Robert Reich: Obama needs to stir the passions and enthusiasms of a Democratic base that’s been disillusioned with his cave-ins to regressive Republicans. Hillary Clinton on the ticket can do that.
You can watch President Obama’s State of the Union Address, in its entirety and read the full transcript here. The president began by introducing the Speaker of the House, John Boehner. He then went on to talk about the tragedy in Tucson, pointing out that Representative Gabrielle Giffords’ seat was empty. The hour long video offers insight into what we’re to expect in the coming year.
Walter Moss: President Obama has often been criticized for being too ready to compromise or for not displaying enough political passion for just causes. No doubt, he has not always perfectly calibrated the right mix of passion and compromise. But there is also no doubt, at least in my mind, that he is correct in calling for more civility in politics.
Walter Moss: One of the great ego traps for any president is being surrounded by “yes men and women” who tell him (and maybe someday her) that he is always right. In The Audacity of Hope, Obama wrote of an occasion when President Bush’s “eyes became fixed, his voice took on the agitated, rapid tone of someone neither accustomed to nor welcoming interruption. His easy affability was replaced by an almost messianic certainty. As I watched my mostly Republican Senate colleagues hang on his every word, I was reminded of the dangerous isolation that power can bring, and appreciated the founders’ wisdom in designing a system to keep power in check.”
Mario Solis-Marich: The arrests led to even more unrest as supporters of the incarcerated youth turned up at the jail and demanded their release. Today passions remain strong as young Latino activists commit to continue to hit the streets demanding national leadership on the immigration issue and a veto of the Arizona State Bill 1070.
Tina Dupuy: Health care reform is a far cry from government taking over anything. In the town halls over the summer people were upset by the idea, so with some encouragement and coaching by interest groups they came out to make that known. As the saying goes, feelings are not facts and in the health care debate the latter beat the snot out of the former. In the end we’re a sick nation that pays more than any other country for health care and we still rate low in quality of care. The bill that passed is an improvement not a cure-all and certainly not enough to trigger the end of the world or even cause an unpronounceable Icelandic volcano to erupt.
Pentagon Taking Over U.S. Foreign Policy. Some idea of Pentagon dominance over diplomatic approaches may be gleaned from the Pentagon’s $664 billion annual budget compared with State’s $52 billion. “Washington employs more military band members than it does foreign service officers.” –Sherwood Ross America Needs a True Revolution of Values. What can Sen. Jim DeMint, [...]