President Obama Brilliantly Hammers Republicans During State of the Union Speech

sotuGoing into President Obama’s State of the Union speech last night many felt the president would come out with a partisan tone, hammering Republicans on income inequality and congressional obstruction.

Well, he hit on all those points (and more) but did so in a way I don’t think many people expected.  He was uplifting, he was extremely moderate (though I’m sure conservatives will disagree) and he aimed at bringing people together.

While obviously taking shots at Republicans, he did so in a much more subtle way.  He clearly made an effort to not be overly divisive while still bringing up topics that liberals have been demanding action on for a long time.

He reiterated his previous stance on shutting down Guantanamo Bay, something that’s a huge issue with many liberals.  He also reaffirmed his decision to end most major military operations in Afghanistan, and encouraged both sides of the aisle to come together on immigration reform.

Obama also announced that he would sign an Executive Order requiring government contractors to pay their employees at least $10.10 an hour, and encouraged states to pass legislation which would raise each state’s minimum wage.

Other highlights of the speech were Obama saying:

“The debate is settled – climate change is a fact.”

“Today, women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment. A woman deserves equal pay for equal work. She deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or sick parent without running into hardship – and you know what, a father does, too.”

“Today, the federal minimum wage is worth about twenty percent less than it was when Ronald Reagan first stood here. Tom Harkin and George Miller have a bill to fix that by lifting the minimum wage to $10.10. This will help families. It will give businesses customers with more money to spend. It doesn’t involve any new bureaucratic program. So join the rest of the country. Say yes. Give America a raise.”

“Let’s not have another forty-something votes to repeal a law that’s already helping millions of Americans. The first forty were plenty. We got it. We all owe it to the American people to say what we’re for, not just what we’re against.”

“It’s time to do away with workplace polices that belong in a ‘Mad Men’ episode.”

Plus quite a few others.  You can read the entire transcript here if you missed it.

Now I know conservatives are slamming his speech with the same ol’ shtick of “we need to trust the free market economy” and “taxes are stifling job growth” – and we can’t forget their new line about how it isn’t about income inequality it’s about “income opportunity,” which is something that makes absolutely no sense.

If corporations are cutting jobs, limiting advancement and outsourcing jobs to jack up profits and fatten the pockets of the executives – there is no opportunity there.

Then who can ignore the “official” Republican response from Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (though they made sure to have 3 other “non-official” responses from men) where she went on some random, babbling nonsense about how she met her husband then ended it with over-the-top references to religion by saying:

“That, with the guidance of God, we may prove worthy of His blessings of life … liberty … and the pursuit of happiness.

For when we embrace these gifts, we are each doing our part to form a more perfect union.

May God guide you and our President, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.”

On a side note, I wanted to mention the honoring of Army Ranger Corey Remsburg.  It was one of the most touching shows of respect by everyone in attendance I might have ever witnessed.  I had to fight back tears hearing his story and seeing the response he received by everyone in attendance.  This man is a true hero.

But one thing I am sure of – the next few days should produce plenty of ridiculous responses from the Republican party to President Obama’s speech.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Pat

    I had to laugh at Boehner’s not standing up, and not clapping at almost everything the President said. What a jack-ass. I don’t know how the President can even stand having to work with him and that loser bunch of Republican majority congress. They want to do their best to continue to stop Obama from accomplishing many of the goals he wants to achieve. That is more important to them than helping the American people. They disgust me to no end.

    • michael canty


    • Bine646

      Pretty sure republicans are only the majority in the house…..

      • white trash religious teaparty

        2 points for bine

      • Pat

        Yes, sorry, I meant the House of Rep.

  • Sandy Greer

    I thought he struck just the right ‘tone’. The 40+ votes, and knowing he can’t convince Repubs…pure genius. Made them look foolish, without even trying.

    TeaPugs will come back with “Woe is us, the sky is falling”. But we all have our crosses to bear, and that is ours (their complaints) for the country going Left. 😉

    Seriously, I especially liked that he appealed to our ‘better’ side. Something The Right falls short of doing.

    You go, Mr. President! I am proud of you, and proud our country elected you!

  • Siobhan Markee


    • Bine646

      said 39% of the american population- his approval ratings are in Bush numbers- ouchhhh

      • Sam

        Doesn’t really matter as much, now that he is on his last possible term. Too bad there are so many out there who know nothing of the truth because they only listen to Fox News, Limbaugh, etc., who only spread the lies and fan the hate!

