Well Toto, Obama’s no longer in Kansas. His ‘ubi et orbi’ address in the well of Congress shows him in fighting spirit. He has no other choice in this presidential election year.
Obama’s record is so so at best, big ticket items like health care and tepid financial regulation notwithstanding.
His language, calling for fairness, reinforces solid Yankee virtues of hard work, self-reliance, and fair play.
He put a moss back Republican dominated Congress on notice in rebuilding an economically wounded economy: jobs, jobs, jobs are needed to rescue the shrinking middle classes and hard working poor from the return of robber barons who pay little for their wealth, and for whom the Republicans, in the main, protection their privileges and sybaritic life style.
Yet nowhere did Obama utter the word ‘poverty’. Mitch Daniels the Republican governor of Indiana, a state where he is leading the charge to crush unions, did when he referred to Obama’s decision to not approve the Keystone project which would bring dirty Canadian oil from tar sands across the length of the US to refineries in Texas; there this sludge would be refined then shipped abroad. The shooting down of Keystone denied 10.000 or more jobs to unemployed Americans, so the hype goes.
Obama’s language reflects how much the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement has shifted the political winds. The American president spoke of the ’98 percent’ who should the tax burden of the rich, very rich, and super rich. In this, the publication of Mitt Romney’s tax returns for 2010 and 2011 proved a clinching argument for Obama’s indictment. The dim and dumb slate of Republican candidates vying for the Republican nominee for the White House has give Obama more breathing space and put more arrows in his quiver for reelection.
‘I will work with any member of Congress who will work with me’, says he, ‘but if Congress doesn’t cooperate, Obama will use executive powers to do what he says he wants to do’. And the line is neatly drawn, as the Republicans sat on their hands knowing full well any booing and shouting will drive their 9 percent public approval rate even lower.
The American president talks a good talk even though he zigzags in his walk. Nonetheless, his metaphor of the military as an institution where all American gather regardless of race, creed, colour, or political convictions, brought the Houses of Congress up on their feet to rousing cheers. It is further proof that the US is the embodiment of the ‘garrison state’, it is the triumph of the military industrial complex. If anything under Obama the US is pursuing a more seemingly efficient hard nosed foreign cum military policy, and thus reclaiming its right to rule the world as it sees fit.
‘Uncle Sam needs you’ cries out a recruiting poster, say, from world war two, and that is the message and the prescription for job creation and pumping more blood in the US economy and checkmating unrest from below.