There were a few in Obama’s speech. First, he didn’t mention the “peace process.” Hooray! It is moribund and unproductive and he should give George Mitchell a much needed rest. Second, he seems to be serious about repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It is hard to see why this would help him. His moderate and conservative congressional allies won’t want to vote on a divisive issue, and if he does not achieve yet another “priority” what will his base say? Third, a smart reader asks whether in a SOTU a president has ever, as Obama did, attacked the Supreme Court in that fashion. I think not. It is, especially for a constitutional “scholar” rather craven. Fourth, he is setting himself up for a mighty big policy cul-de-sac when it gets to the Bush tax cuts. He’s said he hasn’t raised taxes on anyone but he sure is planning to do so. How does he wiggle out of this one? And finally, he avoided the disastrous Christmas Day episode, Guantanamo Bay and the KSM trial. Perhaps he is leaving room to escape.
The biggest surprise of all is really no surprise. He is the same unalloyed liberal who got himself in deep trouble. He thinks more of the same is the way out. We’ll see if he’s right.