My predictions for tonight's State of the Union: (Yes, I'll be watching. What doesn't kill you will make you stronger. . . )
- Well, while Sen Joe Manchin said he hopes it will be a bipartisan speech, we know that's one thing it won't be.
- As White House officials have proudly admitted, Obama will "throw down the gauntlet" on the middle class, no doubt accusing Republicans of wanting to slash the military and take food out of the mouths of babies, as Rep Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) suggested last week.
- We can be quite sure he won't acknowledge that the sequester was his idea in the first place. . .
- He will suddenly say that jobs--a topic he has scarcely mentioned since his reeelection, yet what is the top concern for most Americans--is HIS number one priority. With unemployment higher than it was when he took office in 09--that's encouraging. . .
- He will sternly lecture Republicans about the need for long-term budget solutions--couldn't agree more--without acknowledging the Senate's refusal to produce a budget.
- He will sternly lecture Republicans about the need to stop playing politics at the expense of the elderly and children with autism and Downs Syndrome. Too obvious? Don't bet on it.
- He will insist that the mega-wealthy can do more--and will likely push for the Buffet Rule again.
- He's going to go with what has worked: class warfare, and painting Republicans as the enemy of the middle class.
- We know he's going to embark on a campaign-like circuit starting tomorrow, backed by the PAC that was his campaign and is now, well, still his campaign--just with a new name: Campaign for Action
- He'll talk about the need for the government to buy into "smart investments" such as clean energy, but it's unlikely he'll mention Solyndra or any of the other "smart" investments by the government in private companies, run by their donors, that have gone belly-up.
- He will definitely talk about an amnesty/path to citizenship proposal for illegal immigrants in the US, but it's unlikely he'll talk about securing the borders first--or ever.
- He'll talk about how we need gun control legislation if we actually care about the safety of our children--he won't talk about mental health issues, or the fact that Vice President Biden said we "don't have time" to implement the laws we have on the books now, such as federal background checks for the purchase of a firearm.
We saw very clearly in his Inaugural Address that this president is going to become even more ideological and hyper-partisan than he's been over the past four years, as hard as that is to imagine. A lot of folks would argue that the SOTU is not the appropriate venue for "throwing down the gauntlet," or engaging in demogoguery of one party, but you can bet that's what we'll get tonight.