      • Bine646

        Anyone with a brain can see thru this circus. Lowest rating since 2000 for a State of the Union I believe also…..

      • Sam

        You are talking the circus of Fox News, Limbaugh, etc. I hope, or you are just another clueless buffoon too!

      • Bine646

        As I respond to you on forward progressives? Who is the clueless buffoon?

      • Sam

        Obviously you!!! LOL! Get off of the Progressive website if you are a typical conservative regressive!!! Maybe you are still crying like the Repubs did last night!!! Maybe you are Republican Rep. Peter Grimm, incognito, the biggest buffoon of the evening. That shows you the integrity and character of an elected Republican in American politics.

      • Bine646

        Im an independent who voted for Obama? Traveled to DC for his Inauguration- did you stand in the freezing cold with me?

      • Sam

        If you voted for him, why are you such a negative hater? You should be supporting him and not tearing him down. No, I did not make it to his inauguration because I was working!!!

      • Bine646

        Because I believed hes was going to make things for better our country. Our national debt has increased, debt held by our Federal Reserve has increased to over 2 trillion, debt held by the public has increased 90%. Thats why- more government spending is not the answer- especially after all the press these latest contracts have gotten. Its time for us as a nation to buckle down and tackle this issue or we are just dooming ourself in the future

      • Sam

        Typical, blaming Obama, when it is not his fault. It is the fault of the Repub. majority House, who have been catering to the Tea Party. Where have you been? By the way, Obama has made much progress on paying down our debt. There was a lot of debt to begin with from Bush’s term, duh! Plus, the Repubs. forced the government shutdown which increased our debt greatly.

      • Bine646

        You say duh alot but never back yourself up with facts- show me the data on these accusations, ill wait

      • Sam

        I have stated facts in my previous posts. Obama was left with the Bush years debt, in the trillions, fact. The GOP tried to repeal Obamacare over 40 times, fact. The debt is being paid down faster under Obama than anyone, fact. The GOP forced the government shutdown, fact. Obama has held office during the worst recession since the “Great Depression, fact. I have given nothing but facts, but because I don’t agree with what you say, you think I am wrong. Nevermind, like I said before, you just want to believe what you think is the truth, even though it’s not. Bye-bye! I am done responding to your negativity now.

      • Bine646

        Here are some numbers- please refute. Public debt held under Bush- 6 trillion. Public debt held under Obama- 12 trillion. Total debt under bush was 10 trillion, under Obama its up to 17 trillion (still has acouple yrs left of his presidency.) Deficit when Bush left office was 600 billion, Obama is slightly above that number now but has run a 1 trillion deficit for over three years.

      • poppaDavid

        Want a few numbers? Q4 2008 corporate profit after taxes $671B annualized, $1.073T for Q1-Q4 2008 actual [BEA]. 2009 Budget deficit $1.4 T [CNN]. DOW on Jan 20, 2009 7949 [CNN].

        That is hole that our President started with. It was expected that the Bush tax cuts of 2001 & 2002 would expire to pay down the deficit, you do remember the argument over that? The people complaining about the size of the deficit would not allow taxes to return to the 2000 levels.

        Today 2013 Q3 corporate profit after taxes $1.86T annualized [BEA], 2013 Budget deficit $680 B [CNN], DOW on Jan 29, 2014 15,738 [Google]

        I would add that almost doubling corporate after tax profits, cutting the annual federal deficit by half, and doubling the stock market haven’t resulted in full employment at family wage jobs. Keeping the Bush tax cuts didn’t do it either.

      • Bine646

        President started with? I believe the democratically controlled congress started the stimulus movement pre2009. Ill give you the Bush tax breaks during a time of war- not a good move- after we were attacked he should of suspended them. However, I do not remember many Americans refusing the break and paying a higher rate- which the IRS would gladly accept.

        Bush left office in 2008- the budget deficit was 600 billion, Obama has ran multiple years over a trillion….but all we heard about was how this stimulus was going to boost the economy.

        The economy 4th quarter last year shrank- they blamed it on natural disasters like Sandy. The numbers for Obama from factcheckdotorg show- federal debt- up 63%, debt held by public- up 95%, consumer prices- up 10.3%, home ownership- down 2.4%, gasoline prices- up 80%, food stamp recipients- up 48%, long term unemployment- 3,878,000. Ohh yeah corporate profits are up 128%, but Obama wasnt for big business right?

