Last night, I sat on the bed with David. David was playing Scramble on his iPhone, and I had my computer on my lap, iTunes tuned to WNYC, and my Twitter open. As President Obama gave his State of the Union address, I live Twittered the experience, and I joined thousands of others that were giving their responses, analysis, and transcription of/to the address.
I have to say that there were a number of times during the speech that more than one "hell yeah" came out of my mouth. Obama had some great things to say, with some witty one liners, and some pointed jabs at both the left and the right. I am behind him with putting his foot in the asses of banks. I am with him on fixing health care. I am with him on job creation. I am even with him on closing the gap in import/exports. I do not advocate militarism, but I do advocate for the right of queer folks to serve openly in the military, though I would prefer that the military, as we know it, would be disbanded and reconstituted using a just defense framework.
I can not get behind Obama on some of the relativist imperialism that espoused. I don't believe in the actions, policies, and necessary oppressive actions that are necessary for the USA to remain #1 in the world. I lamented the lack of a more harsh criticism of the Supreme Court's recent decision on corporate personhood, and I really wish Obama would have stopped his speech, left the podium, and punched Justice Alito in the face when he had the nerve to mouth, "that's not true."
I wish that Obama had spoken about New Orleans and demanded that Congress commit the money to really rebuild the entire Gulf area. I was listening for an acknowledgment that we are not post race or class or sex or gender or oppression. I wanted to hear something about the rebuilding of our social safety network, which the current economic crisis has exposed as a colander and not a net.
I am happy that Obama owned that clean energy and green jobs and industry is the way of the future, but I reject the notion that there is anything such as "clean coal" technology, and I stand firmly against any expansion of nuclear power. How many Chernobyls and Three Mile Islands to we have to have before we understand that nuclear energy is never and will never be safe.
And there was too little about foreign policy. What about Israel and Palestine? What about Afghanistan and Iraq? What about Haiti? What about the climate change treaty? What about IMF reform and World Bank reform?
In the end, I think that Obama did well in his speech. I wasn't looking to agree with everyone he said. And I know that the State of the Union is political positioning at its finest. I think that Obama put some fire under the Republicans. Now, I can only hope that he will use the bully pulpit and channel his inner angry black man and get some real shit done or at least go down in a glorious ball of righteous flames in the effort to make real change and create real hope in the USA.