It was exactly the kind of State of the Union address the nation has come to expect from President Obama: soaring rhetoric, chunks of red meat for the far left and more fuel for the class warfare fire.
Whether it was lecturing the private sector on how much it should pay employees (“Give America a raise!”) or urging the country to “give every woman the opportunity she deserves” (whatever that means), the president’s pandering and policy-devoid platitudes won him easy applause among those pushing the politics of envy.
Take his statement that women still earn only “77 cents on the dollar” compared to men, a well-worn tactic to incite gender animosity. Worse, the statement is misleading to the point of being outright wrong. The president’s math comes from U.S. Census figures that do not study comparable jobs or total days worked. When adjusted for an apples-to-apples comparison, the wage gap is 6.6 cents. And when the 2010 Census narrows the study to women who are single and childless, they actually earn more than their male peers.
How about this wealth-envy-inspiring gem: “Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled.” Neither statement is true, as studies show rates for both are essentially the same now as they were two decades ago.
Really, does this nation – which is perhaps more divided now than at any point since the Civil War – need more divisive rhetoric?
The latest CNN Poll of Polls – an average of eight nonpartisan national opinion polls – shows Obama’s approval rating at 43 percent, with 6 percent undecided.
With 51 percent of the nation dissatisfied with his job performance, one would think the president might reconsider his policies, or at least ease up on the throttle. Not this president. If this address proved anything, it proved Obama is a president willing to rule by executive fiat, bypassing Congress wherever he can.
That was clear in his comments for a renewed push for gun control: “I intend to keep on trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies ...”
Americans should have learned in high-school civics that the executive branch cannot legislatively bypass Congress. The Constitution was written expressly to keep the president from becoming a dictator.
As a former constitutional law lecturer, Obama should respect that. It appears he doesn’t.
Instead, his actions – and now his dialogue – now send a clear message: Do it my way, or I’ll do it myself.
This is dangerous thinking for a chief executive, and all Americans should be afraid regardless of party affiliation. America was not created to be ruled by despots or monarchs.
Will Congress need to take action to help our president realize that?