SOTU: Obama's dream dead in less than 15 hours 

For tomorrow's print edition of The Examiner, we have written up assessments of President Obama's Wednesday night State of the Union address. Here is mine.

Less than 15 hours after President Obama promised a three-year freeze on non-defense discretionary spending, Senate Democrats went and killed the dream. With their 43 "no" votes, they blocked a bipartisan provision on Thursday that would have allowed only 1 percent spending growth in the categories President Obama intended.

Without even giving Republicans a chance to obstruct, congressional Democrats did it themselves. They repudiated not only the president's spending freeze and his call to fiscal responsibility, but also nearly every positive hope he expressed in his State of the Union Address for change in Washington.

For example, Obama called for an end to obstruction of anything that can't get 60 votes in the Senate. He also denounced the "perpetual campaign" into which American politics has devolved. But by blocking a bipartisan spending freeze that could get only 56 Senate votes, liberals in Congress have ensured that the next nine months will be a perpetual campaign.

With both House and Democrats fearing the unemployment line, the likelihood of controversial legislation passing Congress in this election year decreases with each passing day. Obama's hopes for health care reform are flatlining. His bid for a second stimulus package becomes much more difficult. His chances of passing carbon limitations are smaller still.

This ultimately works to the benefit of Americans, who are not thrilled with that legislation anyway. The moral of the story is that even the cleverest orator has limits when it comes to selling bad policy. A smaller lesson is that Obama, vaunted speaker that he is, cannot motivate people to action the way he could in 2008, when the public's patience waned for his predecessor. Back then, Obama's sweet words about a “new politics” struck a real cord. Even if, as he said Wednesday, he “never thought that the mere fact of my election would usher in peace and harmony, and some post-partisan era,” he he sold that very idea to millions quite easily.

Today, as the election buzzwords “hope” and “change” take the form of ambitious left-wing policy items, no one is buying any more. The same Obamian rhetoric that once moved millions has become like an overplayed pop single, soon to be removed from the voters' playlist.

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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