Appearing on “Hannity” Wednesday evening, conservative talk radio host Mark Levin said the president “told lie after lie after lie” during his “Castro-like” State of the Union address and had no qualms whatsoever about misleading the American public:
That’s a pretty grim appraisal of life in America in 2013, although we should probably expect more of the same for the next four years. After all, Mitt Romney did in fact make these exact same arguments during the 2012 election cycle, but the public nevertheless endorsed the status quo by the slimmest of margins. But the status quo is unsustainable, of course. Which is why Charles Krauthammer’s assessment of the president’s prime-time speech was equally as harsh (via Ed Morrissey):
"You say it was a poverty of ideas. I think it was a throwback to mid-twentieth century liberalism. It was a pre-Clintonian tax-and-spend. We have a program for every human ill and the reason it won’t increase the deficit is cause we will tax accordingly."
Interestingly, for his part, NRO’s Yuval Levin raises an important point about the president’s annual address: Because “real progressives” passionately oppose (among other things) entitlement and tax reform and fixing America’s broken public education system, the president is genuinely hamstrung. There’s simply no policy ideas he can advance that would benefit middle class Americans (except handing out more government benefits) that his base could or would support. This is quite the dilemma for the White House, he argues, but very good news for Republicans:
This suggests a huge opening for Republicans—an opportunity to advance a prosperity agenda with direct benefits for middle-class families and which the Democrats could not really match. It also suggests that we should expect more empty speeches from the president in the coming years, and that for all that liberals today feel ascendant and empowered, they are both exhausted and vulnerable. If Obama is as true a modern progressive as his second inaugural suggested, then he will not be well positioned to get the Left out of this difficulty. And if Republicans move to capitalize on the opportunity (which is still a big “if”), Democrats could find themselves in serious political trouble relatively quickly. There will surely be steps they can take to alleviate that trouble, but voting on gun control and cap-and-trade are not among them.
We’ll find out if the Democrats really are in trouble in 2014. But in the meantime, go read about how the president’s job approval ratings already seem to be plummeting.