Back in the Saddle Again

Last week’s State of the Union speech made one thing very clear: either President Obama hired a new speech-writer and he “got his mojo back, baby”...

Last week’s State of the Union speech made one thing very clear: President Obama hired a new speech-writer and he “got his mojo back, baby”. There was a confidence in the speech that had been sometimes lacking during the past few years. States of the Union addresses are rarely memorable. Great speakers are memorable, like your Reagans or Clintons, but few of their speeches stand out after the test of time. The few memorable lines often come from Inaugurals or special occasions. (JFK’s “ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country can do for you” or FDR’s Pearl Harbor address “You have nothing to fear but fear itself”) President Obama’s speech this week might end up being one that is remembered for years to come, when he turned the factual laundry list speech to a rousing emotional speech at the end.

Giving a State of the Union address in such polarized times is no easy task. The first term was one of attempted compromise. The reality now is that House Republicans are simply unwilling to work together for ideological reasons. The same people who wouldn’t stand during the speech or return calls after the election are the same complaining they aren’t being reached out too.

Unfortunately, no amount of wining and dining is going to break the hardline far-right opposition that opposes any bill just because of bipartisan cooperation. Marco Rubio learned that the hard way when he was lambasted by his own party this week by trying to compromise.

The President’s speech walked a fine line between being a gracefully presented laundry list of goals while being realistic. These goals, barring immigration, see little hope of being put forward towards an obtuse Congress. Much like Ronald Reagan did to achieve his tax policy changes, it’s time for the President to take his argument to the people.

The only way we are going to see these changes is by making it so politically damning to be continually obstinate that Republicans will have to learn that they cannot ignore the will of the American people to placate their gerrymandered constituencies.

The speech’s high point was, for me, started with the call for electoral reform in our country. Desiline Victor, a 102-year-old, should not have waited 6 hours in line to vote. Every American who has the ability and privilege of voting should have the ability to do. Denying people voting rights through gerrymandering and gamesmanship is un-American and sad.

However, the climax of the crescendo came when the President called out the names of the victims of gun violence and stated they deserve a vote. He did this with dramatic rhythm and cadence that caused the audience to respond with equal emotion. This was more than a call to just vote on gun safety legislation or immigration, but moreover it was a call to Congress and Republicans to allow for other voices to be heard and vote on laws for the American People. No more games, this was a call to get things done.

Reprinted from 5th District State Sen. Curt Thompson's (D-Tucker) blog. Thompson represents parts of unincorporated Duluth, Norcross, Tucker, and Lawrenceville. Also, check the Senator out on Facebook and Twitter.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

David Brown February 21, 2013 at 01:10 PM
Curt, You're right, as usual. President Obama should not forget that, despite the excoriation he undergoes in places like Patch, that in two consecutive elections the majority of voters agreed with his approach and voted for him.
George Wilson February 21, 2013 at 10:16 PM
Too bad we can't get this type of leadership at the state level.For example: Eight Good Reasons for Governor Deal and the Republican legislature to Change Mind on expanding Medicaid 1. Cost each Georgia family $1200.00 in higher insurance premiums for the cost of paying for the uninsured 2 Creation of about 70,000 jobs will be lost 3. Potential lose of Doctors in Georgia as they move to other states 4. 650,000 poor Georgians may not have health insurance 5. Hurts Georgia economy by eliminating the economic multiplier effect of 4.5 billion dollars 6. Other Republican Governors are getting on board including Florida and Arizona 7. Makes Georgia less attractive to locate business in 8. Loss of tax revenue through the multiplier effect and jobs Over the next 10 years, Georgia’s modest state investment would be less than a 2 percent bump in total state spending. That investment would return at least $9 in federal funding for each $1 spent by the state. This is really a no brainer from a business and economic viewpoint and we need some smart leadership, contact the Governor office and express your concern.


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