SOTU. We Don't Quit. I Don't Quit !

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President Barack Obama speaks to a joint sessi...

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The President's State of the Union (SOTU) speech was realistic, mostly accurate, and proscriptive. It was not a "feel good" speech. It accurately summarized where the nation is domestically, divided and behind schedule in addressing many of its most pressing issues. His speech pragmatically stipulated that he alone cannot bring the solutions to pass (a campaign refrain); Congress and the people have to carry their share of the load, the confidence, and responsibility.
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There was nothing in his speech to force the far Left and Right together. There was nothing in his speech to force congressional representatives to put the nation's needs ahead of their own reelection needs. There was nothing in his speech to indicate it would be easier going forward. Pres. Obama did, however, lay the burden of overcoming the nation's challenges rightfully at the feet of those who have not delivered or contributed to meeting our nation's future needs responsibly.

So we face big and difficult challenges. And what the American people hope -- what they deserve -- is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to work through our differences, to overcome the numbing weight of our politics. For while the people who sent us here have different backgrounds, different stories, different beliefs, the anxieties they face are the same. The aspirations they hold are shared: a job that pays the bills, a chance to get ahead, most of all, the ability to give their children a better life.

Pres. Obama tasked those who would deny America's future from being what it should be:

To Democrats, I would remind you that we still have the largest majority in decades, and the people expect us to solve problems, not run for the hills. And if the Republican leadership is going to insist that 60 votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town -- a supermajority -- then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well. Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it's not leadership. We were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions. So let's show the American people that we can do it together.

Then our President closed the speech with a note of praise, encouragement, and a perennial source of optimism in saying:

Our administration has had some political setbacks this year and some of them were deserved. But I wake up every day knowing that they are nothing compared to the setbacks that families all across this country have faced this year. And what keeps me going -- what keeps me fighting -- is that despite all these setbacks, that spirit of determination and optimism, that fundamental decency that has always been at the core of the American people, that lives on.

It lives on in the struggling small business owner who wrote to me of his company, "None of us," he said, "... are willing to consider, even slightly, that we might fail."

It lives on in the woman who said that even though she and her neighbors have felt the pain of recession, "We are strong. We are resilient. We are American."

It lives on in the 8-year-old boy in Louisiana, who just sent me his allowance and asked if I would give it to the people of Haiti.

And it lives on in all the Americans who've dropped everything to go someplace they've never been and pull people they've never known from the rubble, prompting chants of "USA! USA! USA!" when another life was saved.

The spirit that has sustained this nation for more than two centuries lives on in you, its people. We have finished a difficult year. We have come through a difficult decade. But a new year has come. A new decade stretches before us. We don't quit. I don't quit. Let's seize this moment -- to start anew, to carry the dream forward and to strengthen our union once more.

It was a realistic account of where America is today in foreign affairs, economically, politically, and psychologically. And he highlighted the most obvious: the obvious that is too frequently overlooked. We will succeed together, united as a diverse nation, or, we will not succeed in rescuing this great nation's future. It is up to all of us to hold ourselves, and each other, responsible for doing our share in keeping the dream of a worthwhile future alive with our own honest efforts in that direction.

2 Comments

Wow! It's amazing how differently we can hear the same speech. You focused on the rhetoric, which we have all heard over and over again. I saw and heard something different. The tone was ratcheted up a few notches as he lobbed his missiles across the bow of his sinking ship. He threw that chin in the air and defiantly looked down his nose at his opponents with an ominous threat. If the Congress doesn't do his bidding, he will rule by Executive Order. If the Supreme Court doesn't rule according to his liking, he will publicly and falsely accuse them. That's amazing! We thought we elected a President, not a King. Sure, he wants to work with anyone and everyone as long as they agree with everything he wants. Sure, he's a team player as long as he is carrying the ball.

Let's get passed the rhetoric and admit to the reality of our current situation. Obama's agenda reigns supreme. Any opposition is deemed to be political opportunism. If we all proceed according to his rules, no one can win (legislate) except Barak Obama.

Kroz,

There is a difference between your partisan interpretation and metaphors without evidence in reality, and the actual words spoke and visuals in the video record.

Reality is what it is. Projection and interpretation rest within the mind of the audience member. Interpretation of others words, especially when such interpretation adds visceral and emotional colorings to the reality being interpreted, says more about the interpreter than the person being interpreted.

Faithful interpretation renders the reality true to itself. Projection reveals what the interpreter wanted, or needed to hear, in order to preserve their biases and prejudices.

Thank you, however, for sharing your take on the SOTU speech here. Comments and sharing of political views are always welcome here, provided they treat others here with civility.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on January 28, 2010 8:54 AM.

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