I caught most of Obama’s speech tonight (the nerve of that guy, interrupting The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother), and largely was not surprised. Some tidbits:
- Even the NBC anchors knew beforehand that Obama would “play up the fear”. Using dramatic language, Obama’s idea of the future without this bailout plan slightly resembled the future portrayed in the Heroes episode Five Years Gone, where Peter had exploded and the world changed forever. The thing is that even with the bailout, the future isn’t that much better. Obama conceded that 2009 was going to be tough, but by 2010 we might be seeing things start to turn around. Maybe.
If you really want to fix the economy, you should do what Ronald Reagan did: inspire people to work hard and get out of it yourselves. That’s what Obama did during his campaign, for most of it, and now he’s just a normal politician again, striking fear into the hearts of everyone and making sure they trust the government to get them out.
- He mocked those who disagree with him, saying that people who don’t think the New Deal worked are stuck in the past. Here’s the thing: this stimulus he’s proposing might as well be called “The Newer Deal”. It makes sense to look back in history and see what has happened in similar situations – we do it all the time. And honestly, The New Deal failed. There was only one thing that brought us out of the Great Depression, and it was World War II, when men had to go fight and women stayed home to produce unprecedented amounts of American-made products to ship to our troops and Allied troops overseas. The New Deal was passed in 1933 and was active until 1938 – but in 1939, we were still in the Depression. I believe that FDR was a great president, maybe one of our greatest ever – but this idea failed. The Newer Deal is probably destined for the same result.
- He feigned bipartisanship, by claiming that he’s willing to work with Republicans on the little details, but ultimately, it’ll be what the Democrats want. They’re in power; they’ll do what they want, and that’s spend money on renovating government buildings to make them more green (“How could anyone call that frivolous? People can be so naive, don’t you think?”), improving roads, etc. He mentioned improving schools – that’s really the first part of the stimulus I agree with. Here’s the thing: you improve schools, and you’re making a long-term investment in our future. Instead of simply burying the next generation in debt, you’re giving them a mortgage – a way to get out.
- You could tell the media was a little nervous here – after all, here was Barack Obama not speaking about peace, hope and happiness. So they asked him about Alex Rodriguez. (And by the way: I give A-Rod major props for coming clean like he did. If he’s telling the truth, and he hasn’t used steroids since 2004, and he’s admitting his mistake, I’m ready to forgive the guy. As for calling him a Hall-of-Famer, that’s another story. I’d like to see his numbers minus his steroid years when his career is over, and then I’ll make my decision.)
What’d you guys think of his speech? Was it another gold mine? Or are we finally starting to see the real person we voted for?