State of the Union 2010, Republican Rebuttal

As promised, here is my review of the Republican rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union address. I decided that if I can find a rebuttal from the Libertarian party, I’ll do that one as well. I’m not all that concerned with any other party (sorry), so….

As always, I’ll include excerpts from the address that I found interesting or important followed by my thoughts.

2010 State of the Union Address, Republican Rebuttal delivered by Virginia Governor McDonnell, Jan. 27, 2010

Today, the federal government is simply trying to do too much. Last year, we were told that massive new federal spending would create more jobs immediately and hold unemployment below 8 percent.

In the past year, more than 3 million people have lost their jobs, and yet the Democratic Congress continues deficit spending, adding to the bureaucracy, and increasing the national debt on our children and our grandchildren.

The amount of debt is on pace to double in five years and triple in 10. The federal debt is now over $100,000 per household. This is simply unsustainable.

Lots of juicy tidbits here…. First, yes, the federal government is trying to do too much. Yes, the stimulus has not accomplished what it was supposed to do and, in my opinion, was and continues to be a failure.

Yes, he’s right to call the Democratic Congress on their deficit spending and the increasing size of the government. He does fail to mention similar growth under past presidents, though.

And lastly, yes, the size of the federal debt is disgusting and embarrassing. He’s also right that we can’t maintain it. It is not sustainable and will bankrupt this nation.

Without reform, the excessive growth of government threatens our very liberty and our prosperity.

I agree with this strongly, and this is probably why I’m leaning so strongly to the Libertarian branch of politics. I’ve always maintained that $100 of my money in my hands will do more for this nation than $100 of my money in the government’s hands. I’m simply better at using it, and I have absolute personal transparency and control.

Additionally, I think it’s important to point out the welfare state we are fast becoming. I have no issue with helping others, but our system is constructed on the ideas that people are helpless, they cannot lift themselves, and we have a mandate to enforce happiness and prosperity. Each of those ideas are independently ludicrous, ridiculous, and intolerable in an educated society. In two short words, I respond to those ideas by saying: Grow up.

We want cooperation, not partisanship.

I was just talking to a friend who mentioned the idea that the Republicans are whiners. I’m not so sure. The Democrats have done a good job of spinning the idea of the party of no, but really, when you don’t have a seat at the table, what else can you do? I personally put the blame mostly on the Democratic side of the aisle. They have left little room open for negotiation and have wielded their super majority with the grace and delicacy of a battle ax to force through their agenda. The Republicans aren’t the party of no; they are the party of stop and think.

That being said, it’s time for them to start actively pursuing an agenda and offering ideas. The super majority is broken (THANK YOU!!!), and Obama was right to point out that both sides have a responsibility to lead and govern.

All Americans agree that we need health — health care system that is affordable, accessible, and high quality. But most Americans do not want to turn over the best medical care system in the world to the federal government.

And I still don’t get why almost every liberal and Democrat I meet claims that Republicans and conservatives don’t want that. We do. Really. We just don’t want what you deem best for us without us having a place at the table. Would you? So get over your lunacy and grow up. Hmmm…. I have the feeling I’ll be saying that a lot today. Oh, and if you missed it, liberals tend to leave a bad taste in my mouth…. Nothing personal of course. 🙂

And our solutions aren’t 1,000-page bills that no one has fully read, after being crafted behind closed doors with special interests. In fact, many of our proposals are available online at solutions.gop.gov, and we welcome your ideas on Facebook and Twitter.

I had no clue about solutions.gop.gov…. Sounds like I’ve got some reading. Oh, and have I ever mentioned how much I dislike Facebook and Twitter? No? Well….

All Americans agree that this nation must become more energy independent and secure. We are blessed here in America with vast natural resources, and we must use them all. Advances in technology can unleash more natural gas, nuclear, wind, coal, alternative energy that will lower your utility bills.

Amen. So why can’t this be pushed through? It certainly seems to have bipartisan support.

But this administration’s policies are delaying off-shore production, hindering nuclear energy expansion, and seeking to impose job-killing cap-and-trade energy taxes. Now is the time to adopt innovative energy policies that create jobs and lower energy prices.

Again amen. Oh, and I strongly dislike cap-and-trade taxes as well as carbon taxes. Neither of them will accomplish any meaningful change and will only burden the consumer with ever-higher costs. I’ve long been pro-nuclear, and the time is now. Oh, and just for the record, yes, you can build it in my backyard. 🙂

We applaud President Obama’s decision to deploy 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. We agree that victory there is imperative for national security.

But we have serious concerns over the recent steps the administration has taken regarding suspected terrorists. Americans were shocked on Christmas Day to learn of the attempted bombing of a flight to Detroit. This foreign terror suspect was given the same legal rights as a U.S. citizen and immediately stopped providing critical intelligence.

Ah… the war. President Obama’s announced August deadline for pulling out of Iraq scares me. They’re not ready. As for Afghanistan, I think he’s doing much better. For the terrorists, I thought Bush was better here. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always felt the Democrats have a “love, not war” approach to life. It’s a happy ideal, but it’s just that: an ideal. And that’s not to say that Republicans are “war, not love” either, but rather that Republicans seem to get security more than the Dems do. As far as I remember, we weren’t exactly offending the world when the calendar turned over to September 11, 2001. As far as I remember, we were doing our best to be peaceful people.

You can’t reason with a terrorist. You can’t love them to complacency. I consider myself fairly reasonable and peaceful, but let me make this absolutely clear: When it comes to me or them, I choose me. I don’t hate them and I don’t want them hurt, but as long as they are wanting to hurt me….

Republicans know that government cannot guarantee individual outcomes, but we strongly believe that it must guarantee equality of opportunity for all.

And this is, in my mind, the key distinction between conservatives and liberals. Conservatives believe in the opportunity for success and happiness under our own drive and work. Liberals seem to believe in success and happiness through mandates, government programs, and Robin Hooding the rich. Yep, that’s how I see it.

That opportunity exists best in a democracy which promotes free enterprise, economic growth, strong families, and individual achievement.

And now let’s take a moment to recognize the two most important words he’s said yet: Strong families. This nation has forgotten the family, and we’ve done so to our detriment.

Oh, and he’s right on everything else, too.

Top-down, one-size-fits-all decision-making should not replace the personal choices of free people in a free market, nor undermine the proper role of state and local governments in our system of federalism. As our founders clearly stated, and we governors clearly understand, government closest to the people governs best.

This idea of strong local government is another reason I’m leaning Libertarian. I find it unreasonable that people 2,000 miles away from different circumstances can exert more control over my life than my local mayor, county reps, and state government. This nation was founded with the states holding the greater power, but we’ve seen state rights decay. I would love to see a return to stronger local government with a federal government providing the network of support and cross-regional decision making and balance it was originally designed to do.

And no government program can ever replace the actions of caring Americans freely choosing to help one another.

Like I said, $100 of my money in my hands….

And that’s the end.

My dad was military and my love for this country is only exceeded by his own. The proudest day of my life was the day he retired and he walked out of his office in his Air Force blues…. Never have my eyes been larger or more full of awe.

As a conservative independent, I find myself taking the two speeches and gravitating towards Governor McDonnell’s. Please note, I did NOT say the Republicans. I personally no longer believe either party has the ability to affect the change this nation needs, and I’m more convinced than ever that the independent, centrist voice will, if united, offer that solution.

Honestly, Governor McDonnell presented a fairly Libertarian viewpoint in his speech. I’m glad for that. If the Republicans follow that lead, they’ll have at least this vote.

Oh, and I did just find the Libertarian rebuttal, so I’ll do that one on Monday.

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