January 26 2011
What I Wanted to Hear
Nicole Kurokawa Neily
I’m late to the SOTU blogging party (looks like Carrie, Julie, Hadley, and Charlotte had it pretty well covered!), but I’d like to add my two cents. There were a few things that I wish President Obama had covered last night:
An apology to the Supreme Court for last year’s outburst over the Citizens United decision. If I recall correctly, the Founders established a system of checks and balances. You may not like the outcome, but that’s what they’re there for.
Ceding back some of the executive authority his administration has taken over the past few years. No, he’s not the only President to expand the scope of executive power – but there are a few notable expansions that have made me particularly uncomfortable. Off the top of my head, I think the executive branch has been too involved in the affairs of private businesses – such as the “resignation” of GM CEO Rick Wagoner, and the establishment of the $20 billion BP escrow account. Those decisions are best left in the hands of the private sector. To be clear: I am not defending the actions of BP, or of GM – merely commenting on the involvement of the federal government in their internal affairs. In addition, I find it extremely concerning that the Obama Administration has authorized the extrajudicial execution of U.S. citizens abroad. This is an unprecedented interpretation of “state secrets,” and one that should concern Americans of all political inclinations.
A bit of humility. Two weeks ago, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said in her inaugural speech, “we will not reach prosperity by increasing [the] government's share of our economy.” I wish the President had admitted that our knowledge is not all encompassing, and that our government is not all-powerful.
Obviously, we didn’t hear any of this in last night’s speech – and it probably won’t happen anytime soon. But hey, a girl can dream…