Ben Voth of American Thinker looked back to the spring of 2008, when it was George W. Bush's opportunity to take stock, and Barack H. Obama got to do the rebuttal.
President Bush made a number of points that remain salient today. Interestingly, President Bush called upon Congress to pass legislation reining in Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the housing supports of the federal government. President Bush had repeatedly called for such reforms in his eight years as president. The Democratic control of the Senate and House beginning in January 2007 ensured that Barney Frank and Harry Reid would maintain the lax regulations encouraged by massive donations to the campaign of aspiring Senator Obama and other Democrats. Of course, that legislation did not pass, and those federal mortgage guarantee programs would inflate the housing bubble to its disastrous end in the summer of 2008 – all to be blamed on President Bush and not the Democratic Congress that refused the reforms.I thought I heard a news report during one of the hockey intermissions in which Our President's failure to mention the loss of jobs in the oil patch came up. The speech might have been even more aggravating to his opponents.
In 2008, President Bush also celebrated the success of the Surge in Iraq that gave rise to the Anbar Awakening and a dramatic reduction in violence in Iraq from 2006 and 2007. He warned that premature reductions in U.S. forces in Iraq would lead to a resurgence of al-Qaeda in Iraq and elsewhere. Senator Obama responded by saying that Iraq was not a success and that history would judge President Bush negatively. In last night's speech, President Obama laid Vietnam and Iraq back to back as clear examples of American failure – confirming his response in 2008.
He does not share credit. He alone brings change. Those who agree with him contribute to and aid that change, but his opponents have nothing to offer. Did President Obama think that the election of Republicans to the House in 2010 led to or helped reduce the deficit? The president did not acknowledge or suggest that. Did the president think that Republicans or their constituent states and citizens helped bring about two-dollar gas that the president thought so remarkable to comment upon last night? No. In fact, his not so distant mocking of two-dollar gas and Sarah Palin's ridiculous notion that such a goal was achievable was far from the text of his remarks last night. Did the president commend President Bush for providing emergency loans so the auto industry could, as he noted, sell more cars in 2015 than at any other time in its history? No. President Obama did all these things – even when he did not.Thus, to the end, Our President remains the peevish Chicago ward-heeler he always has been.
President Obama has not matured much from the reactive remarks he made against President Bush in 2008 to this final State of the Union in 2016. This lack of growth led to his biggest regret – the growing impasses of partisanship in our nation.Columnist Rich Galen thought the delivery, teleprompter or not, was off, and as a persuasive speech, it wasn't.
President Obama has not done well convincing Americans that he is good at running the country. His job approval has been mired in the low- to mid-40s for more than a year.Betsy Newmark didn't watch the speech either, citing homework to do. She collected a few reactions this morning.