Opinion

Obama throws US military a bone

soldier voting
Universal suffrage except for military?
Photo credit PJMedia.com

The president expressed his support and gratitude for the men and women in uniform during Tuesday’s State of the Union address, but his actions speak louder than his words.

Ann Coulter gave us a hint of what was to come when she tweeted:

“Ann Coulter @AnnCoulter
Rubio to respond to SOTU address in 2 languages. Obama will deliver it in only one language, but speak out of both sides of his mouth.”

Several times during the speech, Obama praised the military, announcing at one point that “we stand united in saluting the troops and civilians who sacrifice every day to protect us.”

Three-quarters through the address, the president spoke of “the courage and sacrifice of those who serve in dangerous places at great personal risk – our diplomats, our intelligence officers, and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces,” prompting this tweet from pundit and conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham:

Laura Ingraham ‏@IngrahamAngle
The GOP shd have invited the 30 Benghazi “survivors” to #SOTU

Obama also promised that “as long as I’m commander-in-chief, we will do whatever we must to protect those who serve their country abroad, and we will maintain the best military in the world,” and “we will ensure equal treatment for all service members.”

Unfortunately for the president, right after praising the men and women in uniform, he tackled voter suppression. Bad timing. It went like this:

But defending our freedom is not the job of our military alone. We must all do our part to make sure our God-given rights are protected here at home. That includes our most fundamental right as citizens: the right to vote.

All the tweeps immediately connected the two, and the Twitterverse lit up.

“Rep. Steve Stockman @SteveStockmanTX
Obama vows to improve voting access. Will he lead by ensuring all military ballots are counted? #SOTU”

“Jon Gabriel @ExJon
The military is routinely denied their right to vote, champ. #SOTU”

“When any American – no matter where they live or what their party – are denied that right simply because they can’t wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals,” the president said.

He’s concerned about hours? How about the days and weeks U.S. military personnel, serving their country overseas, have waited before receiving their absentee ballots, which often arrived too late if at all?

That said, I can certainly understand the tweet sent by another frustrated viewer:

“Kay L Copsey @kaylc1
Dear Lord, you know those lights that went out during the Super Bowl, can you do that again during the SOTU? Not ready for all the lies”

Read the full transcript of the State of the Union address at NPR:
http://www.npr.org/2013/02/12/171841852/transcript-obamas-state-of-the-union-as-prepared-for-delivery

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