Randy Shaw: While progressives debate whether President Obama could have used his “bully pulpit” to overcome GOP opposition to reviving the nation’s economy, let’s accept that in 2013-14 activists can more effectively address economic justice measures at the state level.
Randy Shaw: It’s painful to remember that Barack Obama ran against Hillary Clinton by arguing that the Clinton presidency had not been as transformative as Ronald Reagan’s, and that he would go beyond small reforms to bring Change We Can Believe In.
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.
Joseph Palermo: The Democrats must pass a lot of legislation before the midterms or they’re going to be very sorry. Soon enough, given the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, we’re going to see campaigns where our choice for U.S. Senator will be between the “Doritos Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips” candidate and the “Pepsi/Pizza Hut/KFC/Frito Lay/Taco Bell” candidate. Former President George W. Bush is raking in the bucks speaking at the National Grocers’ Association. First he defiled the presidency by getting John Yoo to turn the Justice Department into a law factory for monarchical presidential powers, now he shares the stage as an inspirational speaker with Terry Bradshaw. Our elections are about to become a satirical skit that Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report did a long time ago.
Andrea Christina Nill: According to Gibbs, the question isn’t whether President Obama still supports passing comprehensive immigration reform, but rather, whether the White House can be convinced that there is enough bipartisan support to get it passed. A recent affirmative statement from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) indicates that at least one key GOP member is reaching out to his colleagues and encouraging them to embrace the immigration issue. Meanwhile, themajority of Republican and Independent voters already support comprehensive immigration reform.
Gil Troy: Obama quickly plunged into a much-needed defense of the bank bailout and his stimulus plan. In his most human moment, he acknowledged that Democrats and Republicans united in hating the bailout: “I hated it. You hated it. It was about as popular as a root canal.” His stimulus defense appeared more substantive as he detailed the bill’s accomplishments. But to avoid being too professorial, Obama failed to connect the dots, not quite explaining how that controversial bill actually created the jobs he enumerated.
David A. Love: And at the Republican Party’s retreat in Baltimore, President Obama was responsible for the most compelling example of political theater in recent American history. He fielded questions from a crowded room of hostile adversaries– outnumbered, perhaps, but unmatched in intellectual firepower. The result was nothing less than a nationally-broadcast smackdown that the Republicans will not soon forget. Perhaps the president’s adversaries in the GOP, blinded by their partisanship, extremism, and dare I say racism, underestimated his capabilities.
Dr. Margaret Flowers: I was overjoyed to hear you say in your State of the Union address on Wednesday night: “But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.” My colleagues, fellow health advocates and I have been trying to meet with you for over a year now because we have an approach which will meet all of your goals and more.
Here’s my favorite line from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s “State of the City” speech Tuesday: “When challenges seem daunting, it’s always helpful to recall the old Japanese proverb: ‘Adversity is the foundation of virtue.’ ” My personal favorite proverb comes from my mother: “Actions speak louder than words.” I’ve been struggling since last night to put [...]