No Reset Button Here

Out of all of the analysis of the State of the Union address — I would call it more of a patronizing lecture — the Atlantic’s Clive Crook said it best (excerpts are below, I’d strongly recommend reading the entire piece):

“Little sign of a reset that I could see. The speech emphasized jobs and the economy over healthcare reform, but that would have made sense even if the political landscape had not shifted. As for the poll numbers, as for Massachusetts, they might never have happened. He mentioned Scott Brown’s victory only obliquely, and in way that denied it any significance.

I know it’s an election year. And after last week, it is clear that campaign fever has come even earlier than usual. But we still need to govern.

“He conveyed almost no sense that the country was sending him a message and that he was paying attention. He shuffled priorities-but goals and methods had not changed. The tone was uncompromising and often combative. “We don’t quit. I don’t quit.” If you admire tenacity, there was a lot to like.

“He followed James Carville’s bad advice in Monday’s FT, dwelling at length on his poisoned inheritance. (On CNN, Carville said the speech was wonderful.)

Now, even after paying for what we spent on my watch, we will still face the massive deficit we had when I took office.

“True, that massive deficit is largely due to the Bush tax cuts-only part of which, however, Obama intends to reverse. The tax cuts Obama intends to retain belong to him, and so does the corresponding part of the deficit. But the point is: who cares? Carville is wrong. What does it matter who caused the problem? Obama’s job is to solve it.

“He called for a bipartisan fiscal commission to look into the matter. He said this must not be a way to kick the issue down the road. That is what it would be, of course.”

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