Tag archives: State of the Union

A Meditation on the State of the Union and Having It All

by Rob Schwarzwalder

February 13, 2013

President Obama wants nearly 30 new government programs, but says they won’t cost anything. He wants to encumber businesses of all sizes with an unworkable health care plan whose thousands of pages are only now beginning to be fully understood, but says he wants to reduce health care costs. He calls for creating a stronger, more vibrant middle class, but wants to put four year-olds in pre-school. He calls for fatherhood as a moral imperative, but wants to redefine marriage. He applauds America for being a land of laws and justice, but his Cabinet officers ignore multiple Freedom of Information Act requests from around the nation.

I guess I’m kind of like the President. I’d like to eat prime rib and ice cream several times a day without gaining weight. I’d like to climb all of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks without cracking a sweat. I’d like to win an Olympic gold medal without having to train. And why doesn’t someone just give me a Ph.D. without my having to study or write dissertation? After all, I want it.

Mr. Obama lives in a twilight world of utopian dreams and impractical policies. His goals, his means, and his ideas are about as compatible as Mike Tyson and Tiny Tim.

Politics, like life, is about choices, often hard ones. Mr. Obama’s self-contradictory policy proposals collapse under the weight of incoherence. Our nation loses as a result.

A Sputnik Moment, or a Skutnik Moment?

by Robert Morrison

January 28, 2011

This weeks State of the Union Address brought reminders of those long ago. TIME Magazine compared President Obamas polished delivery to Ronald Reagan. Reagan had suffered a down economy and mid-term losses in the House of Representatives. Yet, Reagan bounced back and won a smashing victory in 1984. One thinks the wish is father to the thought.

President Reagan in 1982 created a great tradition by introducing American hero Lenny Skutnik in the family section of the House Visitors Gallery. Mr. Skutnik two weeks before had risked his life to dive into the icy Potomac waters to rescue passengers from the Air Florida crash. It was a dramatic, and thrilling moment.

I know, because my young wife and I watched it live. We watched all of President Reagans State of the Union Addresses. Like this week, there would often be heavy snow during, or in the week of, the address. Outside, the weather might be frightful, but inside it was warm and intimate.

It was the Reagan equivalent of FDRs Fireside Chats.

I recall when President Reagan would speak of the abortion crisis. The fate of unborn children has not been mentioned in any State of the Union Address since Reagans last one in 1988. My great chief described abortion as a wound in Americas soul. He condemned no one but he appealed to Americans to rise above self-interest and embrace the right to life of innocent human beings.

There was no hint of the fate of unborn children last Tuesday night. Fifty-three million Americans have been denied the first of all inalienable rights.

Might we consider what those fifty-three million could have contributed to the State of our Union? We face a crisis of illegal immigration. Obviously, we dont have enough workers. We face a government spending crisis. We dont have enough workers paying taxes to support the government we demand.

Government projections tell us the Social Security System will go broke in 2037, just twenty-five years from now. When it began in 1935, there were 17 workers for every American receiving Social Security. Today, there are only three.

And yet our government continues to sluice billions of dollars to organizations like Planned Parenthood. This outfit has given us 53 million abortions, 65 million STDs, and an out-of-wedlock birth rate of 41%. Still, Mr. Obama tells us funding for this group is essential. To do what, further depress Americas population? To further spread anti-family doctrines? To ensnare more young men and women in its web of deceit?

We face an economic crisis that began in the housing market. Wall Streeter David Goldman wrote in Of Demographics and Depressions (First Things, January, 2009) that the meltdown was bound to start in the housing market.

Young marrieds with children are the drivers of the housing market, he says.

And we have no more of these young families today than we had in 1969.

David Goldman says we may not come out of this severe economic crisis until we address the problem of family formation.

There was surely no such addressing in the presidents address this week. His administration is far down the path of abolishing marriage altogether.

And, because the vast majority abortions are done on unmarried women, an attack on marriage is always an attack on unborn human life itself.

