The simplest summary of President Obama's State of the Union message is that the Wall Street bailout was a success, and the Main Street bailout must stop. Why else would he point out ongoing suffering and then call for a 3-year freeze in the federal funding that is the only meaningful source of support and social development money in the United States?
For the pre-limbic thought processes that are leading the Democrats into a deliberate steering of economic recovery and their own political power onto the iceberg, see this dismal collection of inane forgetting of basic politics and economics not to mention the basic purposes of the Democrat party.
The Dismal Collection gets to the backstory behind Krugman's excellent slam of Obama's "deficit-peacock strut." Obama has produced too small a jobs program and too weak a health-cost containment because "our political system doesn’t seem capable of doing what’s necessary." Behind the political failure is mass mental failure: learned and extremely astute people like Obama have their options shaped by 8th grade arguments and personal attacks that wouldn't score any points at all on most issues in most educated countries.
Afghanistan is a good example, and the NYT's London bureau chief John Burns perfectly articulates the incoherent strategy for which Obama is risking his presidency. "Winning" Afghanistan means winning hearts and minds, but the actual US strategy is to win on the battlefield by killing a lot of Taliban, thus demoralizing them, at which point they will accept our money to switch sides forever to the Stars and Stripes. This is as dumb as it gets, but Obama is racing down this road because of dimwit beltway concerns about "Obama the man."
Obama is letting himself get blown around by the gale-force winds generated by airhead Repubs and Dims all calling for him to move to a center that is well to the right of Richard Nixon. He went from the US inventing the world's cheapest solar cells to "building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country" from one paragraph to the next.
Obama's former enthusiasts are getting desperate. Cenk Uygur says that if the Dims reappoint Bernanke the great Titantic captain "there’s no helping them and there is no hope in them." The great summary of this dead end is Jon Stewart's: "No matter what you do, the Republicans are not going to let you into the station wagon. . . .and you're the majority party. It's your car!" Later Assif Mandvi explains, "The Democrats are going to need bipartisan support if they're ever going to see Bush's agenda enacted."
Finally: "you can't hurt us anymore. We're already dead."
Stewart's stuff about the Repubs not letting the Dims into their own car gets at some deep Democrat yearning for approval from authoritarian dickheads on the Right, and from the same elements in their own constituencies. How can their survival do more that degrade us further?