Thursday, January 30, 2014

“State of the …” speeches become nothing more than partisan rhetoric?

There are those people who are blasting Gov. Pat Quinn these days for having the gall to use his official State of the State speech to the General Assembly for political purposes. How dare he want to get re-elected!?!

OBAMA: Ignoring opposition?
Just as there are those who are trashing President Barack Obama for giving a State of the Union address where he basically expressed his intent to take action on select issues without the approval of Congress. So that his presidency doesn't end in two years with nothing more being accomplished.

IT IS DIFFICULT, if not impossible, for me to take these people seriously, however, because of their own political motivations.

Tuning in to the television news on Wednesday and seeing Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, lambasting Obama for not being willing to work with Congress? Ted, Shut up!!!

The same goes for those people who are upset that Quinn basically used his annual address to legislators to talk about things he’d like to do – but likely won’t be able to – because his political opponents won’t want him to have government policy victories right in the heart of the current electoral cycle.

I think this makes the Republicans at both the federal and state levels look incredibly petty to engage in such rhetoric. I comprehend the concept of the opposition political party making a statement.

AND I DON’T expect the opposition to come out and say what a wonderful guy the president/governor truly is.

But the degree to which partisanship has overtaken the process of a government chief executive making a statement about where things stand and where they will go in the future has truly become appalling.

QUINN: Electioneering?
We’re at the point where I was repulsed by the congressional opposition complaining that Obama wants to exclude them – even though in both actions and statements they have made it clear they have little to no interest in working with the president on much of anything.

If anything, the reason some people are losing faith in an Obama presidency is the perception that he’s too weak to stand up to his opposition – that he’s merely willing to let himself get smacked around.

THE STATE OF the Union address may be evidence that Obama has finally come to his senses. He realizes the people (or at least the ones who aren’t determined to believe their ideologue minority is the only one that deserves to be listened to) expect some action.

CRUZ: Blasting Obama for ignoring him
A year of inaction on immigration reform? No action whatsoever on issues such as the minimum wage or long-term unemployment insurance? The people are disgusted that there has been nothing from government – we definitely do not want more of the same!

And for those people who try arguing that Obama is exaggerating the opposition he gets from Republican congressional members, I’d only remind them of the ridiculous levels of hostility that have been directed toward health care reform – an issue that truly needs to be addressed.

Except for those ideologues who are desperate to believe that people lacking in adequate health insurance are somehow unworthy of it. As though they brought that condition upon themselves.

THE SAME GOES for Republicans who even before Quinn gave his address to the General Assembly were trashing him for wanting to use a speech to make himself look good. How else to explain former Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego, saying he wanted Quinn to only make "detailed and responsible" statements during the address -- as though he gets to define those terms.

In short, they don't want Quinn to use the advantages of incumbency while running against assorted Republicans and a Democrat – all of whom were present for the address.

CROSS: Define 'responsible'
State Sens. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale, and William Brady, R-Bloomington, along with state Treasurer Dan Rutherford, were among the officials expected to be there, while his Democratic challenger, Tio Hardiman and venture capitalist Bruce Rauner were likely sitting in the gallery watching the annual event – while fantasizing how they will be giving the same speech next year.

Quinn hinted before giving the address that he’s interested in bolstering the concerns of the middle class. Just like anyone else would say – except then they wouldn’t be so eager to pile on with the criticism.


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