Obama's progressive State of Disunion
By Mark Alexander
OK, truth be told, I didn't actually watch Barack Hussein Obama's fabulous State of the Union Address last Tuesday night. I missed all the phony fanfare, pompous posturing, thespian theatrics and teleprompted NeoCom propaganda, instead devoting that evening to something more productive -- cleaning our family's defensive weapons (what BO calls "assault weapons").
I did note ahead of the address, however, that the first choice for "hero prop" next to First Femme Michelle was missing. That seat was offered to former Army Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha, upon whom Obama conferred the Medal of Honor the day before his SOTU. Sergeant Romesha exhibited extraordinary valor at the Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan, but humbly declined Obama's invitation, saying he would prefer to spend the evening with family and friends.
Though I escaped the SOTU telecast, I did skim the transcript the next day in order to determine how Obama's first-term pledge -- "Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency" -- is holding up, and to determine how his goal of "fundamentally transforming" our nation was progressing.
To that end, I was shocked -- shocked -- to find that his address to the nation was full of, well, audacious prevarications in direct opposition to Rule of Law as enshrined in our Constitution, and direct violation of his oath to uphold same. But I must give Obama credit where credit is due -- he certainly made progress on that fundamental transformation, and he outlined an ambitious second term agenda to complete it.
Here are a few more notable SOTU excerpts for your reading displeasure.
National Defense: "As long as I'm commander in chief, we will do whatever we must to protect those who serve their country abroad, and we will maintain the best military in the world." Reality Check: Obama has already cut defense spending to the point that DoD is no longer able to fight a two-front war. And Obama's recent mandates promoting open homosexuals and women on the frontlines are not exactly boosting military readiness or morale. Obama asserted, "By the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over." Well if he declares it's over, then it must be true!
National Security: "Today, the organization [al-Qa'ida] that attacked us on 9/11 is a shadow of its former self." Tell that to the families of those killed in Benghazi and those suffering the ongoing battles in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen and our great ally, Israel.
Debt: "Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion." This reduction is all smoke and mirrors, and it includes cuts that have not been made, interest expense savings that have not been saved, and reductions in budgetary spending increases that are called "cuts."
While Obama failed to focus on the fact that he's increased the national debt by 60 percent during his first term, he did assert, "Nothing I'm proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime."
First, notice the weasel word "should." Second, if that dime store rhetoric sounds familiar, it's because this is an oft-repeated whopper. Here are just a few examples from 2009: "I will not sign a bill that adds a dime to our deficits -- either now or in the future." "Health care reform will not add one dime to our deficit." "I will not sign health insurance reform ... if that reform adds even one dime to our deficit over the next decade -- and I mean what I say." And from 2010: "That's also why we're restoring pay-as-you-go: a simple rule that says Congress can't spend a dime without cutting a dime elsewhere." "This [jobs] legislation is fully paid for and will not add one single dime to our deficit." "We will not add one dime to our deficit." And from 2011: "I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficit." "I want to lower the corporate rate and eliminate these loopholes to pay for it, so that it doesn't add a dime to our deficit." Ad infinitum.
Fact is, since he took office in 2009, Obama has added almost 60 trillion dimes to the deficit. He claims his initiatives are "for the sake of our children and our future," and yet he's saddled them with $6,000,000,000,000 in debt. And he wants to add another $5,000,000,000,000?
Given the long list of largess Obama promised, it struck me as no small irony that this SOTU coincided with Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday, for the secular crowd, is a day of excess, unmitigated libation and reckless abandon. For the Faithful, it is a day of preparation followed by a lengthy period of reflective austerity. Clearly, given the current rate of debt accumulation, days of severe taxpayer austerity are on the horizon.
