Wednesday, February 2, 2011

THE AUDACITY OF HOKUM - PART II: Mr Obama Explains it All

FOLLOWING is my detailed analysis of the first portion of President Obama's 2011 State of the Union Address [click for transcript]. Bold italics are directly from the speech. The remainder is my paraphrase and commentary.

Mr. Obama Explains it All

After his opening remarks, President Obama used the flames of debate manufactured by media and elected officials over the acts of a lone crazy man to pitch the "One Nation, One Family/Era of Cooperation" idea.

“We are part of the American family. We believe that in a country where every race and faith and point of view can be found, we are still bound together as one people…”; that all our children’s dreams “…deserve the chance to be fulfilled.

“That, too, is what sets us apart as a nation.

“Now, by itself, this simple recognition [One Nation/One Family – and our mutual commitment to the children’s dream-fulfillment] won't usher in a new era of cooperation [except in common dedication to children’s dreams]. What comes of this moment is up to us. What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow.”

Speaking to our elected officials, he urged unity.

  • New laws. 
  • Move forward. 
  • No substance. 

Best line thus far: “We will move forward together, or not at all – for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics.” 


“…At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else. It's whether the hard work and industry of our people is rewarded…” [or NOT…see last Wednesday’s post] as opposed to “…whether we sustain the leadership that has made America not just a place on a map, but a light to the world.”

We have led the world into moving vital national industries (textiles, automotive, manufacturing) first to Mexico, then halfway around the world. Homeland Security warns of the vulnerability of our supply lines and data. 

Who loses? American workers, families and consumers.

Who gains? Follow the money.

“We are poised for progress. Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again.”

So-called “profits” which have been achieved by sacrificing American jobs, are false profits.

We measure progress by the success of our people.”  Which "our": the top 2% and their cronies, or the rest of us?

Mr. Obama then tosses out possible – but not promised – bones to the masses:

  • Jobs.
  • Quality of life from jobs.
  • Dreams come true (Prospect of small business owner who dreams [with children’s help, no doubt] a good idea into a thriving enterprise).
  • Possible better life passed on to our children.

And to our representatives he avers: “That's the project the American people want us to work on. Together.”

He touted past Republicrat cooperative triumphs:

  • Tax cuts = bigger paychecks [for the top 2%]
  • Investment tax credit [for those who still have money – and many investments are offshore]
Then divined the future results:

  • grow the economy [= Wall Street, India, China and Korea]
  • add more jobs [in India, China and Korea – maybe Wall Street]

Mr. Obama pep-talked the legislators. Summary:

  • More work to do. 
  • Hard work. 

He then switches gears and speaks directly to Outsourced America:

“Many people watching tonight can probably remember a time when finding a good job meant showing up at a nearby factory or a business downtown…” Then he conjectures a bit and snaps us back to reality. That world has changed.” 

A sad litany ensues. The plight of the downtrodden thumbnailed:

  • Painful change for many
  • Shuttered windows
  • Factories once booming
  • Vacant storefronts
  • Main Streets silent
  • Americans frustrated
  • Paychecks dwindling
  • Jobs disappearing
These Outsourced Americans are “– proud men and women who feel like the rules have been changed in the middle of the game.”

“They're right. The rules have changed.”

Culprits are introduced:

  • Revolutions in technology
  • Internet access to cheap labor worldwide

Those who have been most affected by the various international treaties, agreements, memoranda of understanding, etc., were never consulted as Presidents Clinton thru Obama each wielded their fast-track deal-making powers on the backs of American workers they are sworn to protect. 

Who are the real culprits that have facilitated this fiasco? 

Follow the money. (HINT: See who presently scratches the backs and fattens the wallets of our former Presidents and retired politicians responsible for passage of these treaties.)

Economic heroes and role models are introduced and praised as worthy examples for us to emulate:

“Meanwhile, nations like China and India realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world.” Not only does their labor cost a fraction of an American’s, “…they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science.” Other wonders of these hotbeds of profit production:

  • Investment  in research and new technologies.
  • World's largest private solar research facility (China).
  • World's fastest computer (China).

"So yes, the world has changed. The competition for jobs is real. But this shouldn't discourage us." Helpful reminders to Outsourced of America’s inherent strengths:

  • Largest, most prosperous economy in the world (Wall Street, and the Military-Industrial-Entertainment Complex).
  • Most productive workers (Willing to work for free to keep their jobs).
  • More successful companies (exploiting labor here and abroad).
  • More grants (to favorite NGO's).
  • More patents to inventors and entrepreneurs (really?).
  • World's best colleges and universities (for the top 2%, maybe)

Mr. Obama tells us the secret of America's success:

“What's more, we are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea – the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny.” 

Then the pep-talk to the jobless continues with mention of past and present destiny-shapers:

  • pioneers and
  • immigrants

Because they risked everything to come here, it somehow follows that “…our students don't just memorize equations, but answer questions like ‘What do you think of that idea? What would you change about the world? What do you want to be when you grow up?’” Impressive. 

More helpful aphorisms follow:

  • The future is ours to win.
  • To get there, we can't just stand still.
  • "The future is not a gift. It is an achievement." – Robert Kennedy
  • Sustaining the American Dream is not about standing pat.
  • [Sustaining the American Dream] requires each generation to sacrifice, and struggle, and meet the demands of a new age.
By these final remarks, Mr. Obama sets the stage for his grand plan to solve our present societal ills.

NEXT WEEK: Part III: The Candy Man Delivers

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