A couple take away points from President Obama's campaign speech tonight, both on the lightweight side, and an ominously heavy side. First the lightweight stuff.
From the opening of his speech, with its relentlessly peppy opening gambit of "Look at the wonders I have for you!", this speech was heavy on swell sounding words, but extremely light on acknowledging the costs which those words and wonders would bring. And in case you missed it, or didn't realize what it was you were hearing, this,
"The American Jobs Act will repair and modernize at least 35,000 schools. It will put people to work right now fixing roofs and windows; installing science labs and high-speed Internet in classrooms all across this country. It will rehabilitate homes and businesses in communities hit hardest by foreclosures. It will jumpstart thousands of transportation projects across the country. ", is nothing but spending, and big spending at that. But the icing on the cake in our face, was this,
"Every child deserves a great school — and we can give it to them, if we act now."With all the energy and practiced enthusiasm which this was delivered with, I found myself wondering, is the pitchman Billy Mays still alive? I could almost hear "But wait! There's more!"
This speech was no serious, considered, substantive plan to get government out of the way to enable America to get back to work, this was an infomercial to kick off his 2012 campaign - and worse than that, it was only the first part of one. We were told part way through, that we tuned in tonight in order to find out that we've got to endure a second speech in a couple weeks to learn what the plan is for how he's going to pay for all of this... which by the way, would be The Plan, which we were promised we'd hear tonight, and which was the point of calling a joint session of congress to witness.
No gots. Big surprise.
And then, not surprisingly, we discovered that the plan, which we still do not have, is one that is very much in keeping with yesterday's post on Robert B. Reich's article about Obama's 'Zero Economy',
The viewpoint of this speech, and the person and team behind it, is not one that views an economy which is something that is made up of people making careful decisions, based upon perceived favorable, or hostile circumstances and laws, but one more consistent with seeing an economy as a closed system of rats in a maze, which uses shocks and cheese, in order to push them through, to ring the bell, and please their masters.
" It will provide a jolt to an economy that has stalled"
This message of peace is from a Union site. When words and actions don't agree...
read their actions.
And it showed an obliviousness of our current situation, and how we got there, that is truly disturbing. Disturbing because of 'optimistic' sounding lines like this,
'And to help responsible homeowners, we're going to work with federal housing agencies, to help more poeple to refinance their mortgages, at rates that are no near 4%, that's a step ", which were delivered with no awareness of how much they reflect the ideas which got us into the current situation we are trying so desperately to get out of today. Noting that the Republicans were still sitting down on what he expected to be an applause line for everyone, he says,
"I know you guys must be for this, because that's a step that can put more than $2,000 in family's pocket"No, they are not for this - or at least they'd better not be. Does this President not have a clue what the major trigger was for the current mess we are in? Housing bubble? Helloo?!
If the people he is targeting here were good credit risks, they wouldn't need help from federal housing agencies to get low interest loans - I hear ads for several lenders touting just that every morning while driving into work. If they are credit risks, why in God's name, would you try, in this economy, triggered by federal agencies serving up home loans to people who didn't warrant good loans, why would you attempt yet another program for federal agencies to serve up more easy home loans to people who don't warrant a loan?
The one line in the entire speech which actually did catch my attention in a positive way, was this one,
"We're also planning to cut away the red tape that prevents too many rapidly-growing startup companies from raising capital and going public. ", but unfortunately it was also the one line in the entire speech which began with 'We're also planning', rather than 'we are!' or 'we will!', and so, pardon my cynicism, but I put about as much faith in that materializing as I would a faith healer... who asks to be paid first.
But his most telling line, to my mind, was this - in what was said, and the much more meaningful portion that was not said, but was very much implied by it:
"What kind of country would this be if this Chamber had voted down Social Security or Medicare just because it violated some rigid idea about what government could or could not do?"The easy reply to this is that this nation would be a far more closely knit one, a far wealthier one, one that would be significantly more free, and one with a much sounder rule of law, without those two Article 1, Section 8 shredding programs. Why do you ask?
Why did he ask? In hopes of successfully distracting from and ignoring several issues.
