Thursday, January 28, 2010

The State of the Union Is Tore Up

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.


  1. good stuff! thanks for sharing.

  2. yes, yes, and yes. thank you for another concise editorial on Obama!

  3. This is another reason why I will turn to you before opening a newspaper. I agree with everything that you said and I love the way that you said it.

    I will add however, that while Obama is one of the finest orators this nation has ever had as President (Ronald Reagan looks like a sock puppet compared to the "Great Communicator" that President Obama is) we have still heard all of this shit before. No matter how pretty a song is, it's going to be annoying on a broken record.

    During his race for the Presidency we were told that there would be an end to the war. My guess is that once he parked his ass behind that desk in the Ovular Orafice, the powers-that-be filled him in on the country's true greed and need for oil power, and his ideology became somewhat stunted.

    I also think America is naive to the amount of power that a President has (or in this case, doesn't have.)

    Of course my gay ass perked up at the mention of repealing the Don't Ask/ Don't Tell policy within the year, but I also remember being told that Gitmo would be closed this month, so you'll pardon me if I don't hold my breath.

    I love our President. I don't love his lack of progress so far, but I pray that he's just getting a slow (and considerate) start, and that the next three years are filled with the "change" that his optimistic campaign was built upon. As I have said before, if he doesn't do something soon, he'll be another one-term Jimmy Carter in brown.

    And speaking of "brown", if Obama fucks up, GOD HELP US ALL because it will be a damned dog's age before we see another President of color. I don't need to tell you that there are an awful lot of people...white people...who have been waiting for President Obama to drop his candy since the honeymoon was over. If he fucks up, the reverberations will last for a long time.

    In spite of having just spat all of that sturm and drang, I must say that his ability to instill optimism was not entirely lost on me. I still have hope, and after 8 years of sheer and unadulterated hopelessness, it's a welcome feeling!

  4. Alito mouthed "That's not true" ???!!!???

    betty t - minneapolis

  5. The speech was good. I was pleased that he called out the Supreme Court for their bullshit ruling, which prompted Alito to breach protocol (a telling moment about the man if there ever was one).

    I love the camera action, noting for posterity (and in Rachel Maddow clips) the republicans siding with the banks over the giving the bailout money back to the taxpayer. (awesome)

    Obama rocks. I knew electing the smart guy would pay off. As for LGBT equality, Obama is playing with the most savage beasts in the world, lions and tigers and Washington politicians. Our day will come. I think he ran right up the middle, tossing fresh meat to both sides so that everyone got fed. But the visual of obstinate Republicans and their collusion with the banks won't go away any time soon.

    Game on ...

  6. Nice recap bro. Hope you are well. Karlos


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