Photo: Pete Souza

Photo: Pete Souza

Mr. Nugent, who is also a National Rifle Association board member, will be a guest of Representative Steve Stockman, a Texas Republican who recently made headlines by threatening to file articles of impeachment against Mr. Obama if the president issued executive orders that strengthened gun control laws. […] “I will go in at least 20 pounds lighter than I normally walk,” he said. “I will be going in sans the hardware store on my belt. I live a well-armed life, and I’ve got to demilitarize before I go.” – Ted Nugent Will Attend State of the Union Address

THE 2012 election was really the final signal. That right-wingers missed it will be in full evidence tonight during President Obama’s State of the Union Address.

Nothing concentrates the mind like the thought of the bottom falling out of your life. When you’re young and have serious debt and are looking at a job market that no longer offers security and a pension, the realities of the cruel world make your personal politics shift to protecting yourself against a worst case scenario.

It is no secret that young voters tilt left on social issues like immigration and gay rights. But these students, and dozens of other young people interviewed here last week, give voice to a trend that is surprising pollsters and jangling the nerves of Republicans. On a central philosophical question of the day ““ the size and scope of the federal government ““ a clear majority of young people embraces President Obama’s notion that it can be a constructive force, a point he intends to make in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. Young, Liberal and Open to Big Government

My beefs with Obama and Democrats before the 2012 election was that their loyalty to what made the Democratic party what it is today was way too fickle. But as I wrote on Sunday, what keeps me moored on the Democratic side is the very policies that young people are today realizing that can make a real difference in their lives, which Republicans want to end.

The argument about government’s purpose in our lives is over and liberals have won. Grover Norquist has lost and the Republican notion of drowning government in the bathtub is not only obsolete, today it sounds positively archaic. The reaction to current life realities, which manifested in the voting coalition of 2012, has awakened elite and establishment Democrats to what people like me were wailing about in Obama’s first term.

“My analysis has been for a while that it’s going to come down to not whether the government should address certain problems, but how,” said Ruy Teixeira, a senior fellow at the left-leaning Center for American Progress in Washington. “We’ll shift from, “˜Does government even have a role?’ to “˜Given that government needs to play a role, what’s the best way of doing that?’ “ He added: “I expect those to be the arguments 10 or 15 years from now. That would be a big shift, but I think it’s coming.” – Young, Liberal and Open to Big Government

Into this reality trips Tea Party extremist Senator Rand Paul, who intends to unload wholly retro rhetoric that will represent a bygone era. Paul will be rebutting Senator Marco Rubio, whom I’ve never thought was all that, which his questioning recently in the Senate hearings proved conclusively. Paul’s teeny tiny minority outreach, coupled with Rubio’s forced campaign speaking slot opposite Obama, will provide great hilarity, of the alternative universe variety.

Neither of these men will be able to come close to what President Obama’s State of the Union Address tonight will deliver, because the Republican party is lost in the wilderness of their own outdated philosophy that doesn’t offer the policies that fit the shifting times of today. Whatever President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address offered, his State of the Union will surely capitalize on and emphasize.

We will see a confident and totally unencumbered President Obama tonight, because all he’s got left to do is accomplish things for the American people, while his adversaries are looking only to put up political obstacles to make sure he can’t. This will become very obvious very quickly, with the perpetual politicking and taking prisoners something the American people are certainly weary of seeing and won’t work for Republicans at all.

After a very tough first term, the wind’s at Obama’s back, whether his detractors want to accept this or not.

Ted Nugent is simply an extension of the Rand Paul extremist wing of the GOP and the recreation of the circus we saw in the Republican primary during the 2012 election cycle, which rendered their presidential candidate, as well as his vice presidential choice Paul Ryan, unelectable.

Republicans have become the gift that keeps on giving to President Obama.

Under-30 voters are “the only age group in which a majority said the government should do more to fix problems,” the nonpartisan Pew Research Center reported in November. In a Pew survey a year earlier, more than 8 in 10 said they believed that Social Security and Medicare had been good for the country, and they were especially supportive of seeing the programs overhauled so they would be intact when they retire. (Young people were also more open than their elders to privatizing the programs.) And while Washington fights about how to cut the federal deficit, young voters believe that it is more important to create jobs, have affordable access to health care and develop “a world-class education system,” according to the Institute of Politics at Harvard. [New York Times]