President Obama has thoroughly committed himself to the Planned Parenthood agenda. He may yet express shock at Kermit Gosnells little hell in Philadelphia. Some pro-abortion folks have. They even argue that Gosnell is why we need his health care law—to make sure that these things are done right.

Gosnell has apparently been snip-snipping spinal cords for years in a filthy, vermin-infested abortion mill by night that doubled as an oxycontin den by day. Gosnell doesnt kill unborn children and, allegedly, newborn children in the trim and tidy fashion of Planned Parenthood, but he, too, is a beneficiary of Roe v. Wades unlimited abortion license. And thats a license President Obama defends—to the deaths.

President Reagan understood that we could not have a more perfect Union without attending to the plight of the unborn. He saw all of societyas the great Irish statesman Edmund Burke saw it: As a compact, a union between the living, the dead, and those yet unborn. He would also have agreed with Burke that in order for us to love our country, our country must be made lovely.

And President Reagan knew that America needed more men like Lenny Skutnik—someone willing to risk his life that others may live. President Obama wants us to rise to a Sputnik Moment. President Reagan asked us instead to rise to a Skutnik Moment.

President Obama’s State of the Union Address Leaves the Family Behind

by JP Duffy

January 26, 2011


CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Darin Miller, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866)-372-6397

Washington, D.C.- Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement in response to President Obama’s second State of the Union Address:

Tonight President Obama recognized the important role of parents in the educational achievement of their children. President Obama himself has set an example as a father and husband. However, the agenda he has pursued and articulated tonight does not strengthen the kind of family children need: one with a Mom and Dad.

The intact married family is the core strength of the United States, and public policy should encourage formation of such families. Social science clearly demonstrates that children do best when raised by their own mother and father who are committed to one another in a lifelong marriage, and that adults also thrive when in such a marriage. Sadly, only 45 percent of American children grow up in an intact family.

Broken homes often result in such social ills as crime, a higher school dropout rate, and drug abuse, themselves leading to enormous costs for state, local and our federal governments. Cutting government spending is imperative, but policies that foster healthy families are even more important - and, interestingly, there is no question that intact families are the most economically productive.

Unfortunately, many of the Administration’s policies have undermined strong families by affirming sexual behavior that is unhealthy and destructive to individuals, families , the military, and society.

Tonight President Obama appropriately paid tribute to the victims of the Tucson shooting. However, he did not mention the recent indictment of abortionist Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia for the murder of a mother and seven live-born infants. The Philadelphia tragedy serves as a ghastly reminder of the moral toll abortion has taken on America’s sense of justice. U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), in his official Republican response, deserves praise for reminding the President it is the role of the government ‘to protect innocent life,’ not to encourage the taking of it.

The President’s policies that promote abortion also undermine family formation. Abortion does this by contributing to infant mortality, victimizing women, and encouraging the abdication of responsibility by men. He is even opposed to commonsense parental notification laws. These laws reaffirm the unique role that a mother and father have in the life of a child.

Regrettably, Mr. Obama’s health care law allows our hard earned dollars to pay for abortion coverage. The American people should not be forced to pay for abortion, which is why it’s necessary for this Congress to pass the ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act’ and restore neutrality on government funding of abortion,” concluded Perkins.


The State of Our Union

by Robert Morrison

January 28, 2010

OK. Ill admit it. I skipped the Presidents State of the Union Address last night. Its not the first time Ive done that. Since I have to be up before five to get to the pool on time, I decided not to lose sleep over Barack Obama. And, with the wonders of technology, I knew I could get it all online. Which I did, over a strong cup of morning coffee.

