What’s New in U.S. Politics

Do Presidents Tally Brownie Points?

Over the years, people have questioned how much of an effect sponsors, donators and people who financially support any given president have on the man in the oval office. When it comes to the president making decisions about appointing certain people to certain positions we must wonder, do these fiscal sums add up? Do presidents keep a chart tallying how much money so and so gave in support?

Recently, Obama has appointed a few new foreign ambassadors who seem shockingly under qualified.

Sounds like a lot of “ums,” “uhs,” stutters and general uncertainties to me. I am not an expert on any of these foreign countries by any means. But, I’m not trying to become the ambassador for any of them. As Juliet Eilperin said in her Washington Post article said, “There is no specific requirement that ambassadorial nominees, whether career or political, have visited the country in question…But nominees are often fluent in the country’s language or have some connection to the region.”

Now, Obama is not the first president to elect political allies. In fact, working with allies is generally a smart move. This is a common trend. However, this occasion is truly alarming. My personal favorite line from the whole thing is when Senator John McCain sarcastically said, “I have no more questions for this incredibly highly qualified group of nominees.”

So what does all of this mean? Should people who want to run for a future ambassador position assume they must financially support whoever happens to be the president at the time despite their actual political feelings? Will they need to perfect their teacher’s pet skills in order to gain such a position? I certainly hope not. But as long as King Obama remains in power who knows how many gold stars and demerits he’ll give out while still in office.

Here’s an article that best explains the new appointees. 

GOP Response to SOTU was Less Than Grand

After the president gave his State of the Union Address last week, the GOP responded with not one response, not two, not three, but FOUR different responses. Yes, because the State of the Union Address is not long enough, the Republican Party decided to prolong it even more. How concise.

Starting off the series of events was the ever disturbed-smiling Cathy McMorris, the congresswoman representing eastern Washington.

Next up, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen representing South Florida (If you speak Spanish, that would probably be helpful).

Third, we have Mike Lee, United States senator for Utah.

And lastly, is United States Senator for Kentucky, Libertarian and Snapchat superstar Rand Paul.

Indeed, it is quite a difficult task to come up with a response to something you have yet to hear. Unfortunately, that is the nature of the game. Regardless, it really shouldn’t have to be said that the response should only come from one person’s mouth.

Maybe the GOP wanted to prove its diversity this year. If that was the case having a congresswoman, a Cuban congresswoman, a Tea Party senator and a Libertarian senator was a pretty darn thorough strategy. Really, politically correct experts around the country were so proud. Using this diverse gang as the faces of the demonized, misogynist, immigrant-hating party may have been a smart move in theory. The execution, however, is a hand-on-forehead, shake-your-head-in-disappointment kind-of-moment.

If an organization is working to portray an all-inclusive, patriotic, American image, they need to ensure the faces of that organization are well-spoken, intelligent, personable individuals. This is why McMorris was not suitable. Talking down to the American public with a kindergarten-teacher tone and a seemingly phony smile does not capture those qualities of a such a delegate. But hey, maybe the Republican Party doesn’t have many women to choose from to represent their point of view in the first place. This must be true in some light considering Ros-Lehtinen’s response wasn’t even given in English. Maybe they were trying to reach the Hispanic and Latino community in a more personable manner.

Mike Lee, didn’t seem to say anything controversial, but let’s be honest it wasn’t noteworthy either. Maybe he was trying to emulate the president’s approach this year.

And finishing off the responses with senator Rand Paul was, once again, not the best move for the Republican Party. Not to continue to come down hard on the Snapchat superstar, but there must have been a better libertarian candidate to address to public.

Maybe instead of preaching four separate messages, the Republican Party should work on working together. If we learned anything from these four responses, it’s that the Republican Party is extremely disjointed. Rather than continue to complain about how Democrats try and solve issues in America, maybe they should come up with solutions themselves. For example, establishing a replacement bill to the Affordable Care Act instead of shutting down the government in opposition would be a great start.

Anyway, in case you missed the twelve hour event, click here for a good synopsis.

2014 SOTU Sounds Oddly Familiar…

state_of_the_union_2014_ap_img

A few days ago, President Barack Obama gave his 2014 State of the Union address. The much-anticipated speech was not only underwhelming and misleading in content, but questions of plagiarism have risen as well. Wonderful.

The president did, however, succeed in a few areas. Let’s start with the positives. The always enthralling and charismatic personality utilized his captivating story telling and speaking skills yet again. He told anecdotes to win over Americans. It’s a brilliant strategy. Really though, when a political leader is able to successfully display his apparent concern for individuals it is priceless. He told the story of Misty DeMars, (23:28 in SOTU Video) the mother who’s unemployment insurance was cut off. And he ended by telling the story of a brave army ranger, Cory Remsburg (59:36 in SOTU Video). These two narratives managed to exemplify two common situations for Americans today; one struggling with unemployment and tax issues, another risking his life for our country and freedoms. This, Obama executed brilliantly.

Courtesy of Visit W3Schools

Courtesy of Forbes

As wonderful as his public speaking abilities are, he continues to prove he lacks any real leadership ability. Why is this true? Well, someone who is capable of twisting facts and statistics in such a dramatic manner really shouldn’t be in any sort of leadership position. Don’t we want a leader who is transparent and willing to compromise? Whatever your stance may be on the Affordable Care Act(ACA), shouldn’t Obama have realized how unsuccessful the rollout was and taken real action? He was more than aware of the flaws before the rollout and he pushed to proceed anyway. Now that over five million people have lost their insurance, you would think he might show some sympathy for those millions, but instead he bragged about its “success.” Despite his poor judgment in that area he should have been willing to make changes;
from the beginning, but now would be good too.

Initially, the president had no need to compromise because he had the majority in the House and Senate. However, an effective leader would have understood that a bill this massive would eventually need bipartisan support. Such a leader would have come up with a plan to gain that support and be willing to make some changes. Isn’t compromise a big part of how our country was founded and how our constitution was established? Obama on the other on, decided to proceed with his large majority in Congress and ignore the people who represent the other half of this country. Subsequently, he will be remembered for this failing piece of legislation. The founding fathers would be so proud.

So not only is the president incapable of compromise or adjusting his strategy when faced with failure, but he is kind of a hypocrite too. Sounds harsh, right? But, he has been accused of using lines from president Bush’s 2007 State of the Union address.

Marc Thiessen, the lead writer for President Bush’s 2007 State of the Union address, explained how many parts of President Obama’s speech this year sounded extremely familiar. So why is it okay to label Obama as hypocritical? Because after so much bashing of Bush’s strategies, Obama turns around and uses exact lines out of his speech. Classy.

So what should Obama have said?  Admitting to his faults and coming up with solutions to proceed would have been a good place to start. Anything of substance really would have been better. These are some of the many reasons why this years’ SOTU address is really quite historically insignificant.