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The State of the Union 2015: Obama comes out swinging?

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David Plouffe wrote The Audacity to Win: How Obama Won and How We Can Beat the Party of Limbaugh, Beck, and Palin back in the heady days of the early Barack Obama, Change We Can Believe In, and the unearned Nobel Peace Prize.

 

In his book, Plouffe lays out the advanced ideas and tactics that swept away Hillary Clinton, John McCain, the bad old days of the reign of Junior Bush and his henchmen Cheney, Rumsfeld et. al, and the events that gave new life to the idea that America could be great again.

 

Plouffe also gave an early insight into the character and habits of the new President. Things like his, at times, flighty nature, inability to focus, and his crdeit: reason.comdesire to never be An Angry Black Man.

 

Over the years, these things have come into sharper focus, especially the bit about not being An Angry Black Man. Many of his supporters have wished he would be just an Angry Man in the face of repeated insults, stonewalls, and intransigence on the part of his political enemies the Republican Party and their accomplices the right-wing media’s talking heads.

 

It has been maddening to see see this play out so forcefully. It has been discouraging, to say the least, to watch the forces of cynicism and despair gain ascendency over the better forces of our nature as people and as Americans. It has been difficult to watch Barack Obama not fight back in kind. To not return blow for blow, insult for insult.

 

But, perhaps, just maybe, President Obama has been correct all along. Perhaps his view of the country in the wake of the greatest threat to our prosperity since the the Great Depression was accurate, and his way, one of accommodation and compromise, was the right way.

 

This is something history will not doubt take up, explore, and judge.

 

Perhaps this year’s State of the Union speech will provide a new spirit to this President, a fighting spirit, a spirit that put on full display the total lack of any coherent ideas on the part of the Republicans.

 

Negativity can be an effective short term political weapon. Negativity can never be a guiding philosophy of how to the manage the affairs of a great nation.

 

Perhaps the time has come to propose needed reforms and then react to the all too predictable response of the people who say “no” to everything and anything that does not benefit their corporate masters or base of the one percenters. The true “miracle” of Republican politics is how they can convince school teachers, plumbers, and mid-level business managers that they care about them. If you like farce, you must love this.

 

Perhaps the electorate (even those who do vote) will begin to pay attention to what is actually happening rather than to its skewed depiction on Fox News and AM radio.

Let us hope.

 

Michael Settle is a retired investment adviser and writer. He lives in Paris.

 

Contact Michael Settle at michaelsettle@gmail.com


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