But you really need to read the entire speech. It is classic Obama, living in a time warp, declaring that unions are the past and the future of prosperity, and focusing on large infrastructure programs as if this were the 1930s.
The entrepreneurs and workers who built the great technology companies that drive our economy are nowhere to be found. It is the proletariat of the old economy who live in Obama's imagination.
But what was most Obama-like about the speech was the launching of vicious attacks on his opponents, only to then cry foul over the fact that his opponents push back. Obama, as he did throughout the campaign and has done throughout his presidency, painted a picture of his political opponents as heartless victimizers of others, and of the capitalist system as cruel and inhumane.
Obama also was in full mock mode. Here are some excerpts:
- "But there are some folks in Washington who see things differently. (Boos.) You know what I’m talking about. (Applause.) When it comes to just about everything we’ve done to strengthen our middle class, to rebuild our economy, almost every Republican in Congress says no. (Boos.) Even on things we usually agree on, they say no. If I said the sky was blue, they say no. (Laughter and applause.) If I said fish live in the sea, they’d say no. (Laughter.)"
- "Now, anybody who thinks that we can move this economy forward with just a few folks at the top doing well, hoping that it’s going to trickle down to working people who are running faster and faster just to keep up, you’ll never see it. (Applause.) If that’s what you’re waiting for, you should stop waiting, because it’s never happened in our history. That’s not how America was built. It wasn’t built with a bunch of folks at the top doing well and everybody else scrambling. We didn’t become the most prosperous country in the world just by rewarding greed and recklessness.
- "I mean, I personally think “Yes we can” is more inspiring than “No we can’t.” (Applause.) To steal a line from our old friend Ted Kennedy: What is it about working men and women that they find so offensive? (Laughter.)"
- "Look, the bottom line is this: These guys, they just don’t want to give up on that economic philosophy that they have been peddling for most of the last decade. You know that philosophy — you cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires; you cut all the rules and regulations for special interests; and then you just cut working folks loose — you cut them loose to fend for themselves".
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