When President Obama talked in the State of the Union about cutting spending he talked specifics, including a five year freeze on non-military discretionary spending and a government restructuring plan, he is ready to submit to Congress, aimed at eliminating redundancies in the federal government. He was clear in his vision for the future that the innovation, infrastructure investment and investment in education would involve federal monies. He was saying America can both reduce the deficit and strengthen its competitiveness and we need government to do it. On the Republican side, Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis) had no programs or vision to suggest because the Republican solution is the same as it always has been: cut taxes and then, we don’t know how, but have faith it will happen, the private sector will innovate, and invest (education? roads? high speed trains?).

The bi-partisan seating, the bi-partisan tone of the speech were tactically brilliant.  Without laying himself open to the charge of being underhanded, Obama wrapped his agenda, with which the Republican do not agree, in his relentless eulogy to the American  spirit of coming together, leaving the Republican side only to look partisan.