Speaking of goodies,
- One, that few things are more divisive to society than govt charity; I do not see Social Security or Medicare as kindnesses, but as one of the first measures to begin breaking apart the bonds and responsibilities which had bound us together for so long.
- Two, to point out how annoying, and obstructionist it is having to follow the rule of law is, and how the Constitution should be ignored, so that the President can more easily deliver goodies to his fans.
- Three, he wants very much for the Constitution to be sidelined and ignored, in order to be able to 'do good' for the American people.
"The people who hired us to work for them, they don't have the luxury of waiting 14 months"They also don't have the luxury of taking vacations every other week, unlike some POTUS's we know.
And now to the dark and heavy side.
The dark side of the evening grows out of my habit of paying more attention to what this President does, than to what he says he'd like to do. President Obama had a nice rousing line in his speech about the wonderfulness of three words:
"I want to see more products sold around the world stamped with three proud words: "Made in America."", which would be nice to hear, if it wasn't for the fact that sitting in the audience as a guest of Rep. Marsha Blackburn, was the CEO of Gibson guitar, whose company has been singled out by this President's Justice Dept. for harassment , has had plants closed down, and numerous materials confiscated with no explanation or charges being brought against them, other than suggestions that it shut down or send its manufacturing jobs to Madagascar.
That's a big Strike One!
Then there was the fact that sitting with the First Lady, was Jeffrey Immelt, the head of the 'JOBS!' committee, who's company, with his enthusiastic blessing, has sent several of its manufacturing divisions... to China!
That's a big Strike Two!
And if that wasn't bad enough, also sitting with the First Lady, was the President of the AFL-CIO union, Richard Trumpka.
That's a big Strike Three!, he's outta there, no credibility, no way, no how.
Why? You really need more? Ok.
On Labor Day the Teamster's President Jimmy Hoffa said,
“...The war on workers, and you see it everywhere, it [sic] is the Tea Party . . .President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let’s take these son of a bitches out . . .”On Labor Day, VP Biden told a union crowd:
"You are the only ones who can stop the barbarians at the gate! That’s why they want you so bad.”and worse, Biden said this:
“You are the only non-governmental power that has the power and capacity to stop this onslaught.”And today, early this morning, hundreds - HUNDREDS - of members of the AFL-CIO stormed a port in Longview Washington, vandalized the grounds, and held people hostage, over a labor dispute...
"Hundreds of Longshoremen stormed the Port of Longview early Thursday, overpowered and held security guards, damaged railroad cars, and dumped grain that is the center of a labor dispute, said Longview Police Chief Jim Duscha.... and that union's president, Richard Trumpka, was a guest of honor in President Obama's box tonight, to listen to the President's speech with the First Lady.
Six guards were held hostage for a couple of hours after 500 or more Longshoremen broke down gates about 4:30 a.m. and smashed windows in the guard shack, he said."
Anyone see any signs for concern here? Does anyone think that hundreds of members of a union are mobilized to storm a port, vandalize property, hold people hostage, and be released without charges - without the leadership of that union knowing about it? Ahead of time? Do you think the President of that union, knowing that he'll be sitting as a guest of the President of the United States of America, would risk blindsiding and embarrassing the President, without letting him know that... some sort of incident was going to occur?
Not friggin' likely. Anyone see any signs for concern here now?
"... nobody has been arrested. Most of the protesters returned to their union hall after cutting brake lines and spilling grain from car at the EGT terminal, Duscha said."How about now? No? Really?
"We're not surprised," Duscha said. "A lot of the protesters were telling us this in only the start."Now? If not now, when?! If not you, who?! Who are you waiting for? YOU are the person you have been waiting for... if you will do nothing, no one will.
As I said to a friend the other day, just think about the implications of that Vice President Obama's statement, and this mornings actions:
But we don't need to imagine the implications of this scenario any longer, it's beginning to happen right now. Just look at the news. If you can find it. Google it. You won't find much.
- That govt power is united with the interests of the labor movement and is also available to be used to 'stop this onslaught',
- That union people comprise a power that should be used as a force, backed by the U.S. Govt, to be mobilized against those who disagree with them.
- They apparently are beginning to do just that.
Interesting, no? Sound and fury, signifying... more than I'd like to imagine.