Okay so I am at two days late blogging about Obama’s first speech to a joint session of congress. Too busy. Anyway…
I must say that Obama exceeded my expectations again Tuesday night. I don’t know how he keeps doing that, but he does. It was a really great speech delivered with perfect pitch. Exactly what the country needed to hear right now.
Anyone who had doubts about his ability to lead had to be convinced by that speech that he really does understand the problems we face and he is confident that he has chosen effective solutions.
Republicans, on the other hand, are betting their future that he is wrong and that he won’t be able to lead us out of the hole we’re in. They say they don’t believe government spending is right, they say it’s wrong to borrow money to spend on government sponsored programs that create jobs.
They of course know that they borrowed trillions for the war that helped get us into this mess. Bush never once booked the cost in his budgets or raised a single tax to fund it. The Republicans approved of that debt spending every lockstep of the way. Now they say that it’s wrong to spend money on tangible improvements to our own infrastructure that will lay the groundwork for a robust economy in the future.
The people are on Obama’s side. His approval ratings are in the high sixties to seventies, and everyone, including Republicans that voted for McCain gave his speech extremely high ratings.
The only time the “red line” ratings dropped at all were when Obama put the Republicans in their place. But even when he did that, he did it in a nice way, and he made it clear that his administration has inherited many problems from the previous administration – problems that began with policies the Republicans in congress helped Bush implement. And he also made it clear that it’s the government’s job to solve the problems and that he is eager to work with both parties to find the best solutions.
The question then is whether or not the Republicans understand that the people are not on their side and don’t really like their policies or how they go about presenting them.
Bobby Jindal, their “rising star,” gave the Republican response on Tuesday night and he came off looking like a huckster with his distortions and attempts to completely flip what Obama said just minutes before him. People gave him low marks because they did not agree with him and, because he was so obviously distorting the truth, they did not trust him.
I think they just don’t get it.