We Choose Both
I've just finished watching the State of the Union. Well, perhaps watching is a strong word. I watched about as much of the SotU as I have in previous years. The politics and grandstanding and constant applause was just as intolerable this year as it was in past years, it's just this year the message was delivered by a small-handed man with authoritarian tendencies.
Joking aside, what I really wanted to talk about was the Democratic Response to the State of the Union. The response was more tolerable at 20 minutes than the State of the Union, and personally, I found the message more palpable too.
As an aside, it turns out the SotU is just north of an hour an twenty minutes, making it the third longest on record.
Senator Kennedy made a good point about the President repeatedly giving false dilemmas in attempts to negotiate. The Senator pointed out a few:
- "sick kids if we sacrifice dreamers"
- "cut taxes for corporations today if we raise them on families tomorrow"
This leads to the best part of the speech:
We fight for both, because the greatest, strongest, richest nation in the world should not have to leave anyone behind.
We choose a better deal for all who call our country home. We choose a living wage and a paid leave, and affordable childcare that your family needs to survive, which is pensions that are solvent, trade pacts that are fair, roads and bridges that will not rust away. A good education that you can afford. We choose a health care system that offers you mercy, whether you suffer from cancer, or depression, or a addiction. We choose an economy strong enough to boast record stock prices and brave enough to admit that top CEOs making 300 times their average worker is not right.
Or as David Frum puts it in a more conservative way:
Health care may not be a human right, but the lack of universal health coverage in a wealthy democracy is a severe, unjustifiable, and unnecessary human wrong.
He's only talking about healthcare here, I think the sentiment is similar. Or at least similar enough to build bridges and find common ground. That's something we sorely need.
Dems Need a Message
Democrats really need to come up with a message for this mid-term election. It's now nearly February and still no one really knows what the Democratic party stands for. This speech was a decent start; let's see if they do anything with it.
Let's also hope whatever energizes the Democratic party isn't itself some form of populism.