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A Line In The Sand
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Obama Puts Tea-Bag GOP On Notice

By James Donahue

In his State of the Union address last week, President Barack Obama made a very smart move. He addressed a predominately hostile Republican dominated House and Senate . . . legislators strongly committed to slashing government spending nearly everywhere but in the military . . . by outlining the kind of government action the majority of Americans support.

He took a lot of heat from the corporate-sponsored American media which portrayed Mr. Obama of envisioning a non-existant world. And for the most part, the world the President outlined was truly non-existant, but not through any fault of his own. It was a world voters envisioned when they first elected him to the nation's high office six years ago.

In this, his State-of-the-Union address kicking off the last leg of his eight-year term, Mr. Obama called for helping revive the nation’s middle-class and raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. He said he wanted to use that tax money to ease the cost of college and childcare, cut tax loopholes that only benefit the rich and do whatever possible to increase the take-home pay of working Americans. He called for government investment in repairing the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, raising the minimum wage, and establishing laws reviving overtime pay for people working more than 40-hours a week.

The president may not have received an enthusiastic response from the extreme right-wing Republican crowd that packed the room Tuesday night, but we are sure that the millions of Americans who watched that speech on their home television screens were smiling . . . if only because the president was obviously drawing a line in the sand. Obama knows full well the final two years of his term in office is going to be a cat-and-dog fight over key political issues. And if forced to use his veto pen too frequently, the nation can expect another two years of stalemate in Washington.

His critics noted that Mr. Obama failed to mention the "terrorism" threat or the nation's looming financial crisis. But there was no need for him to talk about these things. They are both manufactured dilemmas designed to drive fear in the hearts of the masses. If the economy crashes this year, as many economists predict, the impact will hit mostly the wealthy. Most Americans are still struggling from the housing collapse of 2008.

It is obvious that voters last fall were either hoodwinked by smart and high-priced political advertising that misguided their vote at the polls, or the election was rigged to put the conservative G.O.P. in control of both houses in a push to overwhelm Obama’s final years in office.

Mr. Obama began his term desperately attempting to take a middle-road and negotiate the best kind of legislation he could get while dealing with that unruly pack of Republican scallywags. Amazingly, he managed to accomplish a lot during the first half of his term, with the national healthcare bill his crowning achievement. Unfortunately, that bill ended up so nitpicked and twisted by Republican tinkering that it lacks the potential it could have offered. But "Obamacare" exists, and if voters can pack the two houses with some right-minded representation, the damage embedded within the act can be repaired. We just have to wait a while.

Now that Mr. Obama has outlined his objectives for improving life at home for Americans, it is obvious that he plans to meet the ultra-conservative Tea-baggers head-on in battle. He wants to raise taxes on the rich, use the money to improve life for the fading middle-class and poor, and use his plan to call out legislators bent on going in the opposite direction. He has already called for assistance in helping finance college tuition. He has attempted to resolve the Mexican migrant issue and he has moved to live the nation's long-standing embargo on Cuba. Of course these issues have stirred the ire of the G.O.P. and if possible, his opponents will do all they can to snafo them.

Let’s buy a lot of popcorn and plan to sit back and watch the action. If we can keep it all in perspective, and not lose our temper over the political rhetoric that is bound to fly, it ought to be an interesting show. The objective is to hold on for the next two years and hope voters learn a few things so they can make better choices when they go to the polls again in 2016.

If we can’t fix things then, we will know for sure that the elections are definitely rigged and the nation has gone to the dogs.