Oddly, of all the statements associated with President Barrack Obama’s final State of the Union address last night, the passage that prompted my greatest indignation was this bit from S.C. governor Nikki Haley’s response:
“If we held the White House, taxes would be lower for working families, and we’d put the brakes on runaway spending and debt.
“We would encourage American innovation and success instead of demonizing them, so our economy would truly soar and good jobs would be available across our country.
“We would reform education so it worked best for students, parents, and teachers, not Washington bureaucrats and union bosses.
“We would end a disastrous health care program, and replace it with reforms that lowered costs and actually let you keep your doctor.
“We would respect differences in modern families, but we would also insist on respect for religious liberty as a cornerstone of our democracy.
“We would recognize the importance of the separation of powers and honor the Constitution in its entirety. And yes, that includes the Second and Tenth Amendments.
“We would make international agreements that were celebrated in Israel and protested in Iran, not the other way around.
“And rather than just thanking our brave men and women in uniform, we would actually strengthen our military, so both our friends and our enemies would know that America seeks peace, but when we fight wars we win them.
Sounds great. But what reason do voters have to believe that Republicans would deliver on any of it? The first promise, lowering taxes and putting the brakes on spending and debt, seems particularly laughable. Republicans have waved at every opportunity to do something about spending as those opportunities have passed by.
But, but, Obama has been president!
Yeah, well, from 2005 through 2006, Republicans held majorities in both the House and Senate while George W. Bush sat as president. Did they take the opportunity to deliver in any of these areas then?
Cynicism isn’t a plan. But it’s hard to draw much inspiration from the vision Haley articulated on Tuesday night until evidence manifests that it may become more than words.