Today is move in day! I’ve already got everything unpacked and set up, so I’m ready to take a little a me time.
With this me time I suppose I will vent my thoughts regarding the past few days’ political scene. It’s been an eventful few days! Let’s outline them, shall we?
- Obama called out the supreme court in his SOTU address
- Obama argued for tax cuts and getting bank bail out money back…republicans did not applaud.
- Once again, Obama mentioned “clean coal” as key to energy plan
- Friday, Obama debated congressional republicans and won, hands down. On national television no less.
Calling out the Supreme Court during the SOTU address is certainly unprecedented. I can’t remember any SOTU where the president criticized the court in such a direct manner. It is important to note though that presidents regularly lament and argue against court rulings. What was so unusual was the setting, not the message itself. All in all, I think a lot of people overreacted to Obama’s criticism.
Look at it this way– it’s the SOTU address. The practical objective for the president is to make clear his/her legislative goals. If Obama’s legislative goals include attempting to limit the impact of an irresponsible Court decision, I say more power to him. The SOTU was an ample opportunity for him to make the case for the future legislation, and there was no way to do that without criticizing the court’s decision. And yes, the court’s decision was irresponsible. It overturned 100 years of rulings and could lead the way to never-ending corporate/special interest impact in Washington. Obama definately did the right thing, and if it came down to it, he would be justified in doing it again 1000 times.
I can’t say I feel the same way about Obama’s views regarding “clean” coal. Coal is the worst air polluter of any energy source I can think of. Ever learn about how disgusting the London air was during the beginnings of the industrial revolution? I’m pretty sure coal had something to do with that. Coal has tried to improve its reputation through the repeatedly unfulfilled promise of clean, carbon free emissions technology. However, it simply doesn’t exist yet. And according to coal companies, it will take another decade (and billions of $$$) for the technology to actually work. Those are pretty big obstacles to climb, and that’s according to the coal industry.
There is no doubt in my mind that Obama has heard that argument and understands it. Furthermore, I think he would probably agree with it. After a lot of frustration and despair, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a political move in order to ease the fears of coal states like West Virginia. As someone who doesn’t want the government wasting money on a ficticous technology, I really hope I am right.
Republicans continue to bewilder me. They have been on a role recently, winning in Mass. and gaining momentum towards the November 2010 elections. Last week however, they really made some horrible mistakes. Not applauding tax cuts for small businesses? Disapproving of getting bail out money back? Those are two attack ads in the making. Even more perplexing was there leadership’s decision to televise a Q & A session with Obama. Did they really think Obama was going to come unprepared and unable to retort to their slanted questions? If they did think that, they were definitely proven wrong. Obama schooled them every which way. Minority WHIP Eric Cantor was upset that Obama came off as “lecturing” but he was more likely upset over the fact that what took place on Friday was a national embarrassment for his party. It got so bad for republicans that FOX News actually stopped broadcasting the session 20 minutes before it ended! According to MSNBC reporter Luke Russert, one republican aide said (behind closed doors) that they should not have allowed cameras into the event. If you haven’t heard this Q & A session yet, I strongly suggest checking it out.
So all in all, a pretty good week for Obama and the Dems. No one can deny they needed a good week after repeated defeats. Hopefully more good weeks to come.
Tomorrow I will begin working with the DNC! If you wish to know more check out my other blog here, where I will be writing more about my personal, daily life.