Obama's union is exceptional. Republicans differ. | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Obama's union is exceptional. Republicans differ.

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2016 at 7:00 AM

LOOK WHO'S TALKING: Rep. Bruce Westerman dismissed the State of the Union as empty rhetoric. - TWITTER
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  • LOOK WHO'S TALKING: Rep. Bruce Westerman dismissed the State of the Union as empty rhetoric.

President Obama's farewell State of the Union address was full of bold ideas and strong words, not incidentally including many words about the might and excellence of the United States of America.

Republicans, particularly in Arkansas, were universally dismissive. They all like to bray about American exceptionalism, but you'd think from their response that the U.S. is a terrible place, due mostly to the black Kenyan interloper on Pennsylvania Avenue. The facts — employment, spending, markets, gas prices, health coverage — tend to belie that. But no matter.

Vox boiled the president's remarks down to 375 words. It's a pretty good summary. Boiled down even further:

* Free community college education and a stronger safety net to improve the economy.

* Cure cancer. Move away from dirty energy. Yes, climate change is real.

* Fight terrorism, but also fight irrational fear of terrorism. 

* Make politics work better and stop scapegoating certain types of people (reflexive religious bigotry is un-American).

Votes count. The state of the Union is strong, Obama said.

For these solid thoughts, Obama was portrayed as delusional by the desperate Mike Huckabee and dismissed as a purveyor of little but empty rhetoric by Republicans in Congress such as Rep. Bruce Westernan. For empty rhetoric, see the cookie cutter prepared statements from our members of Congress, ginned out by the same sound-bite mill that has been churning them since the day he took office. In the face of that opposition, Obama's record is even more remarkable.

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