Sequestration: "In 2011, Congress passed a law saying that if both parties couldn't agree on a plan to reach our deficit goal, about a trillion dollars' worth of budget cuts would automatically go into effect." The truth is that sequestration was Obama's idea, not Congress's. He proposed it, signed it into law, and then refused to submit any budget to avoid sequestration. Smugly looking at the R-side of the room, he basically said, "If only you guys were not so ideological, you'd let me raise taxes (again), and save Defense!" Or, cut spending...
ObamaCare: "Already, the Affordable Care Act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs." Uh, no. ObamaCare cost estimates are soaring with a healthy single 20-something to pay almost $2,000 instead of $600. A family of four will pay a minimum of $20,000 for the most basic health care plan. Maybe Obama-Doesn't-Care better describes this behemoth legislative atrocity.
Jobs: "A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs, that must be the North Star that guides our efforts." Obama failed to mention that more than eight million Americans have dropped out of the workforce since he took office.
Immigration: "We must find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity." In other words, register them as Democrats.
Voting Experience: "Tonight, I'm announcing a non-partisan commission to improve the voting experience in America. It definitely needs improvement. ... They can't wait for five or six or seven hours just to cast their ballot." That must be why Obama won re-election by such a slim margin! Undoubtedly, the "improved experience" will include the free distribution of Obama phones with a "press one for Democrats" ("pulse uno de los Demócratas") feature!
Energy Independence: "That's why my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits." You can't "keep" doing something you have yet to do.
Climate Change: "Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods -- all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science -- and act before it's too late." Obama's "global warming" agenda and its shameless demagoguery is about much more than the weather.
Poverty: "Tonight, let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour." Obama, of course, didn't mention that more than 11,000 Americans a day, for every day of his first term, were added to the food stamp rolls. Ultimately, this will ensure that fewer young people will find jobs, particularly blacks and Hispanics, and Obama's union constituents will have less competition.
Gun Control: "Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because they are tired of being outgunned." The "weapons of war" are already outlawed, and the so-called "assault weapons" ban is nothing more than a gun confiscation initiative.
The "Big Lie". of the SOTU, however, was Obama's suggestion that he's really an advocate of limited government as prescribed by our Constitution: "Government's role is wisely limited by the Constitution. And it can't play its essential role when it ignores those limits." He went on to suggest, "It's not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities."
Where is Rep. Joe Wilson (who famously yelled "You lie!" at Obama during his first address to Congress) when we need him?
Obama began his remarks by asserting, "John F. Kennedy declared to this chamber that 'the Constitution makes us not rivals for power, but partners for progress.'" But in the end, the keystone of Obama's political platform is deception and disunity. He appeals to the worst in his low-information constituents. He appeals to their fears, doubts, dependence on the state, greed, envy, brokenness, pessimism and sense of helplessness. He has twisted JFK's famous inaugural appeal to read: "Ask what your country can do for you, not what you can do for your country."
All of Obama's "solutions" are predicated on government engineering via intervention, regulation or redistribution -- consistent with his dogmatic Democratic Socialist ideology. Predictably, he peppered his prose with populist appeals and classist rhetoric focused on "fairness."
Three weeks ago, Obama, one hand on the Bible and one raised for affirmation, pledged before the nation that he would, first and foremost, abide by his oath to "Support and Defend" our Constitution. In reality, his past record and future plans are a grievous affront to that oath.
Justice Joseph Story, in his revered "Commentaries on the Constitution" (1833), wrote, "The duty imposed upon [the president] to take care, that the laws be faithfully executed, follows out the strong injunctions of his oath of office, that he will 'preserve, protect, and defend the constitution.' The great object of the executive department is to accomplish this purpose; and without it, be the form of government whatever it may, it will be utterly worthless for offence, or defence; for the redress of grievances, or the protection of rights; for the happiness, or good order, or safety of the people."
The bill for Obama's lawless fundamental transformation of the nation is coming due.
(Read the Republican address to the nation delivered by Sen. Marco Rubio, and remarks from Sen. Rand Paul providing some Tea Party perspective. For more in-depth analysis, read Heritage Foundation's SOTU review.)
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.