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January 26, 2012

2012 SOTU: The State of Disunion

AKA, ‘State of the Campaign’

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” –Article II, Section 1, Constitution of the United States

On Tuesday, Barack Hussein Obama recited what I hope will be his last tele-prompted State of the Union address. In attendance was a room half full of his Leftist sycophants, inebriated on their lust for power and hanging on every word from their “dear leader.”

As anticipated by all parties present, there was not one solitary free market economic remedy mentioned in his entire diatribe. Every “solution” was predicated on government engineering via intervention, regulation or redistribution – consistent with his dogmatic Democratic Socialist ideology. Predictably, he peppered his prose with populist appeals and classist rhetoric focused on “fairness.”

BO’s classist message was contradicted by his wife’s iridescent cobalt blue dress. I’m told it came from the Barbara Tfank Resort Collection, but at $2,400, I doubt Michelle picked it up on one of those photo-op trips to Target. The two Obamas act like trailer trash who won the lucky lotto in 2008, and they’ve now elevated their station to the bourgeoisie.

What follows are two assessments of Obama’s SOTU, one brief and the other more comprehensive.

The short version: “I went … I know … My … My … I took office … I’m president … I will work … I intend … I will oppose … I want … I took office … I refused … me … my … my … me … I will sign … I set … I will go … I will not … I promise … I hear … I want … me … My … I want … I am … I spoke … me … I believe … my … I took office … me … I will sign … my … my … my … I will not … I will not walk … I will not cede … I will … I’m directing … my … I will sign … I’ve … my … my … I’ve ordered … I guess … I will not … I will … I will not … I will … my … I told … my presidency …me … my … I get … I don’t … I recognize … I bet … I’ve … me … I will … I ask … I’ve … me … I believe … my … my … I can … I have … I will take … I mean … I intend … I’ve … I’ve … I’ve … I’m a Democrat me … I believe … I began … my … I sat … me for president … me … I look … I’m (Applause.)”

Amazingly, there wasn’t a single “uh” in the entire speech, which is to say that he gave the Obamaprompter his undivided attention – except for his failed attempt to appear unscripted with that strange “spilt milk” bit.

And now, for a rebuttal analysis, I’ve excerpted key points from Obama’s comments with parenthetical remarks for proper context.

“Think about the America within our reach. (Think quickly, because it’s disappearing before our eyes.) The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive. (Indeed it is!) An [America] where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. (By "fair share,” Obama means that it is not fair for Americans who pay no taxes to bear the burden of all those who do pay taxes. And, by whose “set of rules”?) What’s at stake aren’t Democratic values or Republican values, but American values. (Correct.)“

"Let’s remember how we got here. In 2008, the house of cards collapsed. (It’s still Bush’s fault) … It was wrong. It was irresponsible. It plunged our economy into a crisis that put millions out of work, saddled us with more debt, and left innocent, hardworking Americans holding the bag. (And he rode that collapse into office.)”

Obama devoted a significant part of his speech to blame-shifting, particularly suggesting that the near-economic collapse in 2008 was precipitated by the “irresponsible” private sector, which was solely accountable for all the problems that plague both our economy and his re-election bid.

In fact, the collapse was largely attributable to government interference in the free market – specifically Democrat manipulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lending practices, which spread across the entire mortgage banking industry – leading to a real estate boom and bust, which Obama blames on “my predecessor” and Wall Street.

So, let’s “remember how we got here” – and do a bit of fact-checking along the way. Here is a brief overview of the catalyst that really collapsed “the house of cards.”

In 2003, the Bush administration upgraded its concerns about Fannie and Freddie, requesting much stronger oversight. According to testimony by then Treasury Secretary John Snow, “We need a strong, world-class regulatory agency to oversee the prudential operations of the GSEs and the safety and the soundness of their financial activities.” The New York Times reported that the administration’s plan was “the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago,” and “an acknowledgment by the administration that oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – which together have issued more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding debt – is broken.”

But Democrats would not support additional oversight or restrictions. Former House Financial Services Committee chairman Barney Frank declared in congressional hearings: “These two entities – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – are not facing any kind of financial crisis. The more people exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness, the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury, which I do not see. I think we see entities that are fundamentally sound financially and withstand some of the disaster scenarios. And even if there were a problem, the federal government does not bail them out.”

Frank insisted, “I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing. I believe there has been more alarm raised about potential unsafety [sic] and unsoundness than, in fact, exists.”

