What does that mean? Does it mean the consequences will grow a little? A lot? Is he planning to make sure those consequences grow enough to actually stop Iran’s bomb program? Or will they just…sort of…maybe…kind of … grow, while he wishes another happy new year to the ayatollahs, and Iran’s nuclear assembly line grows faster? Is this supposed to explain the situation to Americans? Terrify the ayatollahs? What is he talking about?
You can pretty much pick any part of this speech, almost at random, and with varying degrees of importance you end up with the same question. What on earth is he really talking about? But let’s fast-forward through all 70 minutes to that closing peroration: “A new decade stretches before us. We don’t quit.”
“We don’t quit. I don’t quit.”… Who is “we” and why is that different from “I,” as in “I don’t quit” — and what is he talking about? Quit what, exactly, and how did this even come up? Quit a tradition of more than two centuries of the American spirit (did he really think we were all about to quit?). Quit his command-and-control healthcare agenda? …”Let’s seize this moment“… “start anew“…”carry the dream forward“… these are things he might have been saying to himself in the mirror last week, as the news rolled in of the Massachusetts election. But for rest of the country, the people who inhabit this union, for the world out there listening in, what is he talking about?