Quote of the Day:

Look, if Barack Obama didn’t consider Barack Obama’s presidency a success, who would? Of course his last State of the Union was filled with happy talk about the current condition of the United States and its limitless future.

John Podhoretz in today's New York Post

The State of the Union address is supposed to be about the state of the Union, but President Obama's last SOTU was about the imaginary state of an imaginary union. He talked about a nation different from the dear and beleaguered United States that he is bequeathing to his successor. In other words, it was Pure Obama.

A surreal backdrop to the speech was provided by the seizure earlier in the day ten American sailors by the Iranian Navy. More surreal, President Obama failed to acknowledge the captive sailors. I can imagine there may have been reasons not to, are apparently being released momentarily (?). But still . . . .  As Republican political consultant Ed Rollins writes:

This [seizure of the sailors] is an escalation of hostile behavior by the Iranians who just last month fired unguided missiles at our aircraft carrier , the Harry S. Truman, in the same waters. 

I can't imagine, if he was still with us, that President Truman would disregard these acts of hostility. He was a man of strength. With the country feeling that terrorism is one of our top problems, the president dismissed our concerns. Don't worry! We've got the strongest military in the world. We got Bin Laden.

This is what he said about Iran: "That’s why we built a global coalition, with sanctions and principled diplomacy, to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. As we speak, Iran has rolled back its nuclear program, shipped out its uranium stockpile, and the world has avoided another war."

I don't think so. Bad behavior by Iran is dismissed because President Obama wants to protect his sacred and risky deal.

While the president can overlook Iranian bad behavior, he didn't resist chiding us Americans for our bad behavior, real or imagined. Podhoretz notes:

Bizarrely, the president then pooh-poohed the threat from ISIS and terrorists around the world by assuring Americans we would wipe them out — and that to think otherwise somehow was dangerous because it empowered the bad guys.

He spent more time and showed more passion lecturing Americans about their conduct toward Muslims. He’s right that behaving badly toward Muslims, or committing a crime at a mosque, is a terrible thing.

But saying that “when a kid is called names . . . we are diminished in the eyes of the world”— is a kind of schoolmarmish bushwah that should force even the most sentimental person to have to restrain himself from throwing his remote through his TV.

President Obama took credit for rescuing our economy, even as wages are stagnated, more people than would like are stuck with only part-time jobs and workforce participation is at its lowest level ever.  He said many things that were just not true but were partially true.  The staff of Investors Business Daily captured the bragging tone of a speech that tried to hide failure:

I saved the country from a second Great Depression! Saved the American auto industry! Extended health insurance to 19 million people! Took on climate change. Made the world a safer place!

Those are all dubious claims that we've repeatedly debunked. But beyond that, our 44th president has a funny way of resetting the bar — always lower — so he can claim to have leapt over it.

Yes, there are 9.3 million more jobs today than in January 2009, but there are 17.2 million more people than when Obama took office, which means that the economy has created only about half the jobs needed just to keep up with population growth.

Real median household income is lower than it was in January 2009. The number of people in poverty and the number getting food stamps is higher. Almost as many long-term unemployed exist now as then.

Racial divisions at home are far worse, and the world at large is far more dangerous and unstable than seven years ago.

These are abject failures, not successes.

Kudos to Speaker Paul Ryan for inviting the Little Sisters of the Poor, who are suing the Obama administration to preserve their religious freedom. Loved their outfits!