The Era of Small Ideas Is Over
President Obama outlined his domestic agenda last night in a pseudo State of the Union address. He spoke of the the failed policies that brought about the current crisis in banking and housing. Obama was unafraid of calling it a recession, and warned of the perils of inaction. He trumpeted the stimulus package, and its tax cuts for 95% of all taxpayers (the largest tax cut in history).
And unlike his predecessors, there was no talk of poll-tested microinitiatives. The era of small ideas is over.
He spoke of the need for accountability in government spending, and holding bankers responsible for the problems they created. He celebrated American innovation, and insisted that we would lead the way on renewable energy. He insisted that healthcare reform “cannot wait any longer”. A stronger America required a more educated one, and he made the pledge to reverse the trends in college attainment, and even denounced the notion of dropping out of high school as being unpatriotic.
But in the crisis of the moment, there was no talk of walking on the moon, or requiring school uniforms. There was no celebration of the petty, only talk of what we can achieve when we set aside our differences and finally take charge of our own destiny as a nation.
In the words of Chris Matthews, Obama left “no room on the political landscape except in the far right” – words proven by the pathetically small-bore ranting of Governor Jindal, who tried to have his cake and eat it too by denouncing federal aid that he was going to take anyway.
If we needed any sort of affirmation that our choice last November was the right one, we saw it last night.
UPDATE: Apparently, the criticism of Jindal’s horrific speech continues. Today, the New York Times keeps the story alive, by covering the coverage of his SOTU response.