The New Democrat Online

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

MSNBC: Video: State of The Union Address: Full Speech: 2/12/2013: Making The Case For Liberal-Democracy



To put it simply I believe that President Obama gave a classical Liberal-Democratic speech tonight and I mean that in the best sense. Remember I'm a Liberal-Democrats and proud of that but let me explain what I mean by that even further. This speech tonight was the closest speech that Barack Obama has ever sounded to President Bill Clinton. But that instead of President Obama saying "that the era of Big Government is over". Looking back at that line from 1996, President Clinton was really just stating the obvious and something that really ended when. Richard Nixon became President in 1969 that we really haven't had a Progressive or Social-Democratic President since. So that era has been gone for a while but what President Obama spoke in terms of was what's called Smart Government. That we need a limited Federal Government to do the things for society that the private sector won't or can't do or do as much. That we need to be done for a functioning society to be functional in a Liberal-Democracy.

I disagree with what CNN analyst John King who I normally like and do respect when he said that President Obama gave the country and Congress. A laundry list of new programs that he wants to be passed but what the President was talking about. That what we need government to do are the things that they are already doing but to do them better and smarter and be more efficient. Which is another thing that Smart Government is about which isn't big or small but limited to doing the things that we need it to do. But we need it to do those things well especially in an era of deficit reduction and as it relates to the economy. We especially need government to do these things well to promote economic and job growth. Which we can't without get to deficit reduction without people making and spending more money with more people working and more. People working good jobs but only do those things and also don't get in the way or stall economic and job growth.

This was not a New Deal or Great Society Progressive or Social-Democratic big speech. Where one of the famous lines is that the era of Big Government is back as bad as Progressives may want. For that to come back but again what did President Obama talked about and it wasn't a laundry list. He talked about the need for new infrastructure investment to all of the work and that the Core of Engineers says we have to do. And we have a 1T$ hole in infrastructure in and that we need a comprehensive immigration reform plan. That brings more high skilled workers into America, as well as workers to do the jobs that Americans simply won't do. And to bring in these workers in this country legally and bring our illegal workers out of the closet so to. Speak under certain conditions and that we reform our public education system so our students have the resources to be successful in life. And be able to go to the school thats best for them and have a teacher thats qualified to teach them and that we can fund our schools. In a fairer way.

The other thing that the President talked about was creating a national energy policy that moves. America towards energy independence by investing in American natural resources. So tonight wasn't some new welfare state speech creating all of these new programs and. Investing all of this money in current New Deal or Great Society programs but a real. Liberal-Democratic speech based on a smart limited government to only do the things that the country needs it to. Do and I believe the President hit this speech out of the ballpark but thats me.

ABC News: Video: Good Morning America: 2013 State of The Union Address 2013 Preview



This will be the first time I've done this as a blogger but today I'm going to write a preview of what. I believe President Obama will say and should say tonight at his State of The Union address and then after the speech I'll write what I think about it all in the same day.

At risk of sounding repetitive but its important because the State of The Union address. Is an opportunity and again only an opportunity for the President of The United States to layout. What the situation of the country is, where we are doing well, where we are lacking, what we need. To work on, what we should do about it and so fourth and then its up to the situation of the. Country as well as up to the President at the time situation politically. His approval rating, the situation in Congress both House and Senate and where they stand and then of. Course the communication skills of the President that will determine his ability to get any of his agenda through Congress or not. And President Obama right now is a perfect example of that. He's up in the polls, his party has a significant majority in the Senate but not large. With a weaken Republican Party at least looking to work with him in the Senate. And even though he still has a Republican House, he has a large Democratic minority there with a weaken. Republican Party that seems ready to work with the President at least as it relates to deficit reduction. Immigration reform and perhaps even infrastructure investment.

So far in 2013 President Obama is off to a good start in Congress. The Senate approved his Secretary of State nominee John Kerry overwhelmingly and about to approve his. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel with what I believe will be a significant majority as well. The Senate has a Bi Partisan agreement on comprehensive immigration reform that looks similar to what the. President laid out last week, the Senate this afternoon passed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. And the Republican House is going to have their won reauthorization of that bill as well. And they are working on a Bi Partisan comprehensive immigration bill to, so things right now politically look like they are in Democratic territory. And even though Democrats don't control both chambers of Congress to go along with President Obama. They have a Republican opposition that knows its weaken with the results of the 2012 elections. And that they need to work with Democrats and look productive and bring in new voters.

