We’re All in the Same Boat?

On the Topic of Obama, the

GOP Can’t Even Blush Anymore

By Carl Davidson
Keep On Keepin’ On!

If Hollywood gave Oscars for shamelessness, the Republican responses to President Obama’s State of the Union speech last night, Jan 24, would have swept the field.

Take Indiana’s Gov. Mitch Daniels, who gave the official GOP response:

"No feature of the Obama presidency has been sadder than its constant efforts to divide us, to curry favor with some Americans by castigating others," he said. "As in previous moments of national danger, we Americans are all in the same boat."

Amazing. One top GOP candidate, Newt Gingrich, is running around the country attacking Obama as the ‘Food Stamp President,’ while the other, Mitt Romney, whose newly released tax returns show he takes in more in a day than a well-paid worker does in a year, critiques Obama’s business skills using a shuttered factory as a stage prop.

Obama, of course, never shut down a single factory, yet that was precisely the business Mitt Romney and his outfit, Bain Capital, was famous for, including shutting down a factory in Florida, where his video message was being recorded.

"All in the same boat" and ‘castigating others’ indeed. Governor Daniels uttered these words as the state he presides over is currently engaged in a notorious ‘right to work for less’ battle to strip Indiana’s workers on their ability to bargain collectively.

Like many Americans, I watched the President’s speech with a critical eye. As he detailed a number of manufacturing and alternative energy industrial policies, I thought, finally, he’s giving some voice to his ‘inner Keynesian’ and forcing a crack in the neoliberal hegemony at the top. I cheered when he took aim at Wall Street and declared, "No more bailouts, no more handouts, and no more cop outs." On the other hand I winced more than once at the glorification of militarism and the defense of Empire-I’m one quick to oppose unjust wars and who has long believed a clean energy/green manufacturing industrial policy needs to trump a military-hydrocarbon industrial policy.

This speech was also Obama in campaign mode. One thing we’ve learned over the last four years is that his governing mode is not the same thing, and requires much more of us in terms of independent, popular and democratic power at the base to make good things happen.

But one thing is clear. My critical eye has nothing in common with what’s coming from the GOP and the far right. The first Saturday of every month, the pickups trucks from the local hills and hollows, growing numbers of them, fill the parking lot of the church on my corner, picking up packages from the food pantry to help make ends meet. In these circumstances and lacking better practical choices, I’ll go with the ‘Food Stamp’ President any day of the week.

3 thoughts on “We’re All in the Same Boat?”

  1. What a response! So rapidly delivered and yet so together! Despite my misgivings I too feel that Obama is incomparably better than the potentially competitive alternatives currently occupying that other party. Before your piece I wasn’t aware of Mitt Romney’s shuttered factory backdrop. I see in today’s news that the Democrats in Mitch Daniels’ legislature have virtually boycotted over Right-to-work.

  2. Locally some of us are still appealing to Obama’s more progressive nature as we continue to participate in our weekly vigil for peace. Even now we sustain that activity front of the Beaver County Courthouse every Saturday early in the afternoon. Perhaps I am being a bit unrealistic but conceivably our long term efforts are having some useful impact.

    At the very least we remind ourselves that dignified ways to challenge Obama and to push back against empire are still possible. Look for our extended group here in Beaver County to cultivate and grow new local progressive initiatives as we adjust to post Iraq war realities and just possibly to a winding down of war in Afghanistan. As indicated in the piece above many challenges remain and many opportunities can yet be developed.

  3. This is the most mixed up election that I have ever seen. The census helps to direct the states to reorganize representative districts every 10 years. Candidates are circulating petitions for the new districts. Now the supreme court of pa said that the GOP controlled gerrymanderes has screwed it up and did not follow the law. They politicized the process & now they have to make it right. .The court is bipartisan . Now the candidates are wondering where do they go? That is what happens when you put incompetent people in charge. Shame on the voters. As far as President Obama , it looks like he is a shoe in running against the vulture capitalist. With Santorum representing Opis Dei and wrapped in barbed wire, to the blow up doll Newt who helped impeach a president while at the same time copying the same act with a federal employee, and then there is Mitt who was asked if he believed that God would come down and put pink panties on him as president while closing the last manufacturing plant in the USA for a tax break. We lost a good Pizza delivery presidential candidate who would price fix a pizza @ $9.99. Then there was the Texas cowboy who couldn’t remember the 3 government regulatory agencies that he was going to fire and increase unemployment.Since corporations are people , I was looking forward to the Texas governor executing one of them for the crimes against the people of the United States.Then comes the libitarian GOP candidate who will run as an independent if he dosn’t make the grade. The so called moderate governor John Huntsman wanted to end Social Security, Medicare, taxes for the rich, no regulations on industry, just working people, increase the taxes on the poor, and send the rest of the jobs that aren’t taken by foreign workers off shore. Now that is a moderate republican! Who in their right mind would put that in charge??????? PLEASE, we can do better.

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