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Congress Links: SOtU Reax

January 25, 2012 - by David Moore

It’s Congress Links for Jan. 25th, featuring responses to President Obama’s State of the Union address last night (at right, House Maj. Leader Boehner [R-OH], previous coverage on OC Blog): 

  • The Hill: “President Obama used his election-year State of the Union address to issue a loud call for economic equality based on ‘responsibility from everybody,’ a theme prefacing his 2012 campaign message.”
  • Ezra Klein, Wonkblog: “But what viewers of the State of the Union learned was that Obama has an agenda. An ambitious one, even. Whether they approve of it, and whether they approve of congressional Republican obstructing it, remains to be seen.” 
  • Matthew Yglesias, Moneybox: “Almost everything the president touched on briefly sounded about right to me… The energy section initially bugged me, but I thought they landed it in a smart way. Infrastructure: Check. Deficit reduction must be balanced and long-term: Check. Tax progressivity: Check.”
  • John Wonderlich, Sunlight Foundation: “It’s good to have a President willing to raise transparency and money in politics in the State of the Union. But when insider trading and an ill-fated lunge at bundlers are all the vision he has to offer, we have to wonder whether Obama sees his old transparency platform as a political liability, rather than a vision to be perfected and implemented.”
  • Reihan Salam, National Review: “My Economics 21 colleague James Capretta argues that President Obama failed to make a compelling case for the connection between steep increases in taxes on capital income, increased public spending, and wage growth for the middle class…”
  • Jamie Dupree, WSBRadio: in-person bullet-point round-up. 
  • Congress Matters: “The House returns to work, but only briefly, to finish up the fifth suspension bill from yesterday, take up a Gabby Giffords-sponsored bill under suspension before she leaves the House, and consider a motion to go to conference on yet another FAA bill.” 
  • United Republic: “Money in Politics Groups Mixed on Obama’s Speech”, feat. quotes from our non-profit partners Sunlight & CRP, and our allies in electoral reform Public Campaign & Common Cause. 
  • Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC: open-phone call-in. 

I’ll add – if you watched, the Congress you saw assembled before you was not the federal legislature that the contemporary U.S. public deserves, with our efficient technology for a more transparent & accountable government. The Congress there was riddled with systemic corruption, closed-off back-room deals for campaign contributions (e.g. PIPA / SOPA), and gridlocked hyper-partisanship. The first step towards comprehensive reform is full public financing of federal elections – fair elections now. Several subsequent steps are necessary for a more delibertive democratic process – later this year, PPF plans to expand on this reform agenda to include planks for independent media (e.g. policies touted by our allies Free Press), net neutrality (e.g. Save The Internet), radical transparency (e.g. our allies LittleSis), and other core attributes of any legitimately representative democracy. 

To surf along with what we’re tracking, we recommend the lists feature on a popular micropublishing service: 

… what was your takeaway from the SoTU? Email us: david at opencongress. Always glad to hear from OC visitors & our terrific user community. 

… don’t miss John Wonderlich’s remarks on the micropublishing service last night about flipping the script on this arcane political monologue: “The State of the Union would be better described if every Member of Congress delivered their description to the President, instead.” Massive co-sign – as I put it on the same commercial service, “Free, libre & open-source technology (e.g, open API for constituent communication) can build a more representative & deliberative democracy.” Let’s build it together

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