◼ Noonan: The Sleepiness of a Hollow Legend - Peggy Noonsn/Wall St Journal
The State of the Union is a grand tradition—but only if people are listening.
...He gave a speech on the National Security Agency, that bitterly contested issue, the other day. Pew Research found half of those polled didn't notice. National Journal's Dustin Volz wrote that Americans greeted the speech with "collective indifference and broad skepticism." Of the 1 in 10 who'd followed it, more than 70% doubted his proposals would help protect privacy.
The bigger problem is that the president stands up there Tuesday night with ObamaCare not a hazy promise but a fact. People now know it was badly thought, badly written and disastrously executed. It was supposed to make life better by expanding coverage. It has made it worse, by throwing people off coverage. And—as we all know now but did not last year—the program was passed only with the aid of a giant lie. Now everyone knows if you liked your plan, your doctor, your deductible, you can't keep them....
You know when we will know America is starting to come back? When some day the sergeant at arms bellows: "Mr. Speaker, the president of the United States" and the camera shows a bubble of suits and one person emerges from the pack and walks into the chamber and you're watching at home and you find yourself—against everything you know, against all the accumulated knowledge of the past—interested. It'll take you aback when you realize you're interested in what he'll say! And the members won't just be enacting, they'll be leaning forward to hear.
And the president will speak, and what he says will be pertinent to the problems of the United States of America. And thoughtful. And he'll offer ideas, and you'll think: "Hey, that sounds right."
That is when you'll know America just might come back.
Until then, as John Dickerson just put it: Barack Obama, Inaction Figure.