So much “double talk”

   < < Go Back

from The Gray Area:

President Obama delivered his 2014 State of the Union address tonight. This NBC article gives a good 6 point review of the speech.

The Wall Street Journal predicted this morning, “President Obama will lay out his agenda for the year on Tuesday night before a nation increasingly worried about his abilities, dissatisfied with the economy and fearful for the country’s future“. Unfortunately, there was no grand agenda, no visionary plan, no leadership. Instead the President delivered a speech which laid out a handful of policies for a mid-term election in which he finds his Senate majority in jeopardy.

There are three points worth highlighting from the speech.

1. The speech was just so much “double talk”. Double-talk, according to Websters, is language that appears to be earnest and meaningful but in fact is a mixture of sense and nonsense. And, according to Wikipedia, is a form of speech in which inappropriate, invented or nonsense words are used to give the appearance of knowledge to confuse or amuse the audience.

I only heard one “invented” word, “MyRA”.

The “inappropriate“, he gives a Minnesota example of a businessman who raised the minimum wage of all his employees, then issued a “fatwa” from his excellency for all businesses to do the same – missing an opportunity to bring in a more appropriate and powerful Henry Ford $5/day wage comparison.

Contradictory, attributing to Sgt. Corey Remsburg the term, “nothing worth achieving is easy”, but earlier saying lets give more hand outs to people who have it hard, without expecting results.

Painful attempts to appear bi-partisan, such as siding with Rubio on the Earned Income Tax Credit for singles.

Outright falsehoods like,

-his commitment to oil and natural gas,

-“Always by Israel’s side” is not a position of Pres Obama’s, nor do his actions over the last 5 years match the words,

-offering lower corporate tax rates, when he has consistently been against reduced taxes of any kind,

-offering infrastructure spending again; what happened to shovel ready from 5 years ago,

And it all adds up to nonsense.

As we stated in our review of the President’s SOTU last year, if you only pay attention to what he says right now, it appears sincere and reasonable. It is only when you put his words into context with his previous words and actions that his speeches paint a double-sided, even “two-faced” picture.

2. Focus on campaign messaging for 2014. Always a marvelous speech maker, tonight was one of his better deliveries. Against a country where as NBC stated in their opening to the speech, 63% say we are going in the wrong direction, almost 60% say they are pessimistic, and only 3% say the country is strong, he had a high degree of difficulty to overcome for this speech.

So he went on the offensive for the 2014 election season, driving unapologetically at Obamacare to try to take it off the table as a political vulnerability. He offered up to the Democrats who are up for re-election issues like the tired war on women, minimum wage, unemployment insurance, immigration, gun control and, of course, Income Inequality, the number 1 issue on the Democrat’s 2014 list. Just about anything to distract the voter from the Obamacare disaster.

And, the political nature of the speech was obvious with sound bites, tired phrases, selected out of context facts, the Olympics, use of right wing terms like dropping a “Founders” reference and “the world looks to America” (when he and his supporters hate the concept of American “exceptionalism”).

3. NBC’s outright promotional coverage of the speech. I chose to watch the SOTU address tonight on NBC and they did not disappoint. Their now fabled left wing bias was clearly on display.

Right off the top and throughout the evening, they were cheerleaders for the President. If you have not watched NBC with other Presidents, you might miss the subtleties, but they were everywhere.

During the opening, the panel of Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell, David Gregory and Brian Williams displayed a tone like our friend is in a difficult position today but he is going on the offensive to get control again. This of course is in marked contrast to their coverage of George W. Bush in 2006 when he was fighting sagging popularity.

Throughout the speech, NBC offered on-screen sidebars of selected phrases in an obvious attempt to help the audience keep up and remember the “sound bites” that the President wanted remembered. They also had their cameras highlight Democrats in the audience at positive moments in the speech while rarely showing Republicans or naming them. Unless it was in a negative point in the speech (like showing and naming Eric Cantor, Rep. Majority Leader in the House, while saying “Fix Immigration”).

In the post speech commentary, the first comment was about “income inequality”, right out of the DNC playbook. Followed by the Corey Remsberg ovation, he was “feisty with no apologies”, “well crafted speech”, “political without being partisan”.

The bottom line is that it comes down to trust with any President. And the trust that President Obama had built with his oratory skills over his first term has eroded in the first year of his second term. 55% of those polled say they do not trust him. He can only hope that this speech, with the help of his media allies, pulled the wool over the voters eyes again, at least until November.

– – – – – – –

The Republican response tonight was delivered by Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers from the state of Washington. It was well crafted and competently delivered. She came across as sincere, should have deflated the attempt by President Obama to highlight the trumped up Republican “war on women”, and offered accurate differentiating concepts. For example, “the President made promises that sound good, but won’t solve problems”. The “Republican vision empowers you, not government”. “Healthcare choices should be yours not governments”. And she was not afraid to offer a prayer at the end. If the Independents who are supposed to be the difference in the 2014 elections paid attention to this speech, they will have learned some important differentiation between the parties vision for America, without “double talk”.