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Posts Tagged ‘State of the Union’

Washington, D.C. (API) As he hoped to keep the country united and uplifted among partisan strife and economic difficulties, Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address Wednesday to the embattled Congress, seeding his speech with all sorts of double entendre, ironic asides and innuendo in hopes of achieving the impossible and somehow telling everybody in the fractious and polarized republic what they think they want to hear, according to their own level of understanding.

“My fellow Americans,” the president said, “One year ago, I took office amid two wars, an economy rocked by a severe recession, a financial system on the verge of collapse, and a government deeply in debt. But today Americans stand larger than ever.”

Obama took the lectern at a time when the political discourse has been as hostile as ever–when America continues to face two wars, rising debt and economic uncertainty. In such critical times, Obama said that Americans will not abide by political mudslinging in Washington.

“We’ve reached a level of public discourse where we’re warm only in the breaches,” he said.

Obama has been accused this year of political miscalculation, however, and he admitted that his Republican challengers have vigorously questioned his health care policies at a critical time.

“With the failure of health care, however, our hearts are truly in question,” Obama said. “Before he died, Ted Kennedy said he wanted health care for all. I wish the Republican leadership would join him now.”

But in a nod to conservatives’ call for fiscal responsibility, Obama said, “We have tried in the past year to curb Wall Street indulgences, but we haven’t had the right tools to fight. I concede that there are many tools on the other side of the aisle this evening.”

Obama said that experts from across the political spectrum warned last year about a second Great Depression, and that his administration acted immediately and aggressively.

“The worst of the storm has passed,” said Obama, “but the recession still blows.”

Obama said that all politicians, including himself, hated the bank bailout.

“Americans don’t understand why they are unemployed when they’ve played by the rules but Wall Street bankers are rewarded for bad behavior. What does that say to the next generation of Americans getting reared?”

Obama at one point said that the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations to spend an unlimited amount of money on political campaigns would harm democracy, a statement that drew rebuke from certain court justices sitting in the hall.

“Now that the Supreme Court has let corporations and possibly foreigners fund the politicians they favor, you can expect a new kind of crony politician to come in your face,” Obama said.

Obama went on to say that he’s cut taxes on most Americans, a statement that drew applause from several Republicans.

“I’m just want to hear about tax cuts,” said Rep. John Boehner, (R-Ohio). “I wasn’t listening any closer than that.”

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