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President Hoover’s State of the Union

Herbert Hoover

I don’t know what President Obama will try to sell tonight in his State of The Union speech. I do know that what he says will have no relation to reality. But that could be said of any President in recent years with respect to this occasion. This particular President has speech-making skills that few of his predecessors had. He has an unusual ability to turn nothing into a great sounding speech.

Tonight will be little different. Talking heads, still in his camp, will rave about the speech after it is delivered. You will hear how he has regained his mojo and is now going to solve the economic problems. That, of course, will be nonsense. As any number of people have observed, what sounds like a great speech from this President does not read like one. Once removed from the pomp and circumstances associated with his stylistic delivery, his words wobble and usually collapse. That is why reading, as opposed to listening, is the better way to understand what has been proposed.

To put tonight’s speech into perspective, there is only one question that should be asked: “Why Mr. President did you squander an entire year on your fraudulent health care reform at the expense of dealing with the problems of Main Street?” That question should be crawling across every television screen in this country while he speaks.

The real State of the Union, as opposed to what you will hear, is captured by Michael Ledeen:

Banks are not lending, companies are not hiring, because they are afraid of what Obama will do next.  Both are afraid of onerous taxes, including new health care burdens, and the banks fear new regulations and the consequences of the recently declared war on evil bankers by the president.  Seniors are afraid they will be deprived of medical treatment.  Juniors are afraid they are going to be forced to buy health insurance they don’t think they need.  Across the board, Americans are afraid they’re not going to find work, and won’t be able to afford a house.  And, as the Massachusetts vote showed, Americans are worried about threats from abroad, worried about Iran, afraid of terrorist attacks, and afraid the Obama Administration doesn’t take all this seriously enough.  As Scott Brown put it, most Americans think our tax dollars should go to fighting terrorists, not to pay lawyers to defend terrorists.

Rhetoric, no matter how majestic, cannot alter this reality. There is nothing that Obama can say (or is willing to do) to change the conditions outlined above. Virtually everything he has done or tried to do has made things worse. For one year, his policies resulted in producing a deeper hole. These problems are now intractable.

There is one unexpected thing that might occur. It is possible that the rhetorical magician has spent all his magic. As described in Healthcare Vaporizes Obama Presidency, Obama’s used-car-salesman approach to selling health care greatly damaged his “Messiah” image, at least amongst the non Kool Aid drinkers. It will not reflect in the media post-speech analysis, because most of them are still imbibing. It may show up in polling data a few days after the speech.

Regardless of the post analysis, the irony is that Obama rode into office as the new Roosevelt. He will be driven out as the new Hoover. His most vigorous pursuers and critics will likely be irate Democrats. He may escape the tar, feathers and rope of his pursuers. He will not do as well with the historians.

A shorter version of this post appeared on American Thinker today.

9 thoughts on “President Hoover’s State of the Union”

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