As the President prepares to deliver his State of the Union address tomorrow, I have two major hopes for his speech:
1) That he will provide at least one example of a meaningful step America will take to move our nondemocratic allies like Egypt, Uzbekistan, and Saudi Arabia towards democracy and away from the tyranny that the President himself said was a threat by its very existence. Alternatively, he could announce that the United States will support the long held and overwhelming desire of the Iraqi Kurds for full independence. Either move would convince the world that we truly support liberty and democracy even when they conflict with our interests.
2) That he will announce some gesture to indicate that he is honestly willing to listen and work with his critics. Not the â€œHere's what I'm doing â€“ be with me or against meâ€?, but real dialog and compromise when necessary. Since he expects the Shia and Kurds of Iraq to work and compromise with the Sunnis who butchered them in the tens of thousands, surely the President and his party can offer meaningful cooperation to Democrats and others who may share their goals (a safer country, taking care of the most needy), but have different ideas to get there.