Final thoughts on SOTU

Three posts are enough. But let me show you two images from the speech, both sent by readers:

The story here is not J-Nap resting her eyes (or being transported into a happy place by Obama’s transcendent presence), but the expression on Rahm Emmanuel’s face.

He seems rapt -as in enraptured- doesn’t he?

I’m not sure if his expression is one of parental pride or deep devotion or basic smugness, but overall it’s cat-with-mouthful-of-canary to me. It begs a caption, so be my guest, but do observe the houserules and also resist the urge toward obscenities.

Then this one:

A screen-grab, I think. Is it a snarl? I can’t tell.

And one final look-around at reactions.

Ed Morrissey looks at what the AP calls “Ten Whoppers” and finds an 11th they were loath to mention:

Let me add at least one other whopper that the AP doesn’t mention. Obama repeatedly insisted that he inherited massive budgetary problems from George Bush, but the Con Law professor may want to retake his high-school civics class. Congress passes budgets, not the President, and the last three budgets came from Democrats. In three years, they increased annual federal spending by $900 billion, while the admittedly profligate and irresponsible Republican Congresses under George Bush increased annual federal spending by $800 billion — in six years. And during the last three years before taking office as President, Obama served in the Senate that passed those bills, and he voted for every Democratic budget put in front of him.

Gatewaypundit has John McCain mouthing “Blame it on Bush”.

Obama will continue to blame everything on Bush for the rest of his presidency, as Jim Geraghty says. He’ll do it because the press will allow him to do it; they will never be done shoving the knife in Bush. He’ll do it for as long as it works. And for some Americans, it will always work.

As I wrote last night, one could argue that President Bush “inherited” Al Qaeda from Bill Clinton, who did little-to-nothing in response to all of Al Qaeda’s provocations throughout the 1990’s and unto the USS Cole bombing. But never, not once, did Bush ever say, “I inherited this…” It’s time for Obama to become a man.

Was he channeling Bush even as he repeatedly dissed him? Or was he channeling Limbaugh?

John Hawkins has a very good round up of reactions from the right.

Race-fixated Chris Matthews clarifies. But he is still race-fixated. And he doesn’t realize that his fixation makes him a racist. He -like many in America- have come to think that racism is only defined by the negative – for example, “whites who hate non-whites” – when actually a racist is one who sees race first and forms his opinions and values from that, for good or for evil. We’re going to get to that place Martin Luther King dreamed about, where race is no longer a factor in whether a man or woman fails or succeeds, but we’re not there yet. And we won’t get there as long as people like Matthews (and, to be fair, pretty much anyone who cut his political teeth in the 1960′s) can’t get past looking at a person and immediately associating them to a group identity (and relating to them thusly) instead of simply seeing the individual before them.

While we’re daring to talk race-in America: It speaks volumes (if you read to the end of this post) about the kneejerk mindset of too many, particularly on the left, that some can look at Bob McDonnell’s response to the State of the Union, and see the people sitting there only as “props,” tokens and wallpaper because they just can’t imagine that the multicultural group they are looking at is, in fact, McDonnell’s cabinet.

They can’t imagine it because they are race-fixated, and they’re also completely beholden to the narrative that the real racists in America all reside on the right.

Some do, of course. But the race-fixated left should really take a look at themselves on this issue. They’re not what they think they are.

Clive Crook at the Atlantic:

Are we supposed to empathize with Obama for the setbacks he has suffered at the hands of voters-and admire his resilience in the face of these misfortunes? It is as though losing political support and an election or three is not a judgment on the administration’s performance: it is an accident, an injustice even, akin to somebody losing his job. But Obama will carry on, just as America’s people will carry on, because he is righteously determined to ignore the voters’ opinion.

David P. Goldman (aka Spengler) Clinton as Cargo Cult:

In his attempt to emulate Clinton’s success, President Obama resembles nothing so much a the New Guinea aboriginals who built model airfields complete with straw control towers and airplanes after the Second World War and the departure of the American army. The Americans had summoned cargo from the sky through such magical devices, so thought the aboriginals, and by building what looked like airfields, so might they. But Obama can no more conjure up an economic recovery by doing things that look like what Clinton did, than the natives of New Guinea could draw cargo from the sky with straw totems. Marx’s crack about history repeating itself—the first time as tragedy and the second as farce—comes to mind.

Melissa Clouthier: Thinks Obama is deliberately being given bad advice.

Joseph Bottum: Obama snipes at the Court

Gay Patriot: Obama and Narcissus

Mark Steyn:

There’s no sense that, even as platitudinous filler, it arises organically from who this man is. As mawkish and shameless as the Clinton SOTUs were, they nevertheless projected a kind of authenticity. With Obama, the big-picture uplift seems unmoored from any personal connection — and he’s not good enough to make it real.

