VICTOR DAVIS HANSON
This was a 2012 campaign speech poorly disguised as a State of the Union Address. But mostly, it was incoherent.
How far we have come in this mishmash from seas rising and temperatures cooling! Obama took credit for things that happened over his opposition, kept silent about his failures (especially the debt), omitted his “successes” (Obamacare) and largely made things up as he hoped and changed his way through. No one listening to Obama would ever dream that we are up to $16 trillion in debt, facing an implosion of Medicare and Social Security, and have a nonexistent housing market, high unemployment, and soaring gas and food prices.
Some details: The war on terror and Iraq are praised for having brought results, but unmentioned is that Obama once opposed all the very protocols and policies that he inherited — and now embraces.
September 2008 was just yesterday, frozen in amber as Obama’s talisman that wards off all responsibility for 2009–2012; the three-and-a-half years in between never happened.
The Democratic Congress’s $4 trillion-borrowing between 2009–2011did nothing; one year of a Republican House wanting a stop to the debt apparently means killing jobs.
The evil Chinese found a way to make things more cheaply than we did and must stop it.
Given soaring gasoline prices and Solyndra, green was sorta then, and natural gas is sorta now. So Obama takes credit for oil and gas production, but to do so shamelessly must tell untruths: Gas production is up only because of someone else’s private genius utilizing fracking and horizontal drilling — in spite of Obama’s cutting back on 40 percent of federal leases, EPA bullying, cap-and-trade utopianism, and his administration’s canceling things like Keystone — and gasoline demand is down because his economy has been so bad the last three years.
Wall Street greed must be watched. That’s why Obama has hired three straight Wall Street multi-millionaires who made their fortunes on Wall Street — much of it from the Freddie/Fannie bubble he serially faults others for.
Losing millions of jobs between 2009–12 was all Bush’s fault, gaining back less than half of them was all to the credit of Obama.
If the Hoover Dam is now Obama’s model, then canceling the massive Keystone Pipeline was his missed chance.
Every corporation must pay their fair share — perhaps even non-income-tax-paying Obama pal GE’s Jeffery Immelt?
Schools should be much more flexible — that’s why Obama opposed charter schools and backs teachers’ unions. Dropouts drop out not on their own volition, but because they can’t stay on the premises and therefore won’t be allowed out until they turn 18.
Obama wants job training instead of unemployment entitlements, but that’s why he vastly expanded the latter.
Outsourcing is bad, but we brag on a globalized Siemens when it outsourced European jobs to hire Americans. Somehow Wall Street (without help from Fannie and Freddie insiders and incompetent or risk-taking buyers) forced houses on the innocent who did not know what they were doing.
Illegal aliens somehow dropped in; none willingly broke the law getting or staying here.
Cutting deficits is critical; that is why Obama ran up $6 trillion in four years.
A man who tried to prevent up-and-down votes while was a senator no longer likes that as president.
Reaching out to Syrian dictator Assad and restoring diplomatic relations with him was part of the Obama plan to see him gone.
Reset with Iran was then, threatening it is now.
The worst relationship in history with Israel is really the strongest.
Massive defense cuts are proof of a brilliant Obama new strategic reassessment.
And on and on, with not a word about looming financial insolvency and a ruined health-care system. In Obama’s peasant idea of a limited good, a few bad guys get ahead only by ensuring lots of good guys don’t.
One bright note: In a brief, matter-of-fact rebuttal, Mitch Daniels said more in ten minutes than Obama did in over an hour — in over three years, in fact — and more than all the Republican candidates have said in four months.
— Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the author of the just-releasedThe End of Sparta. You can reach him by firstname.lastname@example.org.