In a prime-time address to Congress last night, President Barack Obama rumbled through an awkward and arrogant speech, asserting America's need to revive and rebuild the nation's economy. In attempting to reassure the American people of the stability of markets and the certainty of the future, Obama lauded his recently passed $900 billion stimulus package as a great jumpstart to the economy, but warned that it was only the beginning of his efforts to "reform" the financial system.
With his words greeted by a mixed chorus of vengeful cheers and racuous booing in the halls of Congress, President Obama's speech stirred more resentment and worry than his purpose of calming down and reassuring a restless America. Stating that the economy had "still ample" ability to grow, he promised the stimulus' packages ability to "save or create" 3.5 million jobs. Nearly five million American jobs have been lost since the summer of 2008.
In scare-mongering of the "failure to act" to the unprecedented economic meltdown, President Obama echoed Keynesian ideas and the end of free market competition as the only way to stave off the so-called "Day of Reckoning". While giving fig leaves to the idea of peace in the Middle East and in Afghanistan, his actual policy in these departments did not quite add up to his words. Announcing last week the deployment of 17,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, his remarks were incongruous with his policy.
As the speech wore on, a cloud of doubt fell over his credibility in his claims. Even his mention of the Recovery.gov website which supposedly tracks stimulus package money ends as a paper tiger; the site has no more specifics of how the money is being spent than general outlines like "Education" for whatever hundred billion dollar amount suits the PR fancy.
President Obama echoed the former President Bush's words of the need to be "moving swiftly and agressively" to force banks to lend more money to ailing banks, businesses and consumers.
President Obama praised his new comission for accountability in government spending, heading by President Joe Biden "because no one messes with Joe." This unwelcome joke and gaffe was answered by a chorus of boos, mostly from the balcony where Republican House members sat. One of many awkward moments, the President's being buffeted in frame by the highly partisan and unprofessional House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presented a state of disunity and bitter partisan bickering that plagues the nation. As the speech continued, it became painfully obvious that the Republican-Democrat pseudo split is doing more harm than anything else to America. The Democrats could be seen gloading in their new position as power extraordinaire on the political scene.
Saying he would end the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama's rhetoric appeared more as just words and little action to back up his claims. President Obama plans to leave a residual force of 50,000 troops in Iraq past the year 2011. He also touched on wasteful spending. However, this topic lost all punch as in the midst of a $13 trillion national debt he spent $1 trillion last week.
President Obama even took a moral tone as he told parents to take an active part in their children's education. Telling parents to turn off the TV and put down the video games, Obama began moral exhortations in which he claimed "I speak to you not as a President, but as a father." Sadly, personality and the conveyance of "father" now dominates the office of President more than his actual duties.
Emphatically stating that "those days are over" when a billionaire-scammer can disapear on a private jet, many Americans now ask when will it be when the President will no longer be able to disappear on his private jet. Rather than bringing a "sense of responsibility" to Washington, I'd personally like to see actual responsibility brought to the shallowest halls of shame and deceit.