At roughly 9:48pm EST, in the midst of President Obama's first State of the Union address he begged us to "let him know!"
The president was defending his push for his vision of universal health care when he threw down the challenge in a speech that seemed strangely and wholly disconnected from the experience of the average American family.
As far as expectations for the State of the Union the president's speech was a sizable failure.
By my count President Obama made several significant policy pivots -- for the first time he advocated the use of nuclear power, domestic drilling, clean coal, capital gains tax cuts, spending freezes, and called on Congress to "tighten their belts" just as American families are being forced to do.
Acting on previously published advice from Democratic strategist James Carville, President Obama took the opportunity, by my count at least eight times, to mention Bush administration. He did this not to give President Bush and his team credit for the low unemployment we enjoyed during his eight years in office, or the national security they provided. Instead, he brought up the Bush administration to place blame for the problems that have only grown since President Obama entered the White House.
He gave lip service to the need to create new jobs. Yet, in almost the same breath, he claimed he had rescued the economy in 2009. He claimed to have saved 2 million jobs with the stimulus bill (though the Congressional Budget office does not endorse his numbers or view his on the matter the way he implied it does in his speech.) But the number of jobs lost on his watch exceeds 3 million.
Most shocking of all, perhaps, was his insistence on ramming health care reform and cap-and-trade legislation down the throats of American voters even though they have roundly rejected his proposals on these issues.
He referred to himself in the speech more than 100 times. And made absolutely absurd demands that appeared to be almost dishonest. But noticeably absent in his speech was any mention of how he handled the mirandizing of a terrorist captured after a failed terror attack on Christmas Day. -- The fourth such attack on our nation in just his first year in office.
He also made several statements that were painfully obvious, from noting that, "jobs must be our number one focus in 2010" to "the true engine of jobs creation is our nation's businesses."
He also drew laughter at himself with one liners, "For those who have yet to believe the overwhelming scientific evidence that exists on climate change" to the line "all of this before I walked in the door."
President Obama's State of the Union address was poorly thought out, not terribly well executed, and, in the end, tremendously ineffective.
It was also terribly inappropriate when he openly encouraged belligerent reaction against the Supreme Court with the Justices sitting in the chamber. It was a cheap shot, and multiple constitutionalists and scholars believe it may have violated the spirit embodied in our government’s commitment to the separation of powers.
Add to this stemwinder of a speech that he will work towards an unhealthy and unsafe environment for homosexuals in our nation's military ranks.
He closed the sale by announcing yet another deadline for terrorists in Iraq to bide their time for, specifically August of 2010.
It was messy, incoherent, disorganized, and most regrettably defiant.
Which I guess when you think of it, defines the state of our union pretty well.
Kevin McCullough is the nationally syndicated host of "'Baldwin/McCullough Radio" now heard on 207 stations and columnist based in New York. He blogs at www.muscleheadrevolution.com. His second book "The Kind Of MAN Every Man SHOULD Be" is in stores now. And host of "The Kevin McCullough Show" weekdays 7a-9am EST on Sirius 161.