The Corner

Obama’s State of the Union in Five Words: #I’llGiveYouFreeStuff

President Obama’s State of the Union address next Tuesday will be a little different this year from years past, because he isn’t expected to announce any new major proposals during the speech itself. But he will lay out big plans — we just know what they are already. From Politico:

But as for the State of the Union tradition of unveiling big announcements for a year-ahead agenda, Obama’s done with that. The country’s been done with that for a while, aides say, and the White House has finally caught up.

They believe they’ve now redefined the State of the Union model, not just for this year and next but for the next couple of presidents at least.

Most of what’s in the speech they’ll have already announced as part of Obama’s two-week lead-up tour. White House aides say that may be it — they’re not interested in making big legislative asks for the GOP to reflexively shoot down, nothing on par with last month’s surprise restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba.

It doesn’t matter much either way. Whether he announces proposals during the speech or in the two weeks preceding the speech, the bulk of what the president wants to do is give stuff away for “free”:

Anyway, I wish you a lovely weekend. For free.

Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Most Popular

Elections

Put Up or Shut Up on These Accusations, Hillary

Look, one 2016 candidate being prone to wild and baseless accusations is enough. Appearing on Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s podcast, Hillary Clinton suggested that 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein was a “Russian asset,” that Republicans and Russians were promoting the Green Party, and ... Read More
Culture

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Defense That Doesn’t Work

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of weeks, it’s that the “perfect phone call” defense of Trump and Ukraine doesn’t work. As Andy and I discussed on his podcast this week, the “perfect” defense allows the Democrats to score easy points by establishing that people in the administration ... Read More
PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
National Review

Farewell

Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More