Well, I watched the State of the Union and the Republican response last night.
The State of the Union dragged on, but I enjoyed it more than I expected. In my post yesterday,
I complained that State of the Union addresses often amount to empty
rhetoric: that the President lists a bunch of great ideas, then nothing
gets done. I still feel that way. But what I liked about last night's
State of the Union address was that the President was not just talking
about what should be done, but the good things that are being done, and the positive trends that are
taking place (according to the President). Businesses are cooperating
with community colleges and providing apprenticeships. The
incarceration rate and the crime rate are decreasing, as is the teen
pregnancy rate (or so the President said).
also appreciated that the President praised Republicans who agreed with
some of his ideas, as when he noted that Tennessee is under Republican
leadership yet provides free community college, on some level.
Republican response was a bit too cheery for my taste. I like my
Republican and Democratic responses to be substantive and a bit wonky,
and the one last night was a little better than most. It wasn't just
about criticizing big government. What stood out to me is that both the
President and Joni Ernst agree with tax reform and closing loopholes.
Because the President last night did not mention, say, increasing the
capital gains tax and inheritance taxes, you would think that he and the
Republicans pretty much agree on what to do about taxes. But they
don't entirely, and the issues on which they disagree are enough to
divide them drastically. Why can't they work together on what they do
agree on, like closing loopholes?
when the President said that we should set our sights on more than just
one pipeline. Good point! Will anything come of that? I am doubtful.