Here’s a short version of what I would like to hear from Pres. Obama when he gives the State of the Union address tomorrow.
I want him to challenge Congress. He needs to stand up and say this is what we accomplished over the past two years. After partisan bickering we had the a hugely productive lame-duck session. In between fighting to win elections, legislators came together. They repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” They ratified an extremely important nuclear arms treaty. They even came together and compromised on a bill that extended both tax cuts and unemployment benefits. That all comes after a Congress that enacted sweeping healthcare and financial reform measures. A Congress that streamlined the student loan process and saved the government money while doing it.
Pres. Obama should praise these achievements, but he should tell Congress that they can work together to do better. Education reform is still on the table. The Dream Act has yet to be passed. Much is left to be done. The State of the Union is a chance for the President to outline an agenda for the whole year, but he must emphasize one thing. Divided government requires divided responsibility. Republicans must step up and provided ideas not just criticism and then both sides must work together to find solutions.
This is a huge goal. It is difficult to reach, but one man should start the conversation. He is the President of the United States. Tomorrow night is his chance.