Duane Graham has a very insightful post on the Obama Speech over at The Erstwhile Conservative (for those of you who don’t know him, he’s in Joplin and wrote very movingly of the devastation that city suffered from the tornadoes a few months back.)
He liked this part of Obama’s speech (and I agree – it had real power):
OBAMA: We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union. Founder of the Republican Party. But in the middle of a civil war, he was also a leader who looked to the future — a Republican President who mobilized government to build the Transcontinental Railroad — (applause) — launch the National Academy of Sciences, set up the first land grant colleges. (Applause.) And leaders of both parties have followed the example he set.
Ask yourselves — where would we be right now if the people who sat here before us decided not to build our highways, not to build our bridges, our dams, our airports? What would this country be like if we had chosen not to spend money on public high schools, or research universities, or community colleges? Millions of returning heroes, including my grandfather, had the opportunity to go to school because of the G.I. Bill. Where would we be if they hadn’t had that chance?
How many jobs would it have cost us if past Congresses decided not to support the basic research that led to the Internet and the computer chip? What kind of country would this be if this chamber had voted down Social Security or Medicare just because it violated some rigid idea about what government could or could not do? (Applause.) How many Americans would have suffered as a result?
In his own voice, Duane adds:
Recently I heard a story about the eventual deterioration of important National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellites, which provide stunningly accurate forecasts of major weather events. In its Tea Party-inspired wisdom, Congress has more than cut in half the funding for the maintenance and upgrading of those types of satellites.
What a small country we are becoming. We struggle to pay for weather satellites, for God’s sake.
A post and discussion downstream touches on the same subject. Here.