      • poppaDavid

        The stimulus passed Congress and was signed by President Bush, and the cost passed into the Federal deficit over the following years. The tax cuts were more than “not a good move”, they and the Iraq War were the instrumental in the deficit you presented, and the people who refused to work to balance the budget by raising taxes were responsible for the revenue sort fall, yet you blame President Obama. He cannot raise taxes by Executive Order.
        You fixate on the federal debt without acknowledging that it has a reason. And that reason is political. The facts are that balancing the budget doesn’t solve the problem. Helping corporations to be profitable doesn’t solve the problem. We have a problem work on it, not a peripheral issue.

      • Bine646

        I blame congress- however Obama was supposed to be different and that is my issue. A person who cannot admit his faults, which does not seem to be you, is what bothers me

  • Veritas vos Liberabit

    I admit I deliberately missed the State of the Union Speech. I personally find it better to be impartial reading the transcript than listening without sideline interference. Liberals/Democrats rising, applauding and cheering. Conservative/Republicans uninterested, yawning and perfunctorily listening. I’ve seen it before. One topic that strikes me with much interests is the minimum wage. Conservative/Republicans oppose increasing the minimum wage, once or in increments. Their rationale is that raising the minimum wage will also raise the price of goods. What they’re not conveniently telling the public is that prices of goods are rising continuously while wages remain stagnant anyway. Where does that balance out? What Conservative/Republicans are not telling the public is that they actually are in favor of reducing/eliminating the Federal minimum wage and give Corporations and Businesses the power to choose what they want to pay their employees, basically and gradually taking us back to “slave” wages(if they are not there yet). How is that fair when Corporations and large Businesses are making record profits? How is that fair to what’s left of the middle class? Or is it the decimation of what’s left of the middle class a Conservative/Republican goal? Are they trying to create a two tier socio-economic class in the USA, only rich and poor and nothing in between? America needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Decide whether they would like their children, grandchildren and future generations to be chained and forced into labor, metaphorically speaking. America needs to remove the blind of racism, prejudice and hatred for others not the same as they. Sometimes, our worst enemy is within ourselves.

    • Pipercat

      These days, it’s nothing more than Kabuki Theatre…

    • Namesis

      Perfectly put! Can I use your exact quote on one of the many FB arguments I have with various ignorant people. I will give you credit of course. I don’t want to pull a Rand Paul! 😉

    • Bine646

      You do know Obama only purposed raising the federal minimum wage for future federal contracts- not raising the minimum wage for all. Under federal contracts, which positions are paid less than $10? How many americans will this actually help?

      • Jo Clark

        Because he can do that by executive order for federal employees, but he can’t change federal law by the same method. We’ll get there if the GOP will get the hell out of the way.

      • Bine646

        Will get where? Mandating businesses pay their employees more- more regulation is the answer huh? Some would argue that would raise costs but lets get back to this federal contract proposal- who is it going to really help? How many individuals who are employed thru a govt contract make under $10 an hr?

      • Sam

        Obviously there must be some, Bine. I suppose you would think it’s OK to continue under-paying people with the cost of all goods and services rising constantly and stagnant wages not even coming close to keeping up. Did you not read Veritas comments above?

      • Bine646

        We are talking about federal contracts- so this proposal would only pertain to them. This will do what- Cause those companies under contract to pay these low level employees atleast $10.10 an hr? So they will do what any business will do- cut the number of employees in these departments to compensate and stay competitive.
        Or the alternative- these companies will be awarded larger contracts to pay for these workers- which will do what- raise govt spending- ie raise our taxes. Unless the govt cuts its contract numbers- which would lead to less people working?

      • Sam

        I know he is talking about federal contracts, duh!!! You sound like a business owner who doesn’t want to pay your employees a fair wage. So, you make up bullshit scenarios that aren’t going to happen to scare people. You sound like a Fox News reporter, or a Rush Limbaugh fan. You’re just another clueless conservative, of which there are unfortunately so, so many. All your ignorance and negativity bores me.

      • Bine646

        You answered none of my questions- typical

      • Sam

        I don’t have to answer your stupid scenario questions. You just cannot stand to be wrong, like most negative people. Let’s raise the minimum wage, all across the country, not just federal employee new contracts. It might make things better for the country! More money in people’s pockets makes for more spending which will help the economy.

      • Bine646

        Who stands to be wrong? I thought we were having a discussion- I guess I will find an adult who can carry one- have a good day Sam.