And roll the dice they did!

In the Senate, Charles Schumer objected to concerns raised by Sen. John McCain, about the solvency of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: “My worry is that we’re using the recent safety and soundness concerns … as a straw man to curtail Fannie and Freddie’s mission.” The “mission,” as amended by Democrats, was to reach out with home loans to millions of marginal or unqualified “customers” – thus fueling the real estate boom.

In 2004, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan testified: “What we’re trying to avert is we have in our financial system right now two very large and growing financial institutions [which subsidize loans and] that prevents the markets from adjusting appropriately, prevents competition and the normal adjustment processes that … creates stability. … [By] enabling [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] to increase in size … we are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk. If we fail to strengthen GSE regulation, we increase the possibility of insolvency in crisis.”

In 2006, Sen. McCain again went to the Senate floor warning, “The GSEs need to be reformed without delay.” However, every Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee voted against regulatory reforms. That year, housing prices peaked and started to reverse.

In 2008, amid eroding consumer confidence, the entire economy began spiraling toward collapse. Even Bill Clinton admitted, “I think the responsibility that the Democrats have may rest in resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress … to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

(For a more comprehensive examination of “how we got here,” read “Crisis of Confidence.”)

Now, Obama says, “I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place.” This is the Big Lie he’s been telling ever since he became a failed president. In fact, his policies are all about government intervention and manipulation of the economy.

Returning to excerpts from his SOTU: “There are fewer illegal [border] crossings than when I took office. (There are fewer jobs than when he took office.) Send me a law that gives them the chance to earn their citizenship. I will sign it right away. (That law already exists – Obama’s administration has ignored it.) We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years. (That was in reference to his administration.) Our partnership with the private sector has already positioned America to be… (out of business.) The payoffs on these public investments… (taxpayer-funded union votes.)”

“Take the money we’re no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the rest to do some nation-building right here at home. (I think he meant "take the debt we’re no longer spending,” and for “nation-building here”? More like “nation wrecking.” For the record, since the ratification of our Constitution, the 43 presidents that followed added $4.16 trillion in debt. Since taking office, the 44th president has added more than $4.6 trillion in additional debt.) We’ll run out of money. (We already did.) Government can’t fix the problem on its own. (Government IS the problem!) We need smart regulations to prevent irresponsible behavior. They make the free market work better. (Yes, a regulated free market.) When it comes to the deficit, we’ve already agreed to more than $2 trillion in cuts and savings. (Not really.)“

"Now, you can call this class warfare all you want. (OK, it is class warfare.) We don’t begrudge financial success in this country. We admire it. (Just drink the Kool-Aid.) I bet most Americans are thinking the same thing right about now. (When will this guy shut up?!) Can you blame them for feeling a little cynical? (Nope.)”

“I’ve talked tonight about the deficit of trust. (In fact, you increased it exponentially.) I’ve asked this Congress to grant me the authority to consolidate the federal bureaucracy. (More centralization?) We should all want a smarter, more effective government. (We should all want a smaller more irrelevant government.) America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal. (Even sitting down for a beer summit?) Working with our military leaders, I’ve proposed a new defense strategy that ensures we maintain the finest military in the world … gay or straight. (You knew where that was going, didn’t you?)”

Remember Obama’s proclamation, “We are fundamentally transforming the United States of America”? Well, he did. “How this incredible transformation will end remains uncertain,” he said in his address. “But we have a huge stake in the outcome.”

Indeed, we do have a huge stake in the outcome, as does our posterity. Patriots have staked our ground on the the side of Liberty.

Obama concluded, “Anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned doesn’t know what they’re talking about.” Anyone who does not think America is in decline, must be a socialist or profoundly ignorant – but then I repeat myself.

(For a thorough breakdown on “how we got here,” see the detailed analysis prepared by our colleagues at Heritage Foundation.)

Next election will be either a Sunrise or Sunset on Liberty. From across the nation, American Patriots must rise up, band together and expel through the ballot box Obama’s socialist regime. We must replace him with a president who will, first and foremost, abide by his oath to “Support and Defend” our Constitution.

(A footnote about all the Republican intra-party bickering: Obama may well change the dynamics of this election cycle by announcing a new Vice Presidential running mate in the run-up to the Democrat National Convention in September (Jon Huntsman comes to mind), and unity among conservatives, starting right now, is critical to victory. Obama has a vast campaign advertising budget, and will spend it running intra-Party criticism to foment disunity.)

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