The president offers few olive branches to the opposition
Even as President Obama spoke of coming together to solve the nation’s problems, he clearly and firmly rejected key elements of the Republican party philosophy.
Among the direct hits:
1. “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science.”
As Obama called for the country to respond to the threat of climate change, he issued a stark reminder that many Republicans seem to reject basic scientific findings.
2. “Enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war."
Obama rose to national prominence by opposing wars started by George W. Bush and he rarely misses a chance to remind Americans that Republican foreign policy led to open-ended wars with no exit strategy.
3. “Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote."
Obama took aim at coordinated attempts by Republican governors and state legislatures to impose voting restrictions that hurt the Democratic party.
4. “We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries."
Obama defended his administration’s support of clean energy in the face of GOP investigations into failed investments such as Solyndra.
5. “They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great."
Obama gave a spirited defense of Medicare and Social Security ahead of a budget fight where Republicans say they will seek massive cuts and restructuring of the entitlement programs.
Obama also embraced equal rights for gay people, championed equal pay for women, made the case for immigrants, and urged a reduction in violence through new gun control laws -- all issues where Democrats have stark differences with Republicans.
Though Obama won re-election with just 51% of the vote, he’s counting on deep fractures within the Republican party to give him room for an even broader mandate. His inaugural address was designed to make this point very clear to the American people.
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- Republican retreat kicks off with a rocky start