The Union Needs Jobs, Not Broken Promises


“It begins with our economy.” Those are the words that I, and I suppose a whole lot of Americans, wanted to hear in President Barack Obama’s first State of the Union address. The overall tone of the speech seemed a bit deflated. It was self-deprecating at times, as he tried to be more personable and appeal to the American people as an empathetic president. Given those slight differences, there was not much that separated this from past speeches. He played the blame game and used the usual Obama style. As many have pointed out, this was not the speech that he wanted to give. I imagine he wanted to be saying something a little like this; we closed Gitmo, we passed meaningful health care reform, we passed cap and trade, unemployment did not go above 8 percent and we are on our way to a speedy recovery. That, however, was not the case.

On his promise to close Gitmo he’s not come through, though I don’t see the need to close down the prison other than to appease the left in America and around the world, it aids me in making a much larger point. Health care reform as we know it today looks pretty dead, though I’m skeptical. He pleaded for people to take another look at the bill, but I think its on the back burner for a while. He seems more focused on the economy and job creation, something that probably should have happened months ago.

“Now, the true engine of job creation in this country will always be America’s businesses. But government can create the conditions necessary for businesses to expand and hire more workers”

Does he get his own message? Cap and trade doesn’t seem to be around in the near future, but it was mentioned in the speech, and it is still a fresh reminder of what this administration and the Democrats in congress have in mind. That, being the desire to create more bad regulations and a bad job growing environment, with bad “conditions,” through job killing legislation like cap and trade, trains to nowhere and “green jobs.” Which happily leads us to the issue of unemployment, where things have not gotten better or stayed the same, they’ve actually worsened. And while there have been some “saved” jobs that doesn’t account for all of the ones that were not saved and isn’t very consoling, all things considered.

I know that we were hit with a major economic crisis and the President is not the only one to blame for this mess. The “worst since the Great Depression,” I know all about that, if I have to hear that saying again, I’m gonna explode. But here is the much larger point that I mentioned earlier. I think many people walked away from their television sets tonight thinking one thing, “is anything going to get done?” And by “anything” I mean something that actually has substance, instead of the rhetorical message and symbolic appeasement to the American left that we saw throughout the first year of this administration. Gitmo, health care, cap and trade and green jobs, are all big ticket items of the leftist agenda, when put together they are not the issues that make up the vast majority of this center-right country.

What the president has to prove is that he is willing to go beyond the empty talk and symbolism and try for real bipartisanship, not the arrogant “we won, you lost” message that we had to hear for the last year from his administration and congress. How is there even any room for bipartisanship with that attitude? It is not bipartisan to say join us or die, we have a mandate. It turns off the American people, and it did just that throughout the health care debate.

Were there things in the speech that I liked? Sure, there were some, but far too few for me to jump up and down and be happy. The president starts talking about nuclear power and I’m supposed to be happy about that? Ordinarily I would be. Maybe a year ago, had he brought this up, I would have been happy. But now, the completely symbolic president that is Barack Obama is going to have to prove to me that he is willing to practice what he preaches in regard to real bipartisanship and completing actual work.

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