in code: “Let’s set our sights higher than a single oil pipeline” was Obama-speak for his resistance to the Keystone Pipeline, even though the Pipeline has received wide bipartisan support and the strong support of a majority of the American people. Joni Ernst (R-IA), in the Republican response to the State of the Union Address, said this about the Keystone jobs bill:
“President Obama has been delaying this bipartisan infrastructure project for years, even though many members of his party, unions, and a strong majority of Americans support it. The President’s own State Department has said Keystone’s construction could support thousands of jobs and pump billions into our economy, and do it with minimal environmental impact. We worked with Democrats to pass this bill through the House. We’re doing the same now in the Senate. President Obama will soon have a decision to make: will he sign the bill, or block good American jobs?”
He did at least address terrorism late in his speech. But this may be the point which critics will most likely fact-check and find wanting. The President said,
“We will continue to hunt down terrorists and dismantle their networks, and we reserve the right to act unilaterally, as we’ve done relentlessly since I took office to take out terrorists who pose a direct threat to us and our allies.”
In actuality, the President has expended considerable political capital with his plan to close GTMO and release suspected and actual terrorists to return to their former activities. In fact, the government’s own list includes at least 28 former detainees who have been released and who are known to have returned to terror cells where they have resumed activities opposing the United States.
And he continued to use the acronym ISIL, rather than the generally accepted ISIS.
“And tonight, I call on this Congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against ISIL.”
“I’m preparing the country to make sure that we deal with a threat from ISIL,” Obama said. ISIL stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Todd followed up with, “Obviously, if you’re going to defeat ISIS, you have used very much stronger language.” ISIS stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Later, after the interview ended, Todd told his panel, “Obviously we refer to it at NBC News as ISIS. The Obama administration, president, says the word ISIL. The last S stands for Syria, the last L they don’t want to have to stand for Syria.”
BUT WAIT: Foremost among my concerns, as I listened to the leader of the Free World outline his agenda last night, was what he didn’t say. He didn’t voice his support for the most vulnerable among us, the unborn. He said this:
“I want our actions to tell every child, in every neighborhood: Your life matters, and we are as committed to improving your life chances as we are for our own kids.”
But the neighborhood of the womb, where pre-born Americans take up residence, is off limits. Earlier in the day, shortly before the State of the Union Address, the White House drew a line in the sand–issuing a veto threat against the pro-life bill which would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, when a developing fetus is capable of feeling intense pain. H.R. 36, which enjoys wide Republican support, is expected to come for a vote tomorrow and is expected to pass. The White House statement regarding the bill reads:
“The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 36, which would unacceptably restrict women’s health and reproductive rights and is an assault on a woman’s right to choose. Women should be able to make t heir own choices about their bodies and their health care, and Government should not inject itself into decisions best made between a woman and her doctor.
If the President were presented with this legislation, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto this bill.”
But a veto of H.R. 36 would pit Obama against a majority of the American people, once again. A poll conducted by The Polling Company showed that if people are informed that there is scientific evidence that unborn children are capable of feeling pain at least by 20 weeks, 64% would support a law banning abortion after 20 weeks unless the mother’s life was in danger. Only 20% oppose such a law.
A report by LifeNews.com explains:
“Functioning neurological structures necessary for pain sensation are in place as early as 8 weeks, but certainly by 13 1/2 weeks of gestation. Sensory nerves, including nociceptors, reach the skin of the fetus before the 9th week of gestation. The first detectable brain activity occurs in the thalamus between the 8th and 10th weeks. The movement of electrical impulses through the neural fibers and spinal column takes place between 8 and 9 weeks gestation. By 13 1/2 weeks, the entire sensory nervous system functions as a whole in all parts of the body….
“…One leading expert in the field of fetal pain, Dr. Kanwaljeet S. Anand at the University of Tennessee, stated in his expert report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice, “It is my opinion that the human fetus possesses the ability to experience pain from 20 weeks of gestation, if not earlier, and the pain perceived by a fetus is possibly more intense than that perceived by term newborns or older children.”
At that stage, the developing human is just a few weeks away from “viability”–that point at which he or she could successfully survive outside the womb. But today, on the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision which has launched the American holocaust which has cost 55 million lives, Obama has his pen ready to veto any legislation which would impose controls and limits on women’s right to kill their children.
“It’s now up to us,” Obama said, “to choose who we want to be over the next 15 years, and for decades to come.” Obama’s vision for who we should be is woefully inadequate.