January 28, 2010

THE RNC WOULD HAVE PAID HIM...:

Where Was the Narrative?: There's no law requiring that State of the Union addresses be dull, overlong lists of provisions and proposals, but it has certainly come to seem that way. (Paul Waldman, January 28, 2010, American Prospect)

If there was a reason to be disappointed in the speech, it was the same reason progressives have again and again been disappointed with Obama, even when they were most excited about him. He has a terrible aversion to drawing clear ideological lines of distinction and to calling out his opponents by name for their misdeeds. When he talks about all the benefits of the stimulus but doesn't mention that every single Republican in the House and all but three (one of whom became a Democrat) in the Senate voted against it, or when he characterizes gridlock as the fault of "Washington" and not the fault of Republicans, progressives aren't frustrated just because they want some red meat to gnaw on. Those ideological distinctions have a practical importance. They explain for the public what the parties' differences are and direct blame where it ought to go. They establish markers that can be repeated and reinforced, making your future efforts at persuasion far simpler.

...to give a speech assigning all the blame for the stimulus to himself and his party and absolving the GOP.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 28, 2010 12:23 PM
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