Beckmann: The state of our union is ... deflated

Frank Beckmann
Special to The Detroit News

It’s no surprise that President Barack Obama’s State of the Union message on Tuesday drew the smallest viewing audience in 15 years for such an address.

Obama and his speechwriters have turned what once was a highly anticipated event into a poorly written sitcom.

One is left to wonder whether this president, so often hailed as a great orato,r even considers the meaning of the words he is speaking and the hypocrisy they represent.

Start with this line: “I swore an oath on the steps of this Capitol, to do what I believe is best for America.”

That is not what this president or any commander-in-chief pledges when he puts his hand on the Bible and utters his oath.

What Obama said, twice after his elections, was, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

There’s nothing included in the oath about any president doing what he may think is best for the country.

Such promises are reserved for despotic leaders, not constrained by the laws of a brilliant founding document like ours, which outlines specific separation of powers to prevent tyrannical leadership by one person who believes his ideas carry more insight or weight than those chosen leaders from the other two branches of government.

When America’s leader, a supposed constitutional scholar, shows an ignorance of his own oath of office, it’s understandable that the nation has come to expect that the rest of the State of the Union address is nothing more than insincere words, and one in which they showed decreasing interest this week.

We listened to a president who urged a bipartisan spirit from Congress and vowed to listen to competing ideas, but set a State of the Union record by immediately threatening to veto any legislation on four fronts — tweaking Obamacare, changing the stifling Dodd-Frank banking restrictions, placing more sanctions on Iran, or undoing his unilateral grant of amnesty to people living in the country illegally.

Obama adopted a theme of pursuing what he called “middle class economics,” claiming policies of further taxing rich Americans and their accumulated wealth. But by now he certainly knows such a Robin Hood plan does nothing to help the middle class.

Obama proclaimed that the tax code is filled with deductions — he calls them loopholes — that the super rich “don’t need.”

Obama wants everyone to get a “free” community college education that’s not free and which would require states to pick up a quarter of the tab at the outset and probably even more of the cost at a later date, something that could only be paid for with higher taxes.

He bemoaned the fundraising aspects of politics and then followed up his address with an email blast to Democrats asking for campaign contributions.

He credits his wife Michelle and Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Jill, with helping create a whopping 700,000 jobs for military veterans, a preposterous claim.

Even the Associated Press did a fact check critique which belied the president’s claims of a booming economy and job market.

“Unemployment has been steadily decreasing, but that’s driven primarily by a growth in low paying jobs and people leaving the labor market. There are still 1.7 million fewer workers with full-time jobs than in December 2007 when the recession began,” wrote the AP.

In the end of this address, we were left more deflated than a New England Patriots football, but then we can’t really expect a whole lot more from a president who doesn’t even know what he was sworn to do.

Frank Beckmann is host of “The Frank Beckmann Show” on WJR-AM (760).

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