In the Polar Vortex cold light of a bourbon hangover morning, I give SOTU 2014 a "son of a barkeep" thumbs up. I'm not going to unpack the specific promises and individually described programs and initiatives (cripes there were a lotta em) but take it as a whole.
A new target audience - the no-longer/not-quite middle class. Of course the official audience is Congress and there's a lot of Villager talk in it, but it looked (to me) like Barry was talking directly to a different group of people than these usually do. Not the kitchen table crowd with their suburban picket fences, but folks who have kitchens too small to fit a table. The working poor, the collateral damage of recession right sizing, the recent grad. The folks who haven't got their tickets yet.
Less bipartisanship BS. A recognition that the House is not going to get its house in order. That the GOP had at least four Responses to the speech highlights how dysfunctional the GOP has become. Despite the obligatory "willing to work with you", this SOTU was downright hostile towards Congress. Which is of course well warranted.
Moments of passion. The equal pay portion was probably the most prominent, but that intensity of delivery that Obama is capable of made itself known again. Never doubt that Barry can deliver speeches.
Fucking centrists. STFU about teh fucking deficit all-fucking-ready. Fuck. Treasuries are still trading at inflation or lower. Fuck.
So the NSA has been wholesale violating anything and everything they can, all at massive expense and with absolute bupkes to show for it. Here, Obama is going to slap your wrist as lightly as he possibly can while reminding everyone that you are the Front Line in The War On Terror.
The War On Terror. It is fucking 2014. What the fuck is wrong with you?
I appreciate that he is trying to sell his ideas and initiatives here, but does he have to sound like a salesman? So many individual programs called out and a bunch of them weren't very big. At times it really felt like he was lauding the number of cup holders.
Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. The good outweighs the bad because it really feels like there is something new here and the bad is just a result of Obama being Obama. He can't be outside the system, he is the system.