This post was written by Hatchet columnist Corey Jacobson
Amid all the anticipation and post-speech analysis, there was something truly remarkable about President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address Tuesday: it was merely a more coherent and organized view of the same pragmatic stances Obama has held throughout his entire presidency.
Tonight, he outlined five priorities that America needs to pursue not just to boost today’s economy, but to propel our nation forward for an entire generation: innovation, education, infrastructure, deficit reduction and reforming government.
The president referenced his growing list of accomplishments in these fields, including the incentive-based education fund “Race to the Top” and his new executive order to reduce bureaucratic red tape. But he also outlined a unifying vision going forward. It was one that acknowledged the tough times ahead—his proposed five year freeze on domestic spending can provide a
clue as to what he means—and the many arguments to be had over how to best address those five priorities. Ultimately, it was a
vision that welcomed the contention, so long as it moves our country forward.
Truth be told, we deserve a debate that goes far beyond the all-too-familiar (and equally all-too-simplistic) big-versus-small
government. We need to have a great debate, one that addresses the many nuances of our society. It needs to be about smart and necessary government versus superfluous bureaucracy.
As the president put it, “We shouldn’t just give our people a government that’s more affordable. We should give them a government that’s more competent and efficient.”
Obama’s speech tonight was far more than a performance; it was a statement of purpose, and it must have Republicans a little scared. But the greatest thing is that if they are truly serious about buckling down and making some tough choices, it shouldn’t matter in the slightest.
For a Republican perspective, read Andrew Clark’s post, “Obama pledged centralism, but will his actions back up the rhetoric?”