I managed to see Justice Alito mouthing the wordssimply not true when the President totally mischaracterized the Supreme Courts latest ruling on free speech and campaign finance. Alito was so right. His silent dissent thundered through the House Chamber. If this President is going to make a charade of the State of the Union, there are obviously others skilled at the game of charades, too. How proud I am that I worked to get him confirmed.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) could have used a cup of coffee last night. Whats this business of yawning through the Expected Ones shining moment? Is Sen. Reid trying to get himself replaced? I would like to have seen Sen. Reid in an ambush interview in the corridors right after the Address. Sen. Reid: Do you think we should be taxed to provide civilian lawyers for Abdulmutallab and the 9/11 killers? It should be most interesting to see how Reids colleagues respond to Sen. Lindsay Grahams (R-S.C.) amendment to deny any federal funds for civilian trials for terrorists. My guess is theyll run like scalded dogs from that one.

Last night carried me back more than twenty years. My wife and I had a family tradition once wed put our kids to bed. After a shower and shampoo, Kate would settle in to a comfortable chair in front of the fireplace. Together, wed watch President Reagan. One mishap occurred, however, as Kate stroked the family cat that was nestling peacefully in her lap.

When I heard Ronald Reagan appeal for the lives of unborn childrenin those most dignified, most august surroundingsI let out a whoop! It was like a Super Bowl touchdown. But Grindl the Cat was startled and jumped up, scratching my beloveds arm in the process. Grindl drew blood. Kate was mad at me. She said Id overreacted. Why cant you just watch the speech and not react like a crazy man, she demanded as she raced to disinfect the wound. I felt terrible. I begged her to forgive me. Soon she did.

That was 1987. Next year, 25 January 1988, Kate, Grindl, and I watched the State of the Union Address once more. Once again, Ronald Reagan spoke about the right to life. Heres what he said:

Well now, we come to a family issue that we must have the courage to confront. Tonight, I call America—a good nation, a moral people—to charitable but realistic consideration of the terrible cost of abortion on demand. To those who say this violates a woman’s right to control of her own body—can they deny that now medical evidence confirms the unborn child is a living human being entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Let us unite as a nation and protect the unborn with legislation that would stop all federal funding for abortion—and with a human life amendment making, of course, an exception where the unborn child threatens the life of the mother. Our Judeo-Christian tradition recognizes the right of taking a life in self-defense.

But with that one exception, let us look to those others in our land who cry out for children to adopt. I pledge to you tonight, I will work to remove barriers to adoption and extend full sharing in family life to millions of Americans, so that children who need homes can be welcomed to families who want them and love them.

Ronald Reagan did not consider the fate of millions yet unbornthat beautiful phrase used by George Washington and all our best Presidents sincebeneath his notice, outside the realm of those Americans for whom he felt responsible. Reagan knew there could be no discussion of the State of the Union without recognizing that sacred union of the living, the dead, and the yet unborn.

On hearing the President of the United States pronounce these words, I jumped up. YES, I yelled! Ra-a-a-oo-rr said Grindl, once again taking fright. And once again scratching my dear Kates arm! This time I was really in trouble. Poor Kate was bleeding and I was the cause.

It took a day or two and some flowers for me to make amends for that one. It didnt help when I tried to explain that her brother jumps up and down when Washingtons Huskies score. Its a man thing. Sometimes, we just cant control ourselves. And besides, I said, The marriage counselor would probably tell you to leave the cat in the basement during the State of the Union Address. Oooh! Bad thing to say when youre long-suffering wife is long suffering.

Well, Grindl the Cat is gone. We found his ashes last summer, neatly boxed and packed away in our basement, nine years after the movers placed them there. We gave his remains a proper burial in the back yard.

Ronald Reagan is long gone, too. And so are his moving appeals in the State of the Union Address for the lives of millions yet unborn. We have not heard such eloquence since 1988. I have not cheered a State of the Union Address since then, either. Isnt it time to cheer again?

Quick Take on State of the Union

by Rob Schwarzwalder

January 28, 2010

There were times during last night’s speech when reality seemed suspended: The President’s evident sincerity and earnestness were undermined by the caustic laughter that occasionally greeted his comments. At other times, silence met his words. And, in media theory courses across the land, analyses will be done of the number of times he looked to the Republican side of the aisle - he seemed far more concerned with the GOP responses to his remarks than those of his own party. Maybe the spectre of another Joe Wilson moment (“You lie!”) had him jumpy.

