EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 2, 2014

Column: State of the states depends on state of the union


Which brings us to President Barack Obama and his SOTU speech. As I said, I think we should all watch for nuance and conviction but never mind, I fell asleep in my chair after “Climate change is a fact”, apparently missing his defiance on Obamacare that was noted by post-SOTU panels; between my Cadbury cream egg and three maple cookies with milk that got me through the Republican response.

The catchword of the month, and therefore both speeches, is “inequality”, which has been the norm since the beginning of history but is suddenly something to be fixed by Democrats and, therefore, was also addressed by Republicans, who would help raise the lowest levels with school choice instead of by taxing/penalizing/lowering the highest levels.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Washington, made a solid attempt at showing viewers the kinder, gentler GOP with its own ideas for jobs, health insurance reform, and legal immigration. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, spoke for the Tea Party Express, started with some reasons that Obama policies advance inequality but drifted into abortion clinics and marriage so I switched to an interview with Rand Paul, R-Ky., on Fox; he had to answer questions about his earlier comments on Bill Clinton and his “war on women” (sexual activity in the Oval Office), so I got another cookie from the kitchen and returned to see Congressman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., attacking Obama’s arrogant claims that he can bypass Congress on major issues, without regard to the Constitution. Both he and Paul referred to the president’s “my way or the highway” inability to work with Congress, which pretty much captured the part of SOTU that I saw.

Oh please. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., delivered her own SOTU response in Spanish, televised by CNN and Telemundo. Helping to keep immigrants trapped in their own foreign language doesn’t do a thing for their equality.

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