Cato Institute: Fisks the speech

Oh, for crying out loud: What has happened to Howard Fineman?

Bill Kristol: Obama can’t bring himself to say a particular word

James Pethokoukis: a limited speech by a constrained president

Don Surber: He won’t be re-elected. Don’t count him out. He has a stunning machine behind him.

Peter Wehner: a self-reverential address.

Michelle Malkin: calls it a state of disunity

Pejman Yousefzadeh: State of the Union in contradiction

Jules Crittenden: a pivot, pander, bait and switch

A “malaise” speech?

Fact check Via AP
Fact check via Fox

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Joseph

    Rahm pic: “Rahm Emmanuel, in an unguarded moment, reminds himself that, no matter how bad things get, he looks a lot like George Clooney from certain angles.”

    Barack pic: “While acknowledging the obvious progress, Obama request additional animatronics funding, reminding Congress that nobody wants a repeat of Gore 1.0″

    We may be getting beyond irony here.

  • Craig Payne

    Rahm caption: “God, I want his baby.”

  • Craig Payne

    Oops. Just to clarify: The above being thought by R.E. Nothing self-revealing.

  • CV

    I think it looks like Rahm is resting his head on J-Nap’s shoulder, which is disturbing on a number of levels.

  • ac

    “My Precious”

  • Craig Payne

    “My Precious”

    I don’t often laugh out loud at something, but this did it.

  • Katie 2

    The Look of Love is in your eyes …

  • Andrew B

    I suppose I shouldn’t comment, because I haven’t watched a State of the Union Address since Reagan was in office. But that is my comment, I suppose. Even with Reagan, a President I deeply admired and supported, I simply could not stomach the stupid, juvenile show that is the SOTU. Hundreds of supposedly intelligent people, deciding the fate of the most powerful nation in history, bobbing up and down like spastic marionettes. What a ghastly spectacle.

    If I couldn’t bear to watch Reagan do it, how could I possibly watch a shallow, callow, arrogant figure like Obama? There isn’t enough Dramamine on Earth.

  • Craig Payne

    Hi, me again. Andrew B, I thought the same thing. The only part of this speech I’ve seen is the tape of Alito’s reaction. What struck me was not Alito’s reaction, but the reaction of the Democrats behind the justices–who dutifully stood and clapped for President Obama’s mischaracterizations.

    Three more years of this.

  • Kensington

    Three more years of this is the best case scenario, only — the optimistic scenario.

    I am not an optimist.

  • F

    Rahm, “Go, Pinocchio, GO!!!”

  • Pingback: Catholic News Headlines Jan. 28, 2010 « Catholic News

  • Eleanor McGovern

    Rahm caption: “ahh, there’s my boy!”

  • Bender

    And so, now merely a little more than 24 hours after the event, does it really have much more of a lifespan to it? Or has it, like the hot air that it was, simply dissipated and faded away?

    What did he say again? After we’ve experienced one blah-blah-blah session after another for the last two years, his words all kind of blur together.

  • Pingback: uberVU - social comments

  • Ellen

    There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the President has to address Congress face to face for the SOTU. For years, the President sent a written message and that was good enough. After watching way too many speeches where the Congress dutifully applauded each and every freakin’ line, I gave up watching. Just go back to the written report please – I’ll bet it would be more honest. And I will never forgive Obama for his crass rudeness toward the Justices. That was uncalled for.

  • Gary Keith Chesterton

    Rahm looks posed to me. He knows the cameras will be on him, and he’s arranged his face like that. He’s self-conscious. He’s trying to set an example, like the first guy to applaud. It seems surpisingly naive and clumsy to me.

  • perplexed

    My wife and I have often wondered if the relationship between these two is more than professional or platonic. It would explain a lot of things!

  • Kathy from Kansas

    Normally I can’t bear even to read the transcripts of the O’s speeches, much less actually listen to them.

    This time, though, I had a “Barack Bingo” card from some feisty blogger, a bottle of Michelob, and I “tuned in” to the live-blog at Ace of Spades. With those handy accessories, the 70 minutes passed quickly and with much guffawing. The only way to fly!

  • MarcH

    Rahm has already provided the caption: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste” link

    Rahm is real good in a crisis. He made $320,000 for just sitting on the board of Freddie Mac and keeping his mouth shut as the execs briefed him on their Ponzi scheme. link

    Rahm is a classic goniff and tochus leker.

  • Doc

    I see the president must still have the sign on his desk that reads, “The Buck Stops in Crawford, TX”. I wonder if it has an expiration date.