Wednesday, February 25, 2009
President Obama addressed a Joint Session of Congress yesterday.
There wasn't too much surprising content in his speech. He reiterated that "the impact of this recession is real, and it is everywhere." He moved on to talk about the stimulus, the need for energy independence, housing assistance for those at risk of foreclosing, improving our education system, etc.
Many of the key talking points from the election are still being served up. However, it is promising to know that Obama isn't shirking away from these subjects. He isn't slyly sweeping issues under the rug and promising to get to them later. Instead, he seems poised to tackle issues head on and wrestle America out of the economic funk that she is currently in.
The most important notion that surfaced multiple times throughout the speech was the idea of shared responsibility. Government can't dictate where America goes. Government can set Americans on the right path (what is "right"?), but it can't necessarily make us walk down that path. Americans need to get back on their grind and show that this recession can be bucked and that we can return to prosperity.
For full text of the speech visit CNN.
Many have alluded to the continuance of partisan politics. Although many hopes that the age of division in DC would come to pass after Obama's arrival, those hopes have not bearing out to be realistic.
I think that everyone should pull from the speech the need for us to work together to solve the challenging problems that lie ahead. Maybe there is something more that the President could be doing to facilitate this process. I pray that he finds the magic bullet that makes all parties want to play ball for the greater good of America. But until we reach that point in time, President Obama must continue to play hard ball and forcefully impact the legislative agenda. Unlike the Recovery Act, one can only hope that future legislative efforts won't be passed in such a partisan fashion.