Posts tagged President of the United States

Hate of the Union

Last year’s Hate-​​In

The President’s annual State of the Union address is a much-​​anticipated event. While the Pres­i­dent is required to “from time to time give to the Con­gress Infor­ma­tion of the State of the Union” (Arti­cle II, Sec­tion 3), the form of the address, and the pomp and cir­cum­stance which now accom­pa­nies the event, is a mat­ter of more long-​​standing tra­di­tion than law.

While pre­vi­ous Pres­i­dents have gen­er­ally been given def­er­ence, and dis­agree­ment has been masked with stony silence, Pres­i­dent Obama has not had that lux­ury dur­ing pre­vi­ous addresses to joint ses­sions of Con­gress. Recall Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Joe Wil­son’s (R-​​Springdale, SC) famous “You Lie!” dur­ing a 2009 joint ses­sion where Pres­i­dent Obama unveiled his health care plan. (Rep. Wil­son later apol­o­gized, then retracted his apol­ogy.) Dur­ing the 2010 State of the Union, Pres­i­dent Obama openly crit­i­cized the Supreme Court’s Cit­i­zens United deci­sion:

With all due def­er­ence to sep­a­ra­tion of pow­ers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a cen­tury of law that I believe will open the flood­gates for spe­cial inter­ests — includ­ing for­eign cor­po­ra­tions — to spend with­out limit in our elections.

which then caused Jus­tice Samuel Alito, who had ruled with a five-​​to-​​four court major­ity, to mouth the words “not true”. (By the way, Poli­ti­fact agrees with Jus­tice Alito, rat­ing this state­ment by Pres­i­dent Obama “mostly false”.)

What can we expect from tonight’s address? Pres­i­dent Obama will make a baldly polit­i­cal state­ment, ask­ing Con­gress to advance jobs ini­tia­tives and fis­cal stim­u­lus that he knows has no chance of pass­ing. His oppo­nents will use their dis­sent as an oppor­tu­nity for their own ver­sion of grandstanding.

The jock­ey­ing for polit­i­cal advan­tage has already begun. Speaker of the House John Boehner, who will sit behind the Pres­i­dent dur­ing the speech, has already indi­cated he thinks the speech’s con­tent will be “pathetic”. Mean­while, the group No Labels will try to get Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and Sen­a­tors from both sides of the aisle to sit together — literally.

What do you think? Pathos or bathos? Tragedy or comedy?

Imagine

Imag­ine that our Pres­i­dent is run­ning for reëlection.

Imag­ine that our Pres­i­dent bor­rowed and spent $814 bil­lion on an eco­nomic recov­ery program.

Imag­ine that our Pres­i­dent promised that his eco­nomic recov­ery pro­gram would return over three mil­lion Amer­i­cans to work, but instead another 1.5 mil­lion lost their jobs since the pro­gram went into effect.

Imag­ine that our Pres­i­dent promised to halve the annual deficit, but instead nearly tripled it to a his­tor­i­cal high.

Imag­ine that our Pres­i­dent enacted a bill that fined peo­ple if they did not buy expen­sive health insur­ance from large cor­po­ra­tions hand-​​picked by the President’s Health and Human Ser­vices Secretary.

Imag­ine that our Pres­i­dent raised taxes by $569.2 bil­lion and pledged to cut Medicare by $500 bil­lion to help peo­ple buy these cor­po­rate health insur­ance plans.

Imag­ine that the President’s HHS Sec­re­tary gave waivers to over 1,300 big cor­po­ra­tions and groups that pro­vided him with cam­paign dona­tions in the past allow­ing them to ignore the President’s new health insur­ance law.

Imag­ine that our Pres­i­dent had the EPA enact reg­u­la­tions that would increase the your util­ity bills by 40% to 60%.

Imag­ine that gas prices rose 104% dur­ing our President’s administration.

Imag­ine that our Pres­i­dent bor­rowed and spent over $100 bil­lion sub­si­diz­ing energy cor­po­ra­tions that he favored and that had pro­vided him with mil­lions in bun­dled cam­paign donations.

Imag­ine that our Pres­i­dent put in place exec­u­tive orders autho­riz­ing civil­ians accused of ter­ror­ism, but seized away from any bat­tle­field, to be detained indef­i­nitely with­out trial.

Imag­ine that our Pres­i­dent autho­rized the CIA to kill Amer­i­can cit­i­zens accused of ter­ror­ism and liv­ing over­seas with­out a trial.

Imag­ine that our Pres­i­dent started mul­ti­ple wars and refused to seek Con­gress’ autho­riza­tion or even notify Con­gress under the War Pow­ers Act.

Imag­ine that our Pres­i­dent signed exec­u­tive orders autho­riz­ing the NSA to con­duct data min­ing on the tele­phone calls and emails of tens of mil­lions of Americans.

Now imag­ine that Pres­i­dent is a Republican.

Would you vote to reëlect that President?

Be hon­est.

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