Barack Obama gave the nation – and future historians – many great lines to remember last night. I reached for a pen and a pad to jot down some of the best of them.
I can’t guarantee every one of these quotes is to-the-letter verbatim, because the president spoke faster than I can write, but I think these are pretty accurate. Each one speaks to a problem or policy the President wants to deal with over the intransigence of Republicans.
• “Those at the top have never done better but average wages have never budged.”
• “First class jobs gravitate to first class infrastructure.”
• “The nation that goes all in on innovation today will own the global economy tomorrow.”
• “It’s time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a ‘Mad Men’ episode.”
• “It should be the power of our votes, not the size of our bank accounts that governs our democracy.”
• “We counter terrorism not just through intelligence and our military actions, but through our ideas.”
• “If JFK and Ronald Regan could negotiate with the Soviet Union, then surely the United States can negotiate with less powerful adversaries today.”
Unfortunately, the president’s ringing language inspired little enthusiasm among the negativist Republicans who rarely applauded and seemed displeased that the President spoke the truth to the power of their nay-saying.
When Mr. Obama spoke about “the rancorous argument over the proper size of the Federal Government,” a CBS camera caught Republican Senator Mitch McConnel scowling.
When the President spoke about the possibility that prosperity could be “widely shared,” Republican House Speaker John Boehner, sitting behind him, visibly flinched.
These Neanderthals are going to stick to their greed and their guns and their miserly refusal to parcel out wealth on behalf of the future, even if it sends us back to the Stone Age.