With economic growth actually shrinking in the last quarter of 2012 for the first time since early 2009. This is of course a problem for President Obama and we obviously don't want to go back in recession. But it also presents an opportunity for the President to focus on the economy and do things there that could boost. Economic growth as it relates to tax reform that would cut waste in the tax code and encourage business's to invest and hire more in America. As well as comprehensive immigration reform where he's already off to a good start in both the. House and Senate with Bi Partisan agreements about to be reached that would bring in more high skilled workers. As well as other workers who'll do the jobs that Americans won't do. As well as developing an energy policy that would move us towards energy independence. Then of course he should talk about the upcoming sequester and how we can avoid that and he's already in. Talks with the Democratic Leadership in the Senate and they'll have a bill to avoid the sequester ready by Thursday.

I expect and believe that the President will focus on the economy tonight as I believe he should. In the areas of tax reform, infrastructure investment, energy policy and comprehensive immigration reform. And he has a good shot at seeing movement on all of these issues in the Democratic Senate especially with its new rule changes. And a Republican Minority that at least seems willing to work with Senate Democrats so they won't actually have to debate. Against bills that are actually popular with Leader Harry Reid now being able to bring legislation. To the floor almost by himself and then we'll get to see how the Republican House responds to. Whatever legislation that the Senate passes but President Obama will have a very good. Opportunity to push for a Liberal-Democratic agenda tonight and we'll see how much success he has with the speech tonight.

Clinton Library: State of The Union Address, 1994- Health Care and The Economy

Source: Clinton Library- President William J. Clinton-
Source: Clinton Library: State of The Union Address 1994- Health Care and The Economy

President Bill Clinton's 1994 State of The Union address is memorable to me for several reasons. One because it was President Clinton's last State of The Union in front of a Democratic Congress. Congressional Republicans thanks to the Gingrich Revolution in November, 1994 won back both control of the House and Senate in big numbers that year. But the 1993-94 period of the Clinton Presidency is memorable for me at least for several reasons. President Clinton's first two years were rough politically with deficit reduction, the 1994 crime bill, free trade and so-forth. The so called Whitewater story was starting to become a problem for President Clinton. Obviously the health care reform debacle of 1993-94, that alone probably cost Congressional Democrats the House and Senate. Otherwise Democrats might of been able to at least hold the Senate, but with smaller numbers and perhaps the House as well, but with much smaller numbers. But how a President is doing politically isn't always how well he's doing legislatively, or when it comes to policy.

But if you look at what President Clinton was able to accomplish when it came to policy President Clinton got his major deficit reduction act passed in 1993, GAT and NAFTA, two free trade bills. Family and Medical Leave, middle class tax relief and tax relief for small business's. Reforming how the Federal Government works to cut waste in it as well as its size. The Federal Government got smaller under President Clinton and yes he's called a Liberal Democrat which is fine and good. At least as far as I'm concern, but he's actually a real Liberal Democrat in the real sense. If he was some type of Social Democrat looking for the Federal Government to solve all of the peoples problems for them, government wouldn't of gotten smaller under him and taxes for the middle class wouldn't have been cut. And he wouldn't of cut overall spending and the size of the Federal budget and Federal Government. Those things would've gone up instead.

As I've said before the State of The Union address is an opportunity for the President to layout what the situation of the country is, where we are doing well, what we need to improve on, where we need serious reform. And what the President wants to focus on in the next year. So President Clinton had a lot to report on in 1994. Because he got a lot done in 1993 and the country was making progress even if his approval rating wasn't showing that. Politically, 1994 could be seen as a waste for the Clinton Administration, because of how badly they screwed up the health care debate. At the tend trying to put together a bill that satisfied everyone including Congressional Republicans that probably weren't going to vote for anything other than perhaps the Dole-Chaffy compromise bill in the Senate. And instead what they should've done was go smaller and come up with a Patients Bill of Rights and tax relief for people who can't afford health insurance. But legislatively they accomplished a lot and even got some Republican support on things like trade and Family and Medical Leave.