The narrative goes something like this: We won the election, Republicans say, so Obama should now follow our lead. Of course, the problem with this line of thinking is that the president won two decisive victories in 2008 and 2012, and Republicans unleashed a wave of nothing.
Why is that man smiling? ...
Most of our article today is going to deal with Obama and his speech, ending with the snappiest portions as this week's talking points. But before we get to that, let's take a quick look at what the Republicans have been up to, as well as some other minor political news of the week.
What shocked me about the debate last night was the way Senate Majority Leader McConnell and the new Republican majority treated their colleagues on the other side of the aisle. Not only did Sen. McConnell go back on his word, he deprived the American people of a critical debate on these important amendments.
It's called the bully mentality that we have mentioned before. Bullies are those who want to dominate others without regard to reason or even common sense. And they appear periodically when prevailing cultures or societies lack strong leadership--positive leadership, that is.
University students should rightly be exposed to a plurality of viewpoints as part of their intellectual growth, rather attending the "flock of sheep association of like-minded individuals."
Republican lawmakers are exploiting the terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdo in order to strengthen their argument that Washington is still in the middle of an active war on Islamist extremism. To put the message more alarmingly: If it could happen in broad daylight in Paris, it could happen in DC or New York.
Do Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush have the Reagan-Obama swag that can waltz through the party of those multiple responses to SOTU last night? Or do they look more like the former Massachusetts Governor -- Dukakis?
Having a few more Republican Senators on-the-record accepting climate change science is, sadly, a notable development. So is more Republicans tacitly acknowledging that forthright denialism is bad politics. But they can't stop there. They have to offer a plan for solving it.
I'll grade Obama's State-of-the-Union address by first rating him in the four categories that correspond to the great challenges of 2015 and then giving him an overall grade.
Yes, the latest polls may indicate that the President's popularity among Americans has increased by a few percentage points, but that won't make up for all the goodwill he's lost in the corridors of Capitol Hill.
President Obama's State of the Union focuses on climate change; Republicans' sneaky move to give the Keystone XL pipeline a new name; Yellowstone River pipeline spill spews oil and cancer-causing benzene; PLUS: Yes, Republicans vote climate change is not a hoax -- but there's a catch.
Republicans frequently used the line "missed opportunity" to respond to Obama's 2015 State of the Union address. But actually, it sounds more like a golden opportunity. The only question is whether the president will be able use this newfound public support.
On yet another anniversary of Roe, women's health opponents in Congress will mark the occasion by voting for a national ban on abortion at 20 weeks. Even if the ban fails, the right under Roe will still not be realized for millions of women.
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Tip O'Neill once stated that the Democrats had made people so well off through the ability to pursue higher education, that they could afford to become Republicans. That is exactly why Republicans might sign up for this program as well.
With a president too often bold in words but timid in action facing a Congress more Republican and obstructionist than ever, little will get done to fix inequality. Even the Tea Partiers who howled in protest over the bailout of the big banks back in 2008 have been taken to the woodshed by the likes of Karl Rove, and are silent as establishment Republicans complete the return of the GOP as Guardians of the One Percent. For now, don't really expect further taxes on the wealthy that could help those at the bottom. (And did you hear much discussion of America's poor people at the State of the Union?) Funny how trickle-down economics, a concept beloved by the GOP and its plutocratic allies, as well as by corporate Democrats, become an abomination when the galoshes are on the other foot and favor the less well off. Suddenly, trickle-down becomes all wet.