Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I wish the president had been more specific. His continual use of the pronoun ‘we’ (was that a mouse in his pocket?) was startling to me. Who exactly was the ‘we’ he was referring to? Was it his team at the White House? Was it his party? Was it the government in general? Or was it, as should have been the case, all of us?
Therein lies the puzzle of the president’s State of the Union speech. Therein lies the answer as to whether he heard the American people speaking out during the midterm election. Therein is the clue we’ve all been waiting for that would give us some indication as to whether or not the president has shifted toward the center.
You would have to have been born yesterday to mark this as a substantive speech. Obama does not come without history, after all. He’s had two full years to weave his magic. Where are we now?
He pretty much glossed over the (self-inflicted) problems of the past two years. Perhaps these did not much matter. These could still be spun as Bush’s fault. Now we are going forward into an era of high-speed bullet trains (did I say ‘bullet’?) and mercury light bulbs, solar shingles and clean energy to boot. We will reach out to South America (after having reached out and touched China and India; Syria, Iran and Hamas). We’re making progress. We’ve adopted Soviet style terminology to explain ourselves. For the moment, at least, we’re sweeping the fires raging in the Middle East under the carpet.
So far so good. It’s the ‘we’ I can’t seem to wrap my brain around. If by it he meant just he, his appointees and supporters, nothing has essentially changed. If he includes Republicans in his schemes, it’s likely that he means to win them over by threatening to use them as a foil. Only if he meant ‘all of us’ (which I doubt), is he now on the right track.
To one capable of seeing auras, a live mouse shines brighter than a dead elephant. How does Obama see us?