Editorial: Rah! Rah! Oh! Bah! Mah!

Editorial Board

We can’t imagine anyone with a tougher job than President Barack Obama. Leading the free world is a daunting endeavor, something that takes its toll on even the most exuberantly bright-eyed and bushy-tailed prospect since John F. Kennedy. The Obama from this week’s State of the Union address and the Obama from inauguration night 2009 look like different men, with the former resembling the latter’s older, wiser brother.

The president is most certainly the best cheerleader we’ve had in office, and that’s saying something considering he succeeded a professional. The man ran a campaign on two words — “hope” and “change” — and won in a veritable landslide. Anyone looking to pass SPCM 212 with flying colors need not look any further than Obama; two fantastic speeches to a captive national audience within a week of one another is a pretty daunting endeavor, and he absolutely killed it.

We like our rock star president, and his rock star ambitions. Ideologically, it’s hard to disagree with the man on any of the points he makes. Pragmatism and insight tend to be difficult to argue with, and new rhetoric from either side is going to be particularly interesting with pundits and politicians deciding to tone down the crazy in wake of the Tucson tragedy. Public sentiment seems to be that we’re a nation ready to shift course away from a hyper-polarized politics to the common ground where things get done and special interests are an afterthought.

We’re also glad to see the GOP realizing hack-n-slash “budget cuts” aren’t exactly sensible when part of the proposal includes cutting education funding. It’s disconcerting that career politicians would even consider such a drastic notion. We’ll speak plainly here, so as not to confuse or confound — get rid of government perks and entitlements, spend money on the kids. As much as we appreciate the tickets for tinted windows, we’d like to see cushy the money spent on pensions and health care for folks like state troopers and career politicians to go toward future generations.

When we say “smaller government,” dearest GOP, we mean “fewer government employees,” not “under-fund our education, please.”

We’re on board with the president’s new ideas. Yes, we have deficits to reduce, fat to trim, but we need not forget that we’re still the United States. We should have a government that supports innovation, technology, education and something besides itself.

As a nation, this recession was good for us. It taught us to be frugal, to reign in excess. It reminded us where our bootstraps were, that open hands make far less money than working hands.

We thoroughly enjoyed Tuesday’s national pep rally, and we’re crossing our fingers. 2012 is a ways off, but we’ve got a sneaking suspicion we’ve got ourselves a two-term president. A good one.