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Dreaming the State of the Union Address

category_bug_politics.gif As you undoubtedly know, President Barack Obama will deliver his state of the union address to Congress and the American people tonight. Crabby Old Lady is trying to ignore it; she may not watch. (She recorded both flavors of NCIS and White Collar last night, so there is plenty of distraction available should she want it.)

And, watching in real time is no longer important. The speech will be online and the punditocracy will be picking it to pieces even before Obama finishes; the same old, same old from the same, tired old crowd. Anyway, Crabby thinks she knows what to expect:

A bit of the president's now-patented, soaring rhetoric; a recital of the progress made attacking our great recession (something noticeable only to the White House and Wall Streeters); and, apparently, announcement of a freeze on discretionary spending (except for the military and related agencies) which no legislator of any political stripe likes even before its official presentation.

And for comic relief that will have the pundits in a tizzy for a week, perhaps some Republican will shout a rude inanity.

Political maven she may be, but as Crabby Old Lady writes this, NCIS and White Collar are looking like a better choice.

Here are a few things the president could say but that Crabby expects to hear only in her dreams:

“I know I've harped on the success of the stimulus package in creating jobs. And some jobs were created - just not enough and too many were short-term make-work. So, taking a page from FDR, which I should have done a long time ago, tonight I announce the 2010 New Deal. Beginning immediately, we will create works agencies that will start with fixing the infrastructure of the United States.

"Remember that? A few years ago, there was a big to-do about our bridges, roads, dams, railroads, waterways and more that are crumbling, but except for the bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis, no one did anything about it. Now we will fix all that while putting millions back to work – not just in the blue collar jobs for the heavy lifting, but all the necessary related jobs – accountants, attorneys, project managers, technologists, transportation, manufacturing, etc. along with support business that will spring up in local areas around these projects. We will also...”

The end of attempts at bipartisanship with Congress
“God knows I've tried for the past year, but there has been nothing but no from Republicans with not a single, credible alternative. Sometimes we Democrats are our own worst enemies, but I think if we ignore the Republicans, we can recapture the spirit of cooperation we found during the campaign and will be able to move ahead on our own to solve the many problems our country faces. We welcome any Republicans who want to join us, but only if they have something more to offer than a filibuster.”

Bringing home the troops
“No one knows why our forces are in Iraq and Afghanistan, least of all me, and there is not a single person in the United State (or elsewhere) who knows what victory would be. We have spent a treasury of trillions, lost thousands of young lives. It is time to stop and leave those countries to their agonies.”

Bank regulation
“I am ending the doctrine of too-big-to-fail and will work with Congress to bring back Glass-Steagall, among other efforts to ensure that banks no longer risk your money on casino-style, esoteric investments that got us into our economic mess.

"To help that along, I am backing down on my support of Ben Bernanke for another term as head of the Federal Reserve. In addition, I will appoint some new economic advisers who are not dizzy from too many turns through the Wall Street/Washington revolving door, people whose future employment, after my administration, does not depend on keeping Wall Street bankers happy.”

Health care reform
“I can see now that I was wrong to take single-payer off the table at the beginning of the health care initiative. The Senate bill has become so weakened that not even elimination of pre-existing conditions for adults remains. On the other hand, ninety-six percent of our elders like Medicare and are well taken care of under that system. It makes much more sense to extend Medicare to everyone and in expanding the risk pool to the entire population, health care costs will become affordable for all.”

Entitlement Commission
“On Tuesday, the Senate rejected the Conrad/Judd debt commission proposal - also called entitlement commission. Just a couple of days before that, I said I would create such a commission by executive order if Congress did not. However, since then, I have discovered a terrific blog called Time Goes By where a woman who calls herself Crabby Old Lady and a Pulitzer Prize-winning contributor to that blog, Saul Friedman, have written extensively about why this commission is a bad idea.

"They have convinced me that debt reduction should not come out of the hides of our elders. Social Security and Medicare did not cause the meltdown, so tonight, I withdraw my support of the commission and we will find other ways to attack the national debt.”

And so on. Crabby is pretty sure TGB readers can dream an even better State of Union Address than she has.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Johna Ferguson: Gone For Good


Hear hear !!! Ronni for President.

If only...

From your lips to God's ears . . .

I think I'll turn the TV off and read a good book.

