Despite Obama’s call to seize the moment together, he took a few jabs a Republicans, which signals that we may have a different president to deal with in his second term. As Jill Lawrence of National Journal wrote on January 21:
In defining his vision of forward, Obama did not spare conservatives. Here are some of his more pointed remarks:
- “The commitments we make to each other,” such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, strengthen people rather than sap their initiative. “They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great,” he said. Those were direct rebuttals of claims by conservatives, topped by the Republican ticket he defeated.
- “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science,” but the nation must respond to the threat of climate change. That was a reminder of the antiscience strain of the GOP. “We will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God,” he said, invoking a stewardship principle popularized by some evangelical Christians.
- “We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries.” It was a defense of his administration’s investments in clean energy, in the face of GOP attacks on the failed investment in Solyndra and picking winners and losers in general.
- “Enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.” That was aimed at George W. Bush’s foreign policy and Republicans who want to extend the 11-year U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.
- “Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.” An attempt to pin those lines on voting restrictions imposed by Republican legislatures.
As Obama described his bag of goodies for his progressive base, it’s all the more important that we concentrate on winning the 2014 midterms.