Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

SOTU Preview

It's really distressing to hear pundits weighing in on the President's State of the Union speech before it has happened.  First, because... it hasn't happened yet.  They are responding to leaks, dribs and drabs that are selected specifically for being used to spin.

There is the usual caterwauling on the Left for impossible programs, but even regular editorial pages are saying the President should "go big" on unemployment insurance, the minimum wage, food stamps and gun control.

The abject ignorance of the understanding of governmental institutions and the realities of the modern GOP is stunning.

Obama has and will continue to do what he can through executive actions.  He's actually doing a fair amount on pollution through regulatory changes.  But the big ticket items mentioned above are simply not going to pass a GOP House.

I get that some progressives want him to make this a condemnation of the GOP, but there is some evidence he might do just that.  However, it is the State of the Union.  It's not a campaign speech.

But of course, it is a campaign speech.  Washington dysfunction is only likely to increase as we approach the 2014 midterms.  And so, my guess is Obama will talk at some length about the intransigence of a House GOP that refuses to even vote on issues that have supermajority support,

But the important thing is to pre-judge the speech, because pundits are never held accountable for being wrong.

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