Here is my single most favorite moment from the debate. The president called out the Supreme Court's recent decision to let corporations spend, without limit, advocating for or against federal candidates in elections - essentially, letting domestic and foreign corporations buy our elections and sell our democracy. Here is that awesome, awesome moment. Watch:
Justice Alito (Bush appointee), you will notice, blurts out something in protest. I'd call that a guilty conscience, but Alito is probably guilty of not having a conscience at all. Supreme Court justices are not to react to the President in a joint session of Congress.
President Obama had a more substantive message for the Democrats. Don't let the loss of Ted Kennedy's seat cower you into the corner. The American people expect us still to solve problems, and not run for the hills:
But he has not forgotten that it's the Republicans in the Senate who have been forcing a 60 vote threshold to get anything done at all. If they insist on it, then the responsibility to govern falls on them, too, the President reminded them. "We were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions," Barack Obama told Congress.
He laid out a full agenda before the American people for this year:
- Pass a jobs bill to invest in jobs for Americans
- Pass financial regulatory reform and recoup our money from the banks
- Finish health insurance reform
- Repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell
- Blunt the force of the Supreme Court's "corporations can buy your elections" ruling with legislation
- Pass comprehensive energy legislation, focus on clean energy
The President is fighting. The President is fighting for jobs, for financial regulatory reform, for health care, for civil rights, for the people's right to elect our leaders (and to prevent giant corporations from taking that right away), for a cleaner planet, a greener energy and more American jobs. He is not backing down. Neither am I. And neither should Democrats in Congress. This is no time to give up. This is no time to run for the hills. This is time to show the American people that they made the right decision when they gave control of Congress to the Democrats and sent President Obama to the White House.