Thursday, January 28, 2010
Obama State of the Union, McDonnell Response Contrasts on Abortion, Health Care
"I want everyone to take another look at the plan we've proposed," Obama said of the Senate bill that funds abortions and have other abortion problems.
"Here’s what I ask of Congress, though: Do not walk away from reform. Not now. Not when we are so close. Let us find a way to come together and finish the job for the American people," Obama said.
Obama appeared to ignore the polling data that consistently shows the American people not only oppose the health care bill but oppose government funding of abortions in it -- instead talking about how pushing the pro-abortion government-run health care bill affected his own political bottom line.
"I did not choose to tackle this issue to get some legislative victory under my belt. And by now it should be fairly obvious that I didn't take on health care because it was good politics," he said.
In his response, McDonnell presented a response from Americans opposed to Obama's health care plan.
"In recent months, the American people have made clear that they want government leaders to listen and act on the issues most important to them," he said. “We want results, not rhetoric. We want cooperation, not partisanship."
“All Americans agree, we need a health care system that is affordable, accessible, and high quality," he said. “But most Americans do not want to turn over the best medical care system in the world to the federal government."
He said Republicans offer different answers and "our solutions aren't thousand-page bills that no one has fully read, after being crafted behind closed doors with special interests."
On the issue of abortion itself, only McDonnell bothered to address it and he took a clear pro-life stance.
“America must always be a land where liberty and property are valued and respected, and innocent human life is protected," he said.
Obama on the other hand used language that appeared to support human worth but his record promoting abortion belies his words. In his State of the Union speech, he said, "America must always stand on the side of freedom and human dignity."
Former governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said Americans should evaluate Obama on his actions, not his words.
"Unfortunately, this administration’s actions speak louder than this President’s words and with Nancy Pelosi as Speaker and Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader, the gang that can't shoot straight," he said in an email to LifeNews.com.
"What’s needed is a resounding victory for conservative principles," including "life," Huckabee said.
Catholic writer Deal Hudson doesn't think Obama's speech delivered.
"President Obama gave his first State of the Union speech last night. With his popularity in a steady decline for the past six months, Obama needed his speech to rekindle the enthusiasm for his leadership that elected him in the first place. Thus far, there is no evidence to suggest he was successful," he said.
"Simply renaming health care reform 'health insurance reform' will not solve Obama's political puzzle, nor the underlying problems of the legislation. But this is typical of the president's approach to political obstacles -- change the language, not the substance, and people will drop their objections," Hudson added.
And Family Research Council president Tony Perkins noticed the pro-life line in McDonnell's speech.
""We applaud Governor Bob McDonnell for calling for a land in which 'innocent human life is protected,'" he said.
"The governor's call to protect human life is clearly in line with the American people who overwhelmingly oppose the President's health care plan which would use our hard earned dollars to pay for abortion coverage. FRC will continue to work to ensure taxpayers are not forced to be part of the President's pro-abortion agenda," he told LifeNews.com.
Americans likely had a different response to the speech depending on their political persuasion.
Before the speech, Gallup noted that Obama is the most polarizing president in American history, according to a poll it released.
The average difference in Obama's approval ratings between Democrats and Republicans turned out to be 65 percent -- the highest first-year gap of any president so measured.
"The extraordinary level of polarization in Obama's first year in office is a combination of declining support from Republicans coupled with high and sustained approval from Democrats," Gallup's Jeffrey Jones said.
Obama's 88 percent approval rating from Democrats is the second highest level of party support for a first-year president, trailing only the 92 percent Republican support for George W. Bush in 2001.
On the other hand, Obama's 23 percent rating among Republicans is tied for lowest party rating of a rookie president, matching GOP "backing" of Bill Clinton back in 1993.