Barack Obama

"The 5 Worst Moments From Barack Obama's SOTU"

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I know, I know: Only five?

Here's a piece I've done for Time about things I disliked the most about Barack Obama's State of the Union speech. The good news? He's only got one more to go. The bad news? Come 2017, there will be a new president and SOTU…

He promised his speech wouldn't be a "laundry list." True enough: It was more like a laundry truck, stuffed full of old and misguided ideas from his previous SOTUs. Before the speech slides down the memory hole, here are five moments to remember and then forget again until next year….

3. "Middle-class economics works…. We can't slow down businesses or put our economy at risk with government shutdowns or fiscal showdowns." That's all well and good, though it's worth noting that government spending under Obama has been mostly flat precisely because of politics, shut downs, sequestration, and the like. Keeping spending constant is one of the major reasons deficits have reduced from record highs to "just" $483 billion last year. But if everything's going in the right direction, why then is Obama calling for all sorts of new taxes and regulations on the business sector and high-income earners? Boosting the minimum wage, taxing college savings, mandating paid sick leave, pushing employers to offer to pay for college, and more: What theory explains how such costs will make employers likely to hire more workers and expand operations?

Whole thing here.

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  1. Please someone reassure me that there’s no way we can ever elect another POTUS who’s as creepy as this guy?

    1. Just wait until the 2016 general election, Hillary vs Jeb. No reassurances here.

      1. Hillary is evil, but she never struck me as creepy. Something about Jeb creeps the fuck out of me. And I say this as someone who liked and defended his father and brother. I can’t put my finger on it but he has this kind of weird old South effeminate fat guy thing going. I look at him and think of the rich guy in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil or something.

        I don’t want four years of Jeb Bush in my face as President, and that is besides my objections to his political views.

        1. Cuomo creeps me out to no end

        2. Hillary is disgusting and Jeb is well, another Bush, but neither of them and no one else that I can think of right off the bat, comes even close to the creep factor of Obama.

          Seriously, black people have to be just a little embarrassed that this weird fucker had to be the first black president. Even if they won’t come right out and say it.

          1. It is pretty sad that the first black President turned out to be a creepy, half white effeminate nerd. The other ironic thing is that his white supporters are constantly accusing their opponents of just not being able to handle a strong and powerful black man yet their choice as the first Black President is the least threatening and least masculine black man imaginable. Obama is right out of central casting as the “thoughtful and not scary black man white liberals love”.

            1. Hopefully something positive will come of it, like blacks waking up to the fact the the Democrats might not be the only, or best choice. Seeing as a Republican won the vote for governor in Baltimore City, that might be starting to happen. I hope so.

              1. The best thing that could ever happen in this country would be for the black vote to come into play politically. It would deprive the Democrats of being able to play the race card and force them to confront how badly their policies have failed.

                Black people are likely never going to as a group be a force for really small government. But they can be a force for smaller government. If they would ever leave the Democrat Party in significant numbers, we could finally have an actual debate about things like education policy and the drug war and a lot of other things. So much of the defense of failed government is entirely due to the Democrats ability to call anyone who questions it a racist.

            2. thoughtful and not scary black man *raised by a rich, white family and indoctrinated by the Ivy League* that white liberals love

              1. In other words: he’s one of them tame, civilized darkies.

      2. What I’m saying is that if we had to have the first black president, couldn’t it have just been a normal black guy? Why did it have to be this creepy dude?

        1. Yes. That would have been nice. Or how about a black man who actually grew up as a black man in America and a part of black culture instead of a half Kenyon who was raised by white grand parents in Hawaii and Indonesia?

  2. Middle-class economics works What does that even mean? That is like saying “light weight gravity works”.

    The most remarkable thing about Obama is how intellectually stunted he is. It is not so much that he is a leftist, he is, it is that his ideas are so boring, shallow and internally inconsistent. He is not even a smart or interesting leftist (a rare breed granted but not a nonexistent one). He just keeps mouthing the same shit over and over again. He hasn’t had a single new idea or made a single change to his outlook or policy during six years in office. The Presidency has in the past tended to moderate Presidents, especially two term ones. Presidents regardless of political persuasion tend to get more centrist, more philosophical and less partisan the longer they are in office. Not this dip shit. He is exactly the same nasty idiot he was when he came into office. Obama is the living example of the person who remembers everything and learns nothing.

    1. I know. Obama’s speaking style is a series of empty platitudes that sound awesome provided you are a moron.

      Mencken said the following about Harding but it could be equally applicable to Obama:

      “I rise to pay my small tribute to Dr. Harding. Setting aside a college professor or two and a half dozen dipsomaniacal newspaper reporters, he takes the first place in my Valhalla of literati. That is to say, he writes the worst English that I have ever encountered. It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up to the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash.”

      1. “That imbecile is going to be the next President of the United States.” (Nucky Thompson)

      2. God, we need to resurrect Mencken.

        And then duck, because he’d probably shoot us for doing it once he’d gotten a good look around.

    2. Being a political weapon is what the guy is.

      1. Yes. You would think the experience of being President for six years would have caused him to look beyond that. And it really hasn’t. I have never seen a man whom the Presidency changed less than Obama. He seems totally unaffected by the experience other than having some grey hair.

        1. Everything about him is meant to be provocative and polarizing. He was chosen to induce people to talk about his bi racial identity, his single mom, his foreign sounding name, etc. Of course his approach is equally so.

