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Posts tagged ‘SOTU’

The SOTU, or as I like to call it, STFU

I didn’t want to watch.  The tickets had typos (I know, this is the least of our worries).  But then I listened to David Harvey’s A Brief History of Neoliberalism on Audible on the way into work today and remembered that things are not newly bad.  Things have been careening toward deficit-driven upward redistribution of wealth since at least the George W. Bush Administration.  We need to watch in order to bear witness.  In truth, I’m torn between giving Trump too much attention and doing my civic duty.  I decided to do my civic duty.

Before the address, I looked up “pre-game” reports and found that ABC called it Trump’s First “Must See TV” State of the Union and almost decided against watching again.  But here I am.  Girding my loins.  I switched to CBS.  Ok, I can’t talk about how creepy the thing is, how viscerally difficult it is to watch: Trump’s squint, his hand gestures, Paul Ryan’s self-satisfied smirk.  This cannot be my focus.  As I’ve been saying since more than year ago, these things are not what we need to concern ourselves with. Read more

Day 13: State of the Union: Politics of the Impossible

Obama has always been a straight talker.  He still wants to work together on bipartisan priorities.  How can he still think this is possible?  Surely, it is impossible. I want to suggest in this post that we can learn something from Obama: don’t settle for the possible.  Obama said as we look to the future, we should see opportunity not peril.  Here I thought about how the Hillary campaign uses the politics of fear to sustain the politics of supposed electability (a strategy that is losing traction in the face of recent polls).  Obama asks whether we will respond with fear, turning inward and against one another or with confidence and power (the road between Nietzschean ressentiment and will to life). Read more