A few brief notes on the two State speeches last evening--Kansas' Governor Sam Brownback's State of the State speech and President Obama's final State of the Union speech.
What got me about Governor Brownback's speech is that he spent so much time attacking President Obama.
Why would a governor from a state in the United States attack the leader of the nation? Why spend any time at all attacking the president? Isn't it assumed he's on our side? Isn't it assumed he wants what's good for the nation? Isn't it assumed he wants more jobs and a stronger nation?
I don't remember another State of the State speech by any governor in the nation where that governor attacked the president in their speech.
It seems clear Governor Brownback is doing what so many Republicans in the last many years have done and are still doing and that is, putting their political party and their success and their interests ahead of the interests and success and successes of the nation when the nation should come first.
Additionally, here is this Kansas Governor, taking time in his speech to attack a President when his own policies have put his state in the very likely position of having a $200 million deficit in the coming year? How do you do that?
And then he went on to attack Planned Parenthood. If that isn't demagoguing a topic for partisan, political purposes, nothing is. Planned Parenthood's status is surely, for most Kansans, a side issue. The main issue is the state's financial and economic status, something he can no way brag about after what he and the Republicans in Topeka have done and been doing the last several years. Not once in his speech did he mention the State's budget shortfall they've all created. There's a shock, huh?
--The Guv said he would fight to keep President Obama's prisoners from Guantanamo out of Kansas. Again, not a terribly huge concern. There aren't that many and since when can't America handle prisoners?
--He called for more funding for schools. Seriously. Not once did he say from where the state could or would be able to find this funding, given the fiscal shape they're in, thanks to him and the Republicans over there.
I think the Star clearly had it right in today's op/ed piece on it:
In sharp contrast, President Obama's speech started out with a little light humor and then pointed out his and the nation's actual successes over the last 7 years. He went on to call on Americans to pull together, work together, not operate on fear and to work for better days, never once attacking anyone else.
Media host Michael Smerconish last evening asked a great question on Facebook:
If the Dow, unemployment and gas prices were the same as today but with a President Romney, would people not be saying wow, what a success he is?
It's hard to disagree with that.
In summary, the two speeches last evening were the dark and the light, the negative and the positive, the hopeful and the pessimistic, frankly.
Sorry, Kansans but you did bring this on yourself.