Obama's State of the Union address: An empty and reactionary charade
US President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday was, perhaps even more than his previous addresses, a cynical and reactionary charade. Empty rhetoric was combined with a complete disconnect from the reality confronting millions of people and an assertion of executive power.
The thrust of the speech was a mixture of pro-business nostrums, militarist jingoism and a jumble of penny-ante proposals. The media's attempt to promote the speech as a major address on inequality was a deliberate falsification aimed at drumming up interest among a generally indifferent and hostile population.
Instead it was a threadbare attempt to cover over the reality of the past year, a year in which the mask fell off a society riven by historically unprecedented levels of social inequality and mass poverty, overseen by a vast police-state spying apparatus, on the verge of another global war of incalculable consequences and presided over by the most right-wing administration in US history....
The president, who has done more than any of his predecessors to funnel money into Wall Street, acknowledged that "corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better," as if the policies of his own administration had nothing to do with it. He quickly claimed, however, that the American people "don't resent those who, by virtue of their efforts, achieve incredible success."
Presumably Obama was referring to the likes of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Obama's favored banker, who, despite the repeated and documented criminal activities of his company, has not only gone unpunished, but last week received a 74 percent pay raise....
In the run-up to the speech, there was a concerted effort in the media to paint a picture of partisan gridlock, which Obama was proposing to overcome through executive actions. Given that Obama's actual proposals amount to nothing, and that the parties are agreed on fundamentals, Obama's repeated insistence that "I'm going to do" what is required has the distinct and ominous odor of a presidential dictatorship....
As has become traditional in such events, Obama singled out individuals in the audience, generally victims of the policies of the ruling class, who are exploited to make various political points. Nowhere was this more sickening than at the end of the speech, when the president heaped praise on a veteran severely maimed by an explosion in Afghanistan.
The assembled congressmen—responsible for wars of aggression that inflicted a similar fate on thousands of Americans, while killing hundreds of thousands of Afghans and Iraqis—gave a lengthy standing ovation to one of the victims of their criminal policies. This spectacle was a fitting conclusion to a nauseating political ritual.
The article calls Obama's "the most right-wing administration in US history." This is a Socialist website, monitoring the interests of the working class. It just called Obama a fascist dictator.