I watched the Obama speech last night, and on the whole found it pretty useless, even though it was excellent oratory. He's easily the best speech giving President in my lifetime, better than Reagan or Clinton even. Impressions:
Obama is a quick study. After months of campaigning on Hope(tm) and then ditching Hope (tm) for Fear Itself in his first press conference, Obama rediscovered Hope(tm). It was a campaign speech, loaded with platitudes and warm fuzzies.
Like any campaign speech by any politician, it promised all kinds of goodies, all while cutting taxes and the budget. Well! The Obama Administration, with the help of his rubber stamp Congress, has already doubled the deficit 'he inherited' in just one short month with the 'stimulus'. How is it going to be possible to spend even a penny more and yet manage to cut anything? This I want to see.
Obama talked about 'not governing from anger', and yet couldn't resist taking jabs at the CEO who spent bailout money on drapes, and the CEO who bought a corporate jet. That's one of the sources of popular anger, as if he didn't know.
The Republican response was hilarious, except that The Office wasn't going to be on for another half hour. It may not have seemed like an actual response, because it didn't address the speech terribly well and sounded like one man's campaign and story time. But, that's what made it an actual response, because Obama's speech didn't address the country's problems terribly well and sounded like one man's campaign and story time.
If anyone, Obama of the Congress, would like to address the real problems, here is where to go to work:
Treat the banks like you treat the automakers
Stop printing money without value to back it
Get out of Iraq already
Pretty simple, but then, our problems are actually pretty simple: We borrow and spend too much.