Those who are ideologically predisposed to criticize President Obama contort themselves to overlook inconvenient facts.
The fact is that, under President Obama’s leadership, we have seen 22 straight months of private sector job growth.
While Republicans are accusing the President of being a job killer, the fact is that President Obama has created 3.2 million new private sector jobs. More private sector jobs were created in 2011 in America than any year since 2005.
Oddly, Mitt Romney wants to claim credit for a hundred thousand jobs that were created after his Bain investment (and not count the many more jobs he killed but Republicans refuse to be honest about President Obama’s record of creating jobs and, slowly but surely, bringing our economy back from the brink.
Facts don’t lie, folks.
And so, in tonight’s State of the Union Address, our president will accurately lay out the steps he has taken to help our economy recover and the additional steps he plans to take going forward.
This is what presidents, Republicans and Democrats, have done at such addresses for generations.
But Republicans, realizing that stubborn and dishonest attacks on Obama’s policy ideas are backfiring on their own party, will make a desperate attempt to portray the president as “campaigning” during the State of the Union. Somehow, what was defensible under George W. Bush is borderline treasonous under Barack Obama.
The fact is that half of voters -- and, importantly, more than half of self-identified independents -- believe that Republicans in Congress are intentionally sabotaging our economy to hurt President Obama’s re-election prospects.
Another poll asked voters which statement they agree with more: “President Obama is making a good faith effort to deal with the country’s economic problems, but the Republicans in Congress are playing politics by blocking his proposals and programs.” Or this: “President Obama has not provided leadership on the economy, and he is just blaming the Republicans in Congress as an excuse for not doing his job.”
Not only do the majority of voters agree with the first statement over the second, but the difference is more pronounced among moderate and independent voters. Independents favor the first statement by a 54 to 40 margin. Moderates favor the first statement by a 57 to 37 margin.
In other words, if the majority of Americans believe that President Obama is trying to lead our economy and our nation forward but Republicans are putting politics ahead of patriotism and actively sabotaging our economy, the president is absolutely right to deliver a strong, bold and sharp-elbowed State of the Union Address that calls out Congressional Republicans for blocking every bipartisan idea that crosses their desks and stubbornly refusing to compromise for the good of the nation.
Frankly, if the president did not deliver such a firm rebuke tonight, that would be a clear failure of leadership.
Republicans will continue to throw every imaginable criticism plus the kitchen sink at our president. Republicans will call Obama “the food stamp president” -- a racially-tinged charge that ignores the fact that food stamp enrollment was twice as high under President George W. Bush.
Republicans will accuse Obama’s health care reform law of destroying the economy -- even though jobs are rebounding and most of the law won’t take effect until 2014.
Republicans will say regulation under Obama is stifling the private sector -- even though, in a key report, small business owners across the United States said it was a lack of consumer demand and not regulations that are hurting their business.
Republicans will keep attacking Obama for raising taxes -- even though not only has he lowered taxes for 99% of Americans but it’s been Republicans who have blocked vital tax breaks for the middle class.
These baseless smears may fire up a small fringe of the anti-Obama Republican base, but the fact of the matter is most Americans care about results and character. V
oters can tell the difference between a president who is making progress turning the economy around and being honest about the obstacles he’s facing versus desperate presidential contenders who want to sling nothing but mud to distract from their decades of failed leadership that put our country in this crisis.
Of course, as we recover from an historic recession with millions of Americans still unemployed or struggling to get by, no one can say that the state of our union is as strong as it should be or needs to be. But it is getting stronger.
The plan the president will outline tonight will make our nation stronger, instead of turning us back to the dark ages of Republican class warfare and an economy that only works for the 1%, building an American economy for the future on the foundation of American manufacturing and energy innovation, training American workers for good jobs and reinvesting in the values of fair opportunity that built our great nation.
I'm not saying the president is perfect nor that I or anyone will agree with everything he says tonight, as in the past. But fundamentally, these are good ideas that, frankly, conservatives in Congress would readily support if they came from a Republican president.
For once, it would be nice for Republicans to honestly listen to what President Obama has to say, using their patriotic hearts not their political brains -- offering feedback based on facts and principles, not personal smears and partisanship.
But either way, make no mistake about it, the majority of American people have been listening carefully to the President all along -- and liking what they hear.
Sally Kohn is a Fox News Contributor. You can find her online at http://sallykohn.com.