Arthur Christopher Schaper
With friends like you, who needs enemas! -- The Road to Wellville
The State of the Union Address is less compelling with every year. The American People are hoping for a Road to Wellville. What they get is well, a whole lot of BS. This year, in President Obama’s fifth SOTU speech, they get another crock of hopes and dreams, aspirations which We the People can expect to pay for.
Rather than Chief Executive, President Obama has become the Chief Laxative, excreting a host of nonsensical policies, depleted and wasteful. Inadvertently, though, the President has been the necessary cleansing agent for a host of interest groups and demographics who had looked to the Barack Obama as the Hope and Change they were looking for.
Some of the more distasteful, wasteful passages:
Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis.
With creative statistical accounting, perhaps. How many of the new hires are part-time or contracted employees? How many have given up looking for work? Unemployment figures don't mean much when you are barely getting by.
Tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over.
No it isn't, and the fighting has gotten worse in Iraq. American military might is in retreat all over the world, and since political tyranny abhors a vacuum, behold ISIS (or ISIL) invading Syria and installing its own caliphate.
The substance of incremental progress in this country is true, but the President had nothing to do with it:
So the verdict is clear. Middle-class economics works. Expanding opportunity works. And these policies will continue to work, as long as politics don't get in the way.
Thank you, Mr. President, so please get out of the way. Without admitting it, the President has repeated the Republican Party economic platform.
Here's another example. Today, we're the only advanced country on Earth that doesn't guarantee paid sick leave or paid maternity leave to our workers.
The reason why the United States remains advanced head of nanny-state social democracies is precisely because of our aversion to a generous safety net. Government subsidized babysitting is a dirty diaper at best. Throw it away, and let the American people be grown-ups and prioritize their family planning and daycare.
Of course, nothing helps families make ends meet like higher wages. That's why this Congress still needs to pass a law that makes sure a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work. Really.
She already is, if she does the same job, working the same hours. Really. Flush. . .
I am sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college -- to zero. .
Nothing is free, Mr. President. Someone pays for it. Get me a to a toilet bowl. Free high school in government schools has not ensured a quality education for many inner city youth? If you think that community college is expensive now, just wait when it's free.
Then there's the foreign policy fantasies:
We stand united with people around the world who've been targeted by terrorists -- from a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris.
Where was President Obama when the Iranian people protested their disputed (and corrupted) 2009 Presidential election? Why has he pushed Israel to give up lands, when Palestinian interests define themselves on the destruction of Israel? Contain and Diminish is not a foreign policy against Muslim terrorists demanding conversion or death for non-Muslims. What about Crimea and Eastern Ukraine?
In Cuba, we are ending a policy that was long past its expiration date. When what you're doing doesn't work for fifty years, it's time to try something new.
No we are not, Mr. President. You do redefine diplomatic relations with hostile states with a stroke of the pen and call on the phone. Why not put phone and pen to use and normalize relations with Congress and the American People?
Then there's climate change. Always about climate change:
2014 was the planet's warmest year on record. Now, one year doesn't make a trend, but this does -- 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century.
California braced for freezing temperatures in 2013 and 2015. Rhode Islanders endured severe snowstorms. Global warming? Warmest years on record? What is Obama reading? Most Americans are looking at the thermometers hanging on their windows. It's been cold out there!
Then all the blather about human dignity and civil rights. The President and his attorney general had stuffed then lighted a powder king of racial animus, now exploding throughout the country. His unilateral reversals on welfare reform and affirmative action have worsened race relations in this country, too. Instead of improving the prospects of the black man, Obama wants to talk about individuals struggling with identity issues:
That's why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
President Obama used "transgender" in his latest SOTU speech. Another first. Would the President be the first to acknowledge that transgenderism is a problem in need of a solution? Martin Luther King said as much about homosexual conduct.
A better politics is one where we debate without demonizing each other. . .
Really? Take the first step, Mr. President. Be the change you want to see in the world.
In the last part of his speech, Obama referred to his well-known Red State, Blue State rhetoric. After six years of Obama, there is a predominantly Red America, and Blue America is stuck in economic doldrums. Voters have rejected his regressive agenda, and a Republican Congress (whom he failed to recognize) is pushing back against his redundant agenda.
President Obama has been the Chief Laxative, purging away America's taste for progressive statism, as well as removing Democratic preeminence in Washington.
Heckuva job there, Barry! With friends like Obama, Republicans don’t need enemas!
Arthur Christopher Schaper is a writer, blogger, and political commentator on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance.