If President Obama's second inaugural address was his coming out party as a liberal, tonight's State of the Union address is his first dance. It's going to be a doozy.
Do not expect a return of the mythical moderate Obama, the one who speaks of bipartisanship with an earnest tone and dances cautiously around his liberal partners, trying not to brush too close to them. Tonight he is most likely to emerge arm in arm with them. He has more "flexibility" now.
Tonight the President makes clear his priorities, and they will share one common theme: More money and more power for Washington so that it may reshape America according to the image Barack Obama has envisioned.
There is to be no serious effort to eliminate the federal debt that already is harming our economy and will only do greater damage as it rapidly expands under a President who has no interest in controlling it. There is to be no serious entitlement reform, no serious reduction in federal spending or power.
On domestic issues, expect a highly partisan, exceedingly liberal call to expand the power, scope and size of the leviathan. On foreign policy, expect retreat.
Tonight, Obama begins in earnest his plan to become the liberal Reagan, to undo the Reagan legacy and restore the FDR-LBJ welfare state, only greater and with more power and authority to control the lives of citizens. The Republican response ought to be as strong and aggressive as the President's. Hit back, and hit back hard. This is a big moment. Live up to it.