CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Confident after his dramatic re-election victory, President Obama outlined bold progressive goals in his fifth State of the Union address Tuesday night.
He demanded that Congress stop crawfishing and take real action to protect Americans from gun murders and massacres.
He demanded closure of tax loopholes exploited by the wealthy who send money and jobs overseas.
He announced more withdrawal of U.S. troops from America's longest war, the futile mess in Afghanistan.
He demanded that 11 million undocumented Hispanic immigrants be given hope that they may eventually work their way to citizenship.
He announced a national commission to protect voting rights -- clearly aimed at GOP state laws that obstruct voting by the poor, the elderly, students and others who lean Democratic.
He demanded federal building projects to create jobs and "reignite the true engine of America's economic growth: a rising, thriving middle class."
An Associated Press analysis summed up:
"At a time when Republicans are insisting on spending cuts, Obama pushed more public spending on universal preschool, construction work on bridges and schools and a jobs program rebuilding vacant homes in rundown neighborhoods. He pushed for an increase in the minimum wage to $9 an hour, with future increases tied to the cost of living. And he continued to push in support of left-leaning social issues including gun control, immigration reform, climate change and advancing equal rights for gays."
Altogether, his hour-long address was mostly a challenge to congressional Republicans to cease obstructing and "put the nation's interests before party."
Regarding the menace of global warming, the president tweaked deniers by chiding:
"We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen, were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science, and act before it's too late."
We agree with Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., who praised Obama for his focus on "creating jobs, building up our middle class, and supporting families who struggle."
And we agree with the San Jose Mercury News, which said:
"The most memorable and inspiring moments of the speech involved stopping the madness of unchecked gun violence. In embracing the cause, Obama took on what may be the greatest challenge of his second term. He will need the nation's help to meet it."