Call me Disenchanted Old Lady

I will hope you are wrong, but I think not. Wait till these republicans get in next time ------I know it will be no different.

I can't wait for Sauls take on this tomorrow.

My second choice, after Ronni's version, would be a requiem for democracy. The Supreme Court declared it officially dead last week (or was it the week before? My how time flies when you're watching the show!), so we should at least pay our last respects to it. Who better than the President for that?

Just what I would like to hear but add in campaign finance reform.

In your dreams, Crabby!

Yes, I'm not so sure about Ben Bernanke myself.

He reminds me of a guy who can go in a revolving door in back of you and come out in front of you...

I also agree with the rest of your essay,Crabby. You always hit the nail on the head..


"Fighting the Civil War was a mistake, because it resulted in a patchwork of red and blue voters with little in common. Therefore, tonight I admit we misinterpreted the results of that war, and I make amends by announcing the defeat of the Union. The South will be allowed to secede as long as it promises to take the Fox network and Pat Robertson with it.

"Those of us who remain will work on health care, restoration of civil liberties, and limiting personhood to actual people."

You covered it well and I am with you and not planning to watch. I can read it later. I'd like to see him decide being a one term president who works for values that matter is better than two terms of selling out but politics being what it is, I have little hope that's what he'll do. He may sell out and still end up being a one-term president. The only thing he could guarantee is working for the things he claimed he would. So far it hasn't looked good.

I like Mary and Rain's suggestions.

But it could be a lot worse: we could be in Haiti. I've just put up the most inspiring thing I've seen today over at my blog. I needed it.

Good night to catch up on my reading!

Ronni for President! How soon can you start? I think there will be a vacancy come next election.

You've got my votes. I intend to vote early and often for you.

Aah, Ronni, if only your dream was reality!

The late, great actress Bette Davis once said, "Getting old isn't for sissies!" And to my mind neither is being an effective president. It's time he got tough and started kicking some ass.

It's obvious that being "Mr. Nice Guy" and trying to build consensus with the Republicans and some of the turncoats in his own party isn't working. So now's the time to take his opponents to the woodshed if he wants to maintain the support of the people who elected him. If he continues to be intimidated by the members of Congress who have been bought off by the big money special interests, he may well be a one-term president.

tonight's big talking point is whether President Obama can finally get a win, after perhaps the worst week of his Presidency big talking point


I'd like to see him decide being a one term president who works for values that matter is better than two terms of selling out but politics being what it is, I have little hope that's what he'll do.

I heartily concur...

The only thing I like about politics, Crabby, is Social Security and Medicare. I do hope your dreams come through but I have to watch, if only to see the various expressions on Nancy Pelosi's face and the back stabbing applause and ye hah's from our Congress folks.

I'm not watching because I don't want to see all those fatuous hypocrites that claim to represent us. I no longer have "the audacity of hope". However, if you decide to toss your hat in the ring, Ronni, I might take an interest!!!

Sheila --

I forgot about Nancy Pelosi's facial expressions. Maybe I'll watch after all, but without sound!

This ancient tune keeps running through my head:



Yes, we can..But why won't he? Where did he (we) go wrong. Let me blow Ronni's and my horn..We were among the first to wonder what's become of the Obama we chhered for. I'll contribute my take after the SOTU..and later in Reflections.

I say Crabby for president! I am passing on the State of the Union too and plan on watching a new video I picked up at a free table at work Vicky Christina Barcelona either that or take a nice long candle light bubble bath.

Crabby for president! How come we have this vision, practical, workable, great for the country and we are still being ignored and messed over? I voted for change, not the same old, same old and it just breaks my heart to see this happen. I knew that he wasn't FDR but I hoped that maybe we could be FDR lite, instead of a more eloquent version of Bush and Co.

No, Crabby, aka Ronni, I couldn't dream of a better State of the Union address than yours. Thank you for putting into words what many of us are thinking.

I do have to say, in defense of President Obama, he is "one heck of a speaker." I even liked when he mentioned "root canal" because I just wrote him a letter regarding the need for dental coverage on Medicare Plans. On a fixed income, the teeth get major neglected....but I think Nancy Pelossi is a phony...there is just something about her that irks me...or maybe Crabby and friends, I am disgusted with it all. Mr. Friedman and Ronni - what a ticket for President!!!!!!

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