SOTU in Haiku: The Sport Of Politics

U.S. President Obama delivers his first State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington

Hey! Fellow bloggers!
Did you watch the speech last night?
Any reaction?

When Oprah shut down Michigan Avenue last year, we all wrote about it – including a couple of us here at Chicago Sports In Haiku.  The powers that be at ChicagoNow even created an “Oprah Watch” blog.

But this morning, when I clicked on the “State of The Union”  Hot Topics link on the ChicagoNow front page,  I found just two items posted after the speech – a summary of some goodies for small business at It’s A Small Business World, and a post at the ChicagoNow News & Opinion Community Blog about how CNN used social media in their coverage of the speech.

Isn’t the first SOTU address by Chicago’s own Barack Obama worth more than just two blog entries after the attention that we gave to Oprah?  Last night, while watching the President’s State of the Union Address, there were times I  wished I wrote a political blog. I had strong reactions to a few of Obama’s statements, but all I’ve got is this sports blog. However,  since almost nobody else here is writing about it …

Politics is sport
That’s what many people say
So, here’s what I think

Here are a few haiku about parts of Wednesday’s State of the Union Address by President Obama.  Unless otherwise noted, the quoted passages are from the President’s speech

Obama calls out
GOPher obstructionism
And Dem wimpiness

To Democrats, I would remind you that we still have the largest majority in decades, and the people expect us to solve some problems, not run for the hills. And if the Republican leadership is going to insist that sixty votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town, then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well. Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it’s not leadership. We were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions. So let’s show the American people that we can do it together.

I was glad to hear this … but I think Obama is part of the wimpiness problem – he negotiated critical parts of health care reform away (i.e. single payer, public option) almost before the debate had started.  Even as he criticizes the GOP “just say no” to everything strategy, he continues to reach out in the spirit of  bipartisanship.  If the Republicans react as they have for the past year, I hope the President changes his attitude fast.  

Speaking of health care …

Barack as Bluto:
Health Care reform ain’t over
‘Til he says it is

(H/T to @Adambuckled, who tweeted: “I’ve missed the #SOTU so far. Has he quoted Animal House yet?”)

 … it is precisely to relieve the burden on middle-class families that we still need health insurance reform … After nearly a century of trying, we are closer than ever to bringing more security to the lives of so many Americans … this problem is not going away. By the time I’m finished speaking tonight, more Americans will  have lost their health insurance. Millions will lose it this year. Our deficit will grow. Premiums will go up.  Patients will be denied the care they need. Small business owners will continue to drop coverage altogether. I  will not walk away from these Americans, and neither should the people in this chamber.  As temperatures cool,  I want everyone to take another look at the plan we’ve proposed. There’s a reason why many doctors, nurses, and  health care experts who know our system best consider this approach a vast improvement over the status quo. But  if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover  the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know. Here’s what I  ask of Congress, though: Do not walk away from reform. Not now. Not when we are so close. Let us find a way to come together and finish the job for the American people.

I’m glad he’s not giving up .. but I hope he doesn’t give up too much just to get something passed.  

The President says
We should end “don’t ask, don’t tell”
Does he mean it now?

Abroad, America’s greatest source of strength has always been our ideals. The same is true at home. We find unity in our incredible diversity, drawing on the promise enshrined in our Constitution: the notion that we are all created equal, that no matter who you are or what you look like, if you abide by the law you should be protected by it; that if you adhere to our common values you should be treated no different than anyone else.  We must continually renew this promise … This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.

We’ve heard this promise before.  During the campaign, and as recently as last October.  I hope he gets it done this time.  

Why did Alito
Violate SCOTUS standards
During the SOTU?

Obama said:

With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme
Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates
for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend
without limit in our elections. I don’t think American elections should
be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by
foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people. And
I’d urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct
some of these problems.

Watch this video
To see what Alito did
I think it’s shameful


AmericaBlog, John Aravosis wrote:

Alito shakes heading, mouthing “not true,” as Obama says recent Supreme Court decision will let lobbyists and corporations own our elections. Highly inappropriate for Alito to do this. You’ll notice the Sup Ct doesn’t even clap when the president enters. They are not supposed to respond to anything, lest it show bias. Highly inappropriate.

Are those of us criticizing him overreacting?  Or is this yet more evidence of the politicization of the Court by activist conservative Justices.  Here what Stuart Taylor wrote in Newsweek:

So the court’s decision strikes me as a perverse interpretation of the First Amendment, one that will at best increase the already unhealthy political power of big businesses (and big unions, too), and at worst swamp our elections under a new deluge of special-interest cash. More ominously still, Citizens United v. FEC lends credence to liberal claims that all five of the more conservative justices are “judicial activists,” the same imprecation that conservatives have for so long–and often justifiably–hurled at liberal justices.

So, what do you think?
Did Obama inspire you
Or disappoint you?


Leave a comment
  • Main points were made well.
    Blamed Dem wimps, but Prez wimped too.
    Still need single payer care.

    To answer query,
    Speech did not disappoint me
    Nor did it inspire.

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