The president has only a few opportunities to speak to the nation, and he blew this one. It was so hackish, so devoid of any theme or purpose, that it makes one wonder whether part of Obama just wants to see how bad he can be before his cultists in the news media can see it. Every speech is exactly what they wish it to be, regardless of reality. His mainstream inaugural speech was treated as a liberal call to arms when it was no such thing. Of course, conservatives thought that. If Obama had announced he just joined the Tea Party, Rush Limbaugh would have seen it as proof that he was a socialist. But why liberals would confuse a boilerplate middle-of-the-road inaugural speech with Das Kapital will be forever befuddling.

Contrary to the claims of both sides, Obama is not a liberal visionary with deep desires to institute a progressive agenda. If he is, he’s a miserable failure. You need look no further than his own record (starting with foreign policy) and then Tuesday night’s speech for evidence. Banalities and tropes are not a governing philosophy or a plan. The immigration piece was good, but hardly a profile in courage. After all, even the GOP wants immigration reform now. There is also the small fact that Obama promised to deal with immigration in his first term.

The edict on climate change was despotic, not liberal. I believe climate change is a problem and humans contribute to it. However, ‘either do what I say or I will just start issuing executive orders’ that make green energy companies rich is not the kind of governing we should be lauding, regardless of party or ideological bent.