Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

January 25, 2012

SOTU: ‘Osama’s dead, GM’s alive’

Filed under: Budgets and Spending,Congress and HLS,Events — by Mark Chubb on January 25, 2012

A short time before President Obama delivered the annual state of the union address to a joint session of Congress, a media outlet I follow Tweeted a summary attributed to Vice President Joe Biden: “Osama bin Laden is dead, GM is alive.” The president spoke for more than an hour this evening, but that just about sums it up from a homeland security perspective.

The elimination of bin Laden and the routing of al-Qaeda’s leadership since President Obama took office is arguably the singular foreign policy accomplishment of his presidency. His administration achieved much of its success on this front by all but ignoring promises it made to its political base and taking actions even his Republican predecessors seemed to shy away from in scale if not necessarily in scope.

It might not be fair to suggest that President Obama’s admiration for the military expanded with his ascendence to the office of commander-in-chief. The two most significant role models in his young life beyond his own mother were his maternal grandparents in Kansas. His grandfather, he reminds us, served in Patton’s army while his grandmother assembled bombers back home. The experiences that shaped them clearly left an indelible impression on him as a young man and inspire his sense of duty even today.

The president’s address tonight made it clear that he sees the armed forces as a model of what America can be when it tries to be its best. In many ways, I agree. The U.S. armed forces are truly a model of diversity, innovation and adaptability. But what can be said of the armed forces cannot necessarily be said of the armed services.

Of those American institutions that did not atrophy from lack of attention or loss of investment, many have become sclerotic as money, influence-peddling and political polarization have conspired to clog the arteries of our democracy. The resulting death spiral threatens the American Dream and has all but snuffed out our faith in a better future. From his opening remarks to his conclusion, the president called upon Americans to see in the can-do example of our fighting forces the inspiration to revive our democracy and the incentive to renew our nation.

As with previous addresses, the president emphasized the need to establish clear priorities and make smarter choices. He called on Congress to work with his administration to create an America “built to last.” To do this, he called for the restoration of an economy “where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everybody plays by the same set of rules.”

Calls for renewed investments in education, energy innovation and infrastructure took center stage once again this year despite the president’s acceptance of the need to make further spending cuts in other areas, including entitlements. At several points, he noted how government investment had created the very opportunities our men and women under arms have fought to protect and that have benefited the wealthiest among us.

The president’s address not only displayed the rhetorical strengths for which he is rightly admired by supporters and reviled by opponents. His remarks also revealed a growing sense of pragmatism and purpose. The president made it clear that he will meet Congressional obstruction with action. One particularly clear indication of his intentions come from his emphasis on regulatory reforms that will enable some of the savings from defense cuts to be put to work on “nation-building right here at home.”

Before President Obama arrived on Capitol Hill tonight, Speaker of the House John Boehner remarked to the media that the president’s address would amount to little more than a campaign stump speech. Clearly, this president knows the campaign has already begun. And he knows too that re-election is no certainty. But he also seems more committed to reinforcing his accomplishments and taking the fight to his opponents than he did last year.

Something tells me any effort by Republicans to prematurely rewrite Biden’s pre-SOTU summary to serve as an epitaph for this administration — “Obama’s dead, America’a alive” — have another think coming.

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3 Comments »

Comment by Our Beloved Republic

January 26, 2012 @ 10:58 am

Our beloved Republic is continues to be under duress, our front porch flags turned upside down depicting the distress We here on “Main Street USA” must cnfrnt daily as the “change” We have seen is simply whatever pennies we had in pocket, stripped from us by both sides of the Congressional aisle.

In Barry Obama’s speech before Congress and the nation, at least we heard about the importance of cybersecurity and it is surely important, however given the fact that I live in New England and I have yet to use my snowblower and it is mid-January…climate change was not at all mentioned , not once..

Imagine, solar power has quadrupled in the nation from 2006 to 2010 and the Chinese are capturing this market as well.. What are we doing and while I am in the coal export business and have much rspect for natural gas…fossil fuels versus clean energy brings me back to Richard Nixon and it would be a national disgrace that by the anniversary of Richard Nixon’s speech on – Energy Independence – We as a nation are not energy independent and while we can talk about Bin Laden and GM…where is the discussion about clean energy and will Congress allow the tax credits for wind energy to simply expire shortly…

This politics must cease. The North Pole is melting and each of shoould remember that while folks talk about how much coal and gas we may have, just re coal, as we mine more and more, the quality diminishes and we must look out past 100 years and a 2012 Congres smust be far much more enlightned, less political and understand that clean energy will cerate many more jobs and assure us of a much cleaner environment and stop the emissions which is detroying our atmosphere – it is not only a independent USA we here on “Main Street” look to, but a global consensus where the $27 trillion that has been ticked away by the savvy “greenies” as I refer to them will derive much support from any WH – no matter its Republican or Democrat designation – as the future is NOW and I did not hear in the State of the Union speech anything other than political rhetoric and it is time for real commitment by every American and surely those We have “entrusted” by our precious vote…on both sides of the aisle.

If this weather in New England continues, I may be using sun block in February and it is only 2012, think – think – what will be taking place ten years from now? I say, “Ask today, what will be tomorrow?”
We are at a crucial and critical point…let’s stop the dysfunctional and disrespect towards one another and get over generational bigotry as We have much more significant challenges ahead!

Christopher Tingus
“Main Street USA”
PO Box 1612
Harwich, MA 02645 USA
chris.tingus@gmail.com

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 26, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

It has become a subject of the greatest interest to me as to how various nation-states and sub-state actors decide to act during American Presidential election years. One specific example is the IMF that desperately attempts to push the world wide economy and its problems into 2013.

I heard a rumor that REP. Gabby Giffords was packing at the time of her being attacked? A glock also. Any confirmation?

Pingback by Homeland Security Watch » SOTU: 'Osama's dead, GM's alive' | NossaRep

February 9, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

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