President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Congress about his jobs plan.
The question whether he should have addressed this to a full Congressional session and have it televised as such to the American public is moot. The ready answer is no. It was political showboating and a manuever to win an election. And even though he spoke of not doing such a thing, this only made his stand weaker. But it is neither here nor there at this point. It is what it is. It happened. Get past it.
The plan he put forward had both conservative and liberal elements. Can we say MIDDLE OF THE ROAD POLITICS? Yes we can! Was this speech intended to boost his declining poll ratings? Yes it was! Does that change that part of what he spoke was true? Hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day.
Obama looked Presidential . . . for most of the speech anyway. Had he steered clear of his union endorsement, his social agenda crap and his small jabs at his opponents, he might have actually impressed me more as a president worth more of a historical sidebar than he was the first black president. But he could not help himself.
To the plan itself, it has some merits and should certainly be examined and tuned by the legislators whose job it is to legislate. But it should not, nor should any legislation aside from a national declaration of emergency or war, be "passed right away." The American people, for whom the President said this was all about, should have a chance to look at it. The legislators, on whose shoulders the responsibility to rectifying small gaps in knowledge and making sure it does not "cost" the people in the long run falls, should take time to look at it. (Not a session or a month or several weeks - it should never take THAT long to look.)
But to "pass it right away," to "pass it immediately," without the due consideration a hefty and ambitious plan such as this is deserves, would be as big an injustice as much of the recent legislation that has passed "so we can know what is in it." The President may have looked mostly Presidential, but that doesn't equate to dictatorship. And we should never allow it. Follow our leadership when it deserves it, question our leadership all the time. It is the only way to keep the powermad illness that can overtake even the most public service person. They are, after all, only human.
I hope the President much success (hey, I've been out of work at a day job since 11/09), as it means success for the American people, the nation and the continued existence of the institution of a free and democratic society. But there are two things that I know.
One appearance of leadership among all the political bickering and silent sideline stances this president has shown in the past two and a half years can not make up for it. I look forward to his one term presidency ending in 2012.
And secondly, his lack of decorum for the obvious political posturing this speech presented despite his condemnation of such actions is tacky to say the least. He should have left all that out. He should have left all the union boosting out. He should have addressed both the beltway political gamesmanship as well as the outside the beltway political gamesmanship. He mentioned the lobbyist for the corporation but failed to scold the union comments by the likes of Jimmy Hoffa (who really should take an extended expedition to join, er find, his father).
His failure to address this and actually include his pro-union ties in his speech took so much credibility away from his claims of clearing away the politics of DC in favor of the job they were sent there to do.
Were I to give this speech a grade (which seems so en vogue these days to giver politicians "report cards"), I would give it a B+ for the ideas and effort. I would give it a C- for credibility. And I would give it an F for avoidance of biased political rhetoric.
Agree with me, disagree with me, it really doesn't matter to me. So long as I can get you to see past the pretty rpose and double meaning hidden in every political speech adn think for yourselves beyond the borders of political parties and ideology, than I have accomplished my goal. Because hey, this is just me, Thinking Out Loud.
Have a great day.