A great piece by Daniel Henninger in today’s WSJ:
High-speed rail and solar shingles are not the answer to America’s “Sputnik moment.”
No president before Barack Obama has been so right and so wrong.
When in his State of the Union speech Mr. Obama said, “This is our generation’s Sputnik moment,” citing the emergence of global competition from the likes of China and India, he was right.
Minutes later he proposed to cover the country with high-speed rail and companies making solar shingles.
High-speed rail and solar shingles? If that’s the president’s idea of meeting our Sputnik moment, then Houston, we have a problem.
About halfway into the speech, I began to wonder: What is John Boehner thinking? Let’s first welcome back the tradition of House Speakers who bring nothing but a poker face to the State of the Union. (The vice president re-tightening his tie in the middle of the speech was a minor Biden classic.)
I’m guessing that about the time the president was calling investments in clean energy “the Apollo projects of our time,” the new Speaker was thinking: “This is bunk,” or some word to that effect.
That probably wasn’t Mr. Boehner’s first thought. Before the bunk arrived, his first thought was: “We’re in trouble.”
If Barack Obama had come even close to matching policies with the sentiments he spun across the House chamber in the first sections of that speech, the Republicans would have been dealing with a formidable new centrist president.
The rest here.