The paltry spending cuts coming out of Congress are no where near enough to balance Washington’s budget, but in his analysis of the President’s State of the Union speech, New York Times writer Mark Landler happily went to pains to note that Obama signaled the end of “the era of single-minded deficit-cutting.”
One has to wonder what “single-minded deficit-cutting” the Times writer and the President are seeing?
Employing a lot of emotionally tinged rhetoric to favor Obama’s speech, Landler included several subtle tricks to push Obama’s ideas as “tangible” and “helping.” Landler also repeatedly poked Republicans as “still smarting” from the past election and claimed that picking Sen. Marco Rubio for the GOP reply was “implicitly acknowledging” that they had been “damaged.”
In his February 12 piece, Landler also claimed that Obama’s minimum wage increase idea was a “tangible” initiative.
“The increase in the minimum wage, from $7.25 an hour now, was the most tangible of a raft of initiatives laid out by the president, from education and energy to public works projects,” Landler wrote.
What does “tangible” mean here? It was an idea floated without any substantive way to get to the hike in pay. It was more like a pie-in-the-sky idea than a “tangible” one. But apparently tangible sounds better.
Landler next loosed a shot to the GOP, saying, “Speaking to a divided Congress, with many Republicans still smarting from his November victory…” One has to wonder what this line is doing in an analysis of the President’s remarks?
The NYT writer carried on this “smarting” theme by slapping the choice of Sen. Rubio to give the GOP response.
Still, in selecting Senator Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American from Florida, to deliver their party’s official rebuttal, Republicans implicitly acknowledged the damage they had suffered at the polls from their hard line stance on immigration. Mr. Rubio, one of the party’s rising stars, favors overhauling immigration laws.
Landler’s message: Marco Rubio is an admission of defeat. Another Landler message: even when the GOP tries to reach out to Hispanics, it is just further examples of defeat. Can’t win for losing.
Next Landler noted that Obama “admonished North Korea” for having tested a nuclear weapon the day before his speech but did not note that Obama did not make any move to show leadership in a response to the hermit nation’s violations of international sanctions. All Obama really did was put the onus of responding to North Korea’s actions onto the international community. Obama was “leading from behind” with his comments on North Korea, not that Landler saw any reason to inform his readers of this fact.
While refusing to read into Obama’s failure to lead on North Korea, Landler was happy to give voice to Obama’s celebration of the end of deficit cutting.
Mr. Obama also signaled, however, that the era of single-minded deficit-cutting should end. He noted that the recent agreements on taxes and spending reduced the deficit by $2.5 trillion, more than halfway toward the $4 trillion in reductions that economists say would put the nation’s finances on a sustainable course.
Someone should point out that even a full $4 trillion cut in spending would only be a good start on cuts in spending, not a final goal. Sadly, Obama is only “halfway” there.
Finally, one thing that Landler didn’t note is where Obama tried to pretend he didn’t invent the “bad idea” that is sequestration. In his speech, Obama said, “That’s why Democrats, Republicans, business leaders, and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in Washington as ‘the sequester,’ are a really bad idea.”
The President presented this as some bad idea that someone else came up with, one he is against. But the fact is, he is the one that invented sequestration. So if it is a “bad idea” it is his bad idea.
Curious that Landler never noted that important point, isn’t it?