        2. six years in, and the man remains enamored of the title and trappings of the president with no interest in or desire for the actual work.

          1. He won the two elections. Isn’t that all that matters?

        3. I’ve said it many times, and I stick by it. When people were asking the question of whether Obama could do a ‘Clinton’ and move to the right after the 2010 route of the Democrats in congress, I said that no way, he’s a rigid ideologue and it’s not possible for him to do it.

          Well, after a 2nd and historic route of the Dems in congress in 2014, he not only is still not capable of doing it, but is instead doubling down on his leftism.

          This guy does not give one fuck about what most Americans want. He only cares about what he wants and that’s for the USA to become a far left nation. And as we’ve seen, he doesn’t care who or how many he takes down with him.

          1. The other remarkable thing about Obama is that he is the first President of either party who shows more animosity and hatred towards other Americans than he does towards the country’s enemies. Think about how he talks about Russia or Iran or ISIS and then contrast that with the language he uses when talking about his American political opponents. It is appalling.

            1. Another remarkable thing is just how the guy seems incapable of feeling such normal things as humility. He really does seem to be a sociopath. He’s right and no matter how much support he loses, he seems oblivious to the fact that just maybe he is wrong about some things. It’s like he’s completely deaf and blind to everything going on outside himself and only hears some inner voice.

          2. Saul Alinsky would be so proud of him.

    3. “made a single change to his outlook”

      Didn’t he make a change in his view about same sex marriage when it became politically expedient to do so?

    4. It’s another attempt at feel-good appropriations of words, he and other people on his side of the spectrum have tried this before with ‘trickle down economics’. Of course, people started to point out that his economic policy is nothing but trickle-down.

    5. There are a few Dems – notably Mickey Kaus – who do have interesting ideas on how to solve solutions. I may not always necessarily agree with them, but the damage of these ideas would be less than the current cohort.

      1. *solutions = problems. I blame my lack of sleep.

  3. Does “middle class economics works” mean that stealing the wealth of the middle class through inflation works? Does fucking up their health insurance work too? Or does making it prohibitively expensive to start a business work? What about stealing all their money without charging them with a crime?

    1. you left out stealing money from their college savings plan to benefit those who put no forethought into the kids’ schooling. And the part about subsidizing daycare (read: subsidizing the lifestyle choices of two income homes).

      1. Someone told him about the ant and the grasshopper, and he found a solution.

    2. OGL is nothing but contradictions. If “free day care” ever came about, it would allow millions of skilled moms who dropped out of the labor force to raise kids, to re-enter said force and drive out even more semi-skilled and unskilled poor folks and minorities who have jobs now only because so many skilled moms have taken themselves out of the work force because day care costs would take an unacceptably high percentage of their take home wages.

    3. What about stealing all their money without charging them with a crime?

      Everyone is guilty of something. Many are guilty of several things. Formal charges are just a hassle, man. Stop harshing Uncle Sam’s groove.

    4. “Middle Class Economics” certainly could work, if the goddamn government would shut up and get the fuck out of the way. (In the ways you mention, which of course they are absolutely incapable of doing.)

      God. It’d almost be worth it to keep paying the assholes the salaries they currently make, if they’d stop doing their jobs and actively dragging the brakes.

  4. No mention of Maxine Waters?

    1. Who dares invoke the name of Maxine Waters?

  5. I guess it is inevitable that every single editor and contributor plus the cleaning lady is going to publish an opinion piece about last night’s presidential state of the union speech.

    In a valiant effort to better manage my very limited time, I’ve decided to place the names all Reason contributors in a sheet of paper and decide which opinion piece to read in full by throwing darts to it.

  6. What theory explains how such costs will make employers likely to hire more workers and expand operations?

    Why, they’ll cut into their obscenely excessive windfall profits and pay for more labor and bigger operations! Because CEO pay is too high! Big businesses could hire a thousand new employees if the board of directors didn’t go out and buy new yachts! (Thus putting the yachtbuilders out of business, but hey, nobody needs more than seven yachts).

  7. We can’t slow down businesses or put our economy at risk with government shutdowns or fiscal showdowns

    Honest question: Did anyone even notice the shutdown/showdown other than the bureaucrats? It’s like going into a poor NYC neighborhood and saying “We can’t put this neighborhood at risk with reduced policing.”

  8. On federal land, oil production is down 16 percent since 2010 and natural gas production is down 24 percent.

    But… but… but Shriek told me that Obama is the most blackened (by oil) president evah!

    So who is telling truth?

    1. Well, Obama was nice enough to let private entities drill on their “own” land, therefore he gets credit for it.

  9. “During World War II… this country provided universal childcare… [Today, childcare is not] a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have.”

    Setting aside the exaggeration behind that statement, which Nick tackled so aptly, I am confused by the urgent tone used by the president. What turns universal childcare into a “must have”? According to who, the president? Or who?

  10. Can we just pretend like the SOTU didn’t even happen and talk about more important stuff?

  11. Only one comment.

    DanBruce 8 minutes ago
    Mouthpiece for the 1%.

    FlagShare

    Presumably he means Nick. I guess.

    1. So little to dissect there.

  12. I think a lot of Obama’s lying and even creepiness comes from the fact that he has to hide so much of his true beliefs. Politicians always have to do this to some degree, but in his case, his far-left roots (Ayers, Wright, etc.) needed to be totally white-washed to get him elected. Thus everything he says has to be so calculated that it often makes no sense, like “middle-class economics.”

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