Tom O'Toole
State of the Union: Obama speaks, Aquinas weeps...and 'David' leaps into action
By Tom O'Toole
January 30, 2014

"You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the Lord of Hosts." -1 Sm 17:45

After watching – yet again – President Barack Obama deliver yet another State of the Union address, and finding my outrage now turning into boredom, my initial reaction is to agree with political commentator, George Will, that these partisan pep rallies should simply be outlawed. But lest I too become just another frog being swept into the slowly boiling pot of hot water, like Saint Paul I must muster enough courage to suggest a better way.

While I personally found it particularly galling that Obama's annual curtain call against orthodox Christianity fell on the feast of my patron saint, Thomas Aquinas, the absurdity of this odd coupling strangely gave me hope too. Although Obama has proved to be too much of an incompetent boob to be considered the anti-Christ many took him for after his Berlin anointing in 2008, he is definitely the anti-Aquinas. For while Thomas, perhaps the greatest theologian the Church has ever known, humbly proclaimed that compared to Christ's heavenly Kingdom, his words were "so much straw," Obama's pompous expression after nearly every utterance suggests he believes his every speech to be another Gettysburg address.

Not being a saint myself, I first cannot resist reminding the president how short Lincoln's classic was compared to yesterday's rhetorical rambler. But getting to the meat of Obama's rather over-cooked roast, I submit the apt analysis of Obama critic, Matt Walsh:
    Then he stood before them and lied, and they applauded. And he cited dozens of clichéd and fabricated anecdotes, and they applauded. And he repeated promises he's already broken 5 times (example: "this needs to be the year we... close Guantanamo Bay!"), and they applauded. And he made plainly absurd statements about imaginary "gender wage gaps," and they applauded. And he constructed fallacious straw men, and they applauded.
Despite the vagueness of his nearly 90-minute speech, Matt is certainly right. The man of "smiles and lies," as Michael D. O'Brien once called Obama, boldly told of eight million new jobs, failing to mention that many of these reconstituted and/or part time jobs still added up to 1.2 million less jobs than when he took office, or that the 23-cent-an-hour wage gap between men and women did not take into account the more frequent unpaid leaves women take, leaves that men do not get paid for either.

But even more deviously, the president once again paraded around a political applause prop, in this case severely injured Army Ranger Cory Remsburg. Considering Obama's about face on Afghanistan, first surging then cutting and running, his taking credit for Cory's heroism should make any thoughtful viewer wary.

Unfortunately, the Republican response by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers was almost as lame. Unlike Barack, I have no reason to doubt Rodgers' sincerity, but the fact remains that her statement that more Americans have stopped looking for jobs than are finding them is only true if it includes the number of baby boomers who are simply reaching the age of retirement. And more importantly, when criticizing Obamacare, this courageous mother of a Down syndrome child could have really struck a chord for conservative women who resisted societal pressure to abort their less-than-perfect babies. Instead, she proved to be just another Republican who lacked the guts to spotlight the religious persecution that Catholic institutions must suffer daily by being forced to supply abortifacients in order to comply with the healthcare mandate.

Indeed, to dismiss the Obama speech as merely boring is to miss how much the rambling man has contributed to the ever-increasing Culture of Death. By adding to the number of liberal judges on the Supreme Court, he has made the overturning of Roe v. Wade, a realistic hope in 2007, all but a pipe dream. And, perhaps more importantly, by declaring the unnatural lifestyle of gays not just natural but heroic, he has rendered everyone who espouses the biblical view of homosexuality a criminal – certainly the beginning of the end of western civilization as we know it.

But if Obama has lulled many into thinking "The End" is inevitable, I submit to you an annual Washington event from the previous week that is every bit as inspiring as Obama's State of the Union is disheartening. The annual March for Life may be ignored by the mainstream media and viewed with contempt by Barack Hussein Obama, but the abortion clinics that are closing and the stricter abortion laws that are passing shows that the march, and the prayers that accompany it, are not without effect. And if Obama speaking on the Feast Day of Aquinas is ironic, then the first reading at daily Mass on the date of this year's March for Life is prophetic.

1 Samuel 17:32-33, 37, 40-51, better known as David's meet and beating of Goliath, was cited by none other than Mike Huckabee in 2008 when the then-lean and hungry Christian underdog presidential candidate begged for "five smooth stones" (aka campaign contributions) to defeat the political establishment. Alas, Huckabee did not then receive his money, and eventually lost to the McCain Machine. Still, Huck was correct in his assessment, that with enough prayer and practical backing, David can stand up against Goliath, and once he cuts the head off the leader, the opposing army often flees.

Flash forward to 2014...and while we're at it, a look ahead to 2016 as well. Taking back the Senate is a good start, and while I still like Mike for all the good he accomplishes (Chick-Fil-A Day still brings a smile to my face), after watching his show it's clear that Huckabee is no longer lean or hungry. Yes, the slight-but-mighty Bobby Jindal is the obvious choice to play David to the Democrat's Goliath (maybe Hillary?) but in any event, we must start praying for a candidate with the courage to cut off the head of the Culture of Death's nominee now. "The March" still rocks, and we must not only keep it up, but perhaps start one for the preservation of traditional marriage as well. In the meantime, Obama's reign remains a stark reminder that we can never again ignore the political process, especially when it involves the presidency.

By the way...has anyone seen my slingshot?

© Tom O'Toole


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Tom O'Toole

Thomas Augustine O'Toole was born in Chicago and grew up in a devout Catholic family with five brothers and two sisters. He was the sports editor of Notre Dame's Scholastic magazine, where his story "Reflections on the Game" won the award for Best Sports Feature for the Indiana Collegiate Press Association... (more)


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