      • Sam

        Oh, so now I am immature because I don’t agree with you. You go ahead and keep believing the lies the haters love to spread. I prefer to think positive and spread the truth!

      • Bine646

        You are immature because you bring nothing to this discussion- you can think positive and spread truth by realizing we live capitalistic society. Companies are created to be profitable. Whether wrong or right, that is how it works

      • Sam

        I would rather be positive and immature, than a negative “Debbie Downer” any day. Did I not read someone on here calling you a “whiny Biney”? Gee, now I certainly see why!

      • Bine646

        I guess you can put a positive spin on our bleak future- please ignore all the signs. Increased debt, decreased wealth, increased spending, decreased credit ratings, etc etc- you are the definition of the saying- ignorance is bliss

      • Sam

        Myself, and my family have plenty of money. I’m not worried. We will be just fine. Don’t want to give you something else to worry about but your doctor would tell you that all that “negativity” is bad for your health.

      • Bine646

        There is unfortunately negativity in the world- cannot ignore it, like facts.

      • Guest

        And his ‘maladaptivity’ will ultimately bad for his wealth.

      • Sam

        Oh, looky up above, Bine, you have a friend in Jim Bean! LOL! You two deserve each other! Good night!

      • Bine646

        Guess you are not going to refute those facts huh- easier to ignore. Ignorance is bliss, ignorance is blissss

      • Sam

        And she calls me immature, folks. Bine 646 and Jim Bean are trolls. I will not feed them.

      • Bine646

        hahaha see you later Sammie

      • Jim Bean

        Bine’s a liberal. With liberals, when reality conflicts with the ideology, reality must give way.

      • Bine646

        Again, Jim, answer my questions. How many individuals do you think this proposal is going to really help?

        Please refute anything I have said

      • Jim Bean

        Sorry mate. I meant that reply to go to Sam. I’m with you 100%.

      • Bine646

        I was gonna say- I thought I was in reality hahaha

      • Charles Vincent

        Minimum wage favors skilled labor over non skilled labor Mises has done extensive research on the effects of minimum wage. People also Forget that we have been using keyenesian economics for a long time and it has not been a success but no matter how bad it is people refuse to see it because it conflicts with their narrative.

        They also neglect to mention that the minimum wage law doesn’t force employers to hire anyone it only forces them to pay the people they do hire a certain amount which feeds back to the first point I made. They also dont realize that all federal contract are bid under the Davis-bacon act I think that is 15+/ hour and I haven’t seen any government job listed that pays less than 14/hour.

        Bine the first step in fixing a problem is the admission that one has a problem these people arent even at the first step so explaining anything after is a waste of energy.

  • YahooSerious

    The Democrat’s most visible guest: a veteran. The Republican’s most visible guest: Duckman. I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

    • white trash religious teaparty

      conclusion: JEEEESUS is on the side of regressive white trash republicans,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,just ask them

  • Darkthunder

    One way to summarize the State of the Union:

    Immigration reform, raising minimum wage, equal pay for women, bashing the 40+ votes to repeal ACA… Republicans sit in their chairs, looking angry

    Recognizing the contribution and sacrifice of the armed forces… Immediately Republicans stand up, and give a standing ovation. Can’t have Republicans looking like they don’t approve of the “worlds greatest military force”.

    Ofcourse, some of these Republicans may have Presidential aspirations. Can’t have a potential Commander-in-Chief who does not support the countries military. But it’s quite telling, when the Republicans refuse to stand up in regards to a thing like “Equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender”.

    • Sam

      Agreed, also did not stand for immigration, raising the minimum wage, extending the unemployment benefits, besides the equal pay for women. Yet, there are all these ignorant, clueless types out there who think the GOP is for them. Open your ears, and your eyes people, the GOP/Republicans are out to help the wealthy, NOT the middle class, the poor, women, minorities, the unemployed. God help us, get a clue!!!

  • Jim Bean

    “Brilliant?” Trying to publically humiliate anyone – much less someone whose cooperation you need lead effectively – is always adolescent, anti-social, counterproductive behavior.

    • Kitty-Kat

      Oh, so you think he humiliated those Republicans at the SOTU address? Good for Obama! They deserve to be humiliated! Biggest bunch of obstructionists in history. I think they have humiliated themselves enough with all of their stunts. And now, we get to add, Republican Representative Peter Grimm of New York. I am absolutely delighted to see just another one of these losers show his true colors!