"They say, 'What's your show about?' I say, 'Nothing.'"- Jerry Seinfeld
I was reminded of the Seinfeldian idea, the show about nothing, as I listened to the State of the Union. Don't get me wrong, President Obama said a lot, and some of the things he said I enjoyed hearing, but ultimately it was a speech about nothing.
Our union is strong, said the president, but he also said that the tragedy in Tucson should usher in a new era of cooperation. A strong union does not need a mass murder to teach us about civility.
He said "at stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else," but also supported the children of illegal immigrants or foreign students being put on a path to citizenship. On one hand, Americans lose jobs to foreign countries, on the other they lose jobs to those who broke the law to be here. Is there a difference to the American who lost their job which it is?
There was a lot of talk about the greatness of America, and I truly appreciated that. The language of patriotism shouldn't be only used by the right, and I loved the part about there not being "a person here who would trade places with any other nation on Earth." To an immigrant like me, those words ring so true.
I also enjoyed the talk about closing the deficit and vetoing any bill which contains earmarks. Of course, these proclamations would mean so much more if there wasn't an unfunded health care bill to consider and a laundry list of projects that Obama hopes will help us "win the future."
Ultimately, these are nice words for a conservative to hear, but the reality — that Obama is unlikely to cut spending in any meaningful way — is something that should concern all Americans who worry that winning the future isn't something we will be able to promise to our burdened children and grandchildren.
Born in the Soviet Union and raised in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz is a public relations consultant in NYC and a veteran of Republican campaigns in four states. She blogs about politics at Alarming News and about life in the city with her husband and baby at 212 Baby. She can be followed on Twitter.