Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Presidency

SOTU Thoughts

Over at The Corner, Kevin D. Williamson has some interesting thoughts on the political ritual of The State of the Union speech that are worthy of consideration.  Hint:  he's not a fan.

Regarding this specific SOTU, there's not really much point in talking about the content of a speech that has yet to be delivered.  On the other hand, if anything David Axelrod says is to be taken as a clue about the likely tone of the thing, I am willing to bet that what he describes as Obama's "feisty" mood causes the President to continue his finger-wagging, misguided attacks on the values and opinions most Americans still hold dear.  I am moving closer to the opinion that Obama is actually incapable of being persuasive--perhaps because he mistakenly believes that Americans fully understand and support the ideas that he champions.  Or perhaps it is something more cynical, as some have suggested, and he really does think that the force of his own personality is all that is needed to persuade them. 

On the other hand, as they watch our feisty President try to box himself out of a corner, I hope Republicans don't get so caught up in the spectacle that they imagine the rest of America is as cheered by it as they might be.  This isn't a time for sneers, and hoots and hollers . . . it's an opportunity for Republicans to show that they can be persuasive where the President is not.  It's a good time to remember that whatever their basic values and opinions, the American people are not full on board with Republicans just because they're disappointed in the Democrats.  There's a lot of work to be done between now and November.
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