It may not be technically accurate that Republicans actually booked during the middle of Obama’s speech, though they did with the contempt in their surly faces prompt the suspicion they might.

As Obama, back in fighting mode after his extended sabbatical warned them in no uncertain terms that he will wield the political capabilities at his disposal in order to pressure them out of their practiced intransigence, they exhibited that stony, faraway look of persons living in another world, unfazed by statements of reality, recitations of history or truthful facts, both rigid, and confident in their ability to dissimulate, misinform and proffer the icy lie.

Still, Obama’s lecture on the success of Social Security, and the moral imperative that fortifies the American safety net was welcome. If this was a declaration of his intent to fight the next year’s political battles on traditionally Democratic turf…as well it should be in times such as these, and against the backdrop of a decade of prominent conservative economic and moral failure, Democrats and liberals can only hope he actually follows through.

For if anyone deserves to be shamed, and is susceptible to shaming for their bitter disregard of the needs of all but the richest Americans during a brutal economic period, for a cynical, all-out attempt to sabotage the American economy for political and ideological reasons at whatever expense to millions of America’s citizens, and for addressing America’s practical needs with the indifference of a disconnected extremity of word and belief and action, it is the currently constituted Republican Party.

And if there is one thing Obama did quite successfully tonight it was to clarify for the American people that it is the president who truly cares about the blight of unemployment, and is honestly engaged in the task finding a way to bring it down, ways to rejuvenate our staggered economy. And the truth is, and history tells us so to a fine certainly, that government indeed can create jobs (according to CBO the earlier stimulus created nearly three million) and that doing so both lifts the country economically, and lifts its morale as well

Judging by statements released by the Republican leadership following the speech, Republicans have been compelled at the very least to pretend to be less than intransigent, and to be marginally open to Obama’s overtures. Keep the pressure on, Mr. President


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