More seriously, I wonder if his desperation to be liked is compelling him to try to woo his skeptics. Of course, he won’t succeed.

It is hard not to like President Obama, at least the persona he projects in such settings as the State of the Union Address. He seems so reasonable.

Yet his policies are those of a man of the Left. It is as though he believes empathy is a substitute for substantive compromise, or that by virtue of patiently listening he can lull his opponents into political somnolence.

The speech, like the Obama presidency, was interwoven with unintended ironies:

** Mr. Obama calls for unity and patriotic oneness but simultaneously calls for open homosexuality in the military in a time of war. He knows this will go nowhere, but throws the political bone to the homosexual lobby anyway. Why? Because he can say he tried (placating a key part of his base) while bearing no real consequence (the measure lifting the ban on gays in the military won’t succeed and so, given the relative inattention of the American people to this issue in a time of economic

crisis, there will little political price to pay for Democrats in November).

** He insists on taxpayer-subsidized abortion, resists litigation limits against health care providers and persists on wanting to micro-manage Americans’ medical care but urges Republicans to share with him their ideas about health reform - as though they have not already done so myriad times!

** He is all over the map on taxes, calls for yet another commission on entitlement reform (as if the several essential steps were not obvious, especially after many other such reform bills, panels, studies, commissions, select committees, etc.) and rewrites the economic history of the past decade —- and does so with such seeming intensity that one wants to join him in the land of political make-believe.

The President needs to come to terms with some basic realities: People aren’t stupid. Politicians aren’t children. Civility doesn’t mean acquiescence. And facts are stubborn things.

FRC Pledges to Oppose President’s Proposals to Sexualize the Military, Socialize Child Care and Penalize Married Couples

by JP Duffy

January 28, 2010

Washington, D.C.- Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement in response to President Obama’s first State of the Union Address:

At a time of enormous economic challenge, two on-going wars in which Americans are fighting and increased terrorist threats to Americans at home, President Obama seems untethered from that reality as he called on Congress to force the military to allow open homosexuality. As a veteran of the Marine Corps, the timing of the President’s call in the midst of two wars shows that he is willing to jeopardize our nation’s security to advance the agenda of the radical homosexual lobby.

The military is a warrior culture for a reason: Our service members wear the uniform to fight and win wars, not serve as liberal social policy guinea pigs. The sexual environment the President is seeking to impose upon the young men and women who serve this country is the antithesis of the successful warfighting culture and as such should be rejected.

Tonight the President also proposed expanding the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit which would only benefit families if: both parents work, a single parent works, or one parent works and the other is in school. In other words, it completely discriminates against families with stay-at-home parents, who wouldn’t see a penny from this plan. The President’s plan further drives a wedge between parents and children as it would encourage parents to place their children in government approved day-care rather than encouraging one parent to stay home and personally care for their off-spring.

This new socialized child care proposal comes on the heels of a proposed major marriage tax penalty included within the President’s health care bills. A tax penalty on married couples only serves to discourage couples from marrying while encouraging societal instability through cohabitation and divorce.

If this administration cared about getting families back on their feet, it would double or triple the across-the-board child tax credit and let parents decide how to spend the money. For many, it may be all the incentive they need to stay home and care for their kids.

We applaud Governor Bob McDonnell for calling for a land in which ‘innocent human life is protected.’ There is no more innocent life than that which is carried in a mother’s womb, and the Governor’s call is not only right in itself but is also clearly in line with the convictions of the American people, who overwhelmingly oppose the President’s proposal to use our hard earned dollars to pay for abortion coverage in his health reform plan.

Family Research Council pledges to work with our allies and the thousands of families we represent to oppose the President’s plans to socialize child care, sexualize the military, and penalize married couples through a government takeover of the U.S. health care system.”