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Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

Last week we witnessed the annual drawing of the battle lines during the State of the Union address presented by President Obama with rebuttals from senators Rubio and Paul. Our political system continues its dysfunctional method of running the country. It seems in unison with the national media, once known for being the watchdogs of political shortcomings. Instead, the national media continues to be ineffective in its role to police ill-mannered, self-serving political figures.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul gave the Tea Party rebuttal 12 hours before the president delivered his speech. Paul’s speech was sarcastic and ended with a call for the president to be tried for treason and banished from the country. Comparing the president’s not-yet-given speech to one worthy of Iran President Ahmadinejad, Sen. Paul called the speech: “Full of empty promises and bald-faced lies we’ve come to expect from President Obama who tonight made a case for his own impeachment.”

Sen. Paul’s prebuttal was preceeded earlier in the day when Speaker of the House Boehner made the comment; “I don’t think he (President Obama) has the guts to do it. He doesn’t have the courage to take on the liberal side of his own party — never has.” In fact, the speaker said, judging by the tone and tenor during the Inaugural Address: “I would expect tonight to be more partisan.”

The president didn’t leave his critics without cause to cry and lament. He laid out plans for debt reduction, tax code overhaul, enhanced job creation, minimum wage, climate control, immigration reform, education improvements, defense and foreign trade. His bully-pulpit ended with examples of families affected by gun violence, as he challenged members of the Congress and Senate repeatedly with: “They deserve a vote.”

The president called for cuts to spending on things like education, job training, Medicare and Social Security benefits to reduce the deficit.

Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@newmarketpressvt.com or dan@denpubs.com.

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