Monday, February 18, 2013

Obama's passionate pragmatism | xpostfactoid

Presidents'  Day weekend, sitting in our house in Maine watching the snow drift, has been an excellent time to think about Presidents, particularly the current one who conveniently provided a script for analysis.  What struck me most about the President's tone was his confidence.  And wouldn't you be if you had just been re-elected President after being consistent on policy for your entire public life?  Didn't he do what he said he would while campaigning?  And re-elected as the first bi-racial African-American President?  Andrew Sprung has a terrific analysis of the speech - click through for that. Below is his core analysis of Barack Obama.s fifth State of the Union address.  The bold phrases below are Sprung's, not Obama's.  - GWC
Obama's passionate pragmatism | xpostfactoid: by Andrew Sprung
Obama's repeated plea to the nation tonight was to face reality: his tone was relentless reasonability. He spoke with a distilled fluency of a man who has been articulating the same values and proposing essentially the same policies (excepting gun control)* for six years on the national stage and now speaks with the knowledge that through several permutations and waves of oppositional hysteria he has still has (or has regained) a majority with him on the big stuff.
And so he argued, not only as if he were himself convinced but convinced that we are convinced: Deficit reduction has to be balanced. Undocumented immigrants have to be offered a path to citizenship as part of comprehensive immigration reform. The nation has to invest in the pillars of shared prosperity: alternative energy, education, infrastructure. Climate change is real and wreaking havoc.  The level of gun violence we live with is insane. Everyone has a right to vote without standing in line for five, six, seven hours. As he said with respect to immigration reform: "we know what needs to be done."
Read the speech, watch, and listen:

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