Sitting in middle Georgia Tuesday night, the snow poured down muting all the sounds outside. I did not watch President Obama’s State of the Union. I read the transcript. I had read — not skimmed it — before the president had even gotten to “My fellow Americans.”
I smelled an awful stench as I read through the speech. At first I thought the speech must be in 4D, but then realized the breeze had shifted over from the back pasture of the horse farm down the road. But the stench adequately describes the speech.
President Obama is a lame duck in a fanciful adventure of exaggeration, story telling, and sleight of hand. His speech can be summed up succinctly:
“My fellow Americans, the state of our union is awesome and we need more government to make it awesome.”
In the complex conundrum of lie upon half-truth, the president sought to take credit for fracking, which he opposes; oil drilling, which he opposes; and a decline in unemployment, which he has only accomplished by driving people from the work force altogether.
President Obama, touting his health care plan more and more people hate each day, actually had the nerve to say, with a straight face, “That’s what health insurance reform is all about – the peace of mind that if misfortune strikes, you don’t have to lose everything.”
Sitting in the crowd Tuesday night was Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, who is fighting cancer and, because of ObamaCare, can no longer see his oncologist unless he pays out of pocket.
The president who promised us we could keep our doctors and hospitals must console himself that he’s really lying to his TelePrompter’s face, not ours.
His plans were a rehash of previous year’s plans. He talked about solar power, creating jobs, teachers, and the rest of his usual laundry list. The president had to rehash his prior lists because none of the things he wanted done in 2011, 2012, or 2013’s speeches ever passed Congress.
So now, he will declare he can do without Congress, even though we all know he cannot. But he can threaten live on television.
Bluster is about all he has now. Barack Obama is learning what it is like to be a tree falling in a forest. Only with the tree, no one is around to hear it. With Barack Obama, no one cares anymore.
When George W. Bush gave his 2006 State of the Union, Americans paid attention. He had won re-election, had big plans, and had just under a year before the mid-term election to get things done with a congress controlled by his own party. He, like Barack Obama, had a 43% approval rating. Yet people still took him seriously.
Not now with this president. Candidates from his own party will not show up at events if he is there. Back home, they are running ads distancing themselves from his signature initiative — ObamaCare. Republicans are ahead on the generic ballot. And the most powerful man in the world is left blustering at a TelePrompter while nobody really cares.
By Monday, Americans will be on to something else. His speech will be forgotten, except by the kids reading "Das Kapital" at their fair trade organic coffee house. And he will go back to being an ever increasingly impotent amateur whose party will console itself that he could have done great things, if only they had a less racist people. If only he could have a five year mulligan.
Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor. He is founder/editor of The Resurgent. His new book is "Before You Wake: Life Lessons From a Father to His Children”. Follow him on Twitter @EWErickson.