Obama is set to deliver his fourth State of the Union Tuesday (AP photo)
Buck Sexton is a regular panelist on ‘Real News’ weekdays 6-7pm EST, and will be a part of TheBlaze Tv's coverage of tonight's address.
Since President Obama used his Inaugural Address to lay out his second term progressive manifesto, tonight’s State of the Union is his opportunity to define the implementation of that vision.
Like his previous State of the Union addresses, Obama will undoubtedly employ a combination of populist demagoguery and thinly-veiled leftist ideology. He has never shied away from repeating himself in speech after speech, apparently under the assumption that if he lectures the American people enough, we will cave in to his will.
Nonetheless, there are a few areas Obama will likely jump into tonight with both feet, and with the overconfidence that only a politician who will never again face the electorate can muster. Here are some places where--if Obama decides to go big in this speech—he is most likely to leave a lasting impression.
1) Class Warfare- The economy will almost definitely be a centerpiece of Obama’s SOTU. In his inaugural, Obama barely mentioned the economy despite the fact that it is the top concern of the American people. That’s going to change tonight. Get ready to hear even more about “a strong middle class” and the top earners “paying their fair share.”
We already know what President Obama believes will fix our ailing economy—more taxes (“revenue”) and more spending (“investments”). That Obama already won the tax rate raises he wanted so badly, and for which he constantly hounded Republicans, has only emboldened his redistributive agenda. More taxes are coming.
Just for kicks, go back and read the beginning of Obama’s 2009 State of the Union, where he talked about government creating million of jobs. Unemployment is (officially) 7.9%, and President Obama will essentially say the same thing tonight he did four years ago.
2) Cutting Back Our Military- President Obama is slated to announce the withdrawal of 34,000 troops from Afghanistan tonight. But watch for Obama to then include language about a more “cost-effective” military that “eliminates waste” and is designed for “the challenges of the 21st century.” Essentially, Obama will lead this part of his speech with successes in the war on terror, and the Afghan withdrawal in order to make his desire to cut national defense less jarring.
3) Executive Orders- A list of proposed executive orders has been floated to the press already that includes cyber security, mortgage relief, increased federal protection for gay couples and new carbon emission standards.
All of these orders, whether designed to enact major policy changes, shape Congressional debate, or achieve incremental change will serve the two overriding purposes of this administration: the redistribution of wealth and the expansion of government power.
Of course, the list of executive orders is likely a mere taste of what is to come over the next four years. For an administration that recognizes almost no Constitutional constraint on its power—so long as “a majority of the American people agree,” as Obama is fond of saying—executive orders could increasingly become preferred tools of policy. That is unless Democrats take back the House in 2014, and then the President will be happy to respect the separation of powers once again.
4) Environment Activism- If there is one place where Obama could use executive power with major impact on the economy, it’s the environment. Tonight Obama will probably slip in some platitudes about the threat of climate change, and then quickly transition into the need for “green jobs” and green energy subsidies. For this administration, climate change scare-mongering is their greatest untapped source of statist authority. After all, who can oppose Obama’s efforts to save the planet from ruin?
We saw a preview of the coming environmentalist push in the left’s hysterical approach to the gun control. The media mobilized with rabid intensity to help President Obama convince the American people that ineffective, counter-factual, and freedom-trampling gun restrictions were necessary to protect children.
Get ready for the same level of discourse, only now it will be about how much energy you can use, how much of your taxes goes to wind-farm boondoggles, and how much more expensive it will be to drive to work.
5) Leftist Legacy- It’s hard to anticipate all of the leftist items Obama will push tonight. Immigration, government regulation of the economy, education, free healthcare and even the Middle East Peace process will receive mentions—all through the prism of Obama the progressive.
Obama has dropped the pretense from 2009 of a centrist, pragmatic leader who seeks to heal America’s wounds. He now makes it abundantly clear that he is an ideologically driven man of the left, and he will seize the moment to advance the progressive cause.
For conservatives, tonight’s State of the Union will almost certainly be a difficult, frustrating experience. But elections, as we know, have consequences, and with an administration so emboldened to radically transform America, it would behoove us all to take President Obama at his word, and prepare for what’s coming.