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He’s a leader who has been satisfied to give a speech and then sit back hoping someone, somewhere will translate his words into reality.

His failure thus far is evident in the polls. The American people don’t just disagree with much of what he’s tried to do.

They no longer trust him and aren’t certain he’s competent enough to accomplish much of anything.

Congressional members of his own party are beginning to pull away from him, and he’s rapidly becoming a lame duck as Democrats and Republicans alike begin looking to 2016.

It appears more and more likely that this fall will leave him with a Congress even less inclined to do his bidding.

All of this has made it clear to Mr. Obama and his advisers that anything he is to accomplish during the final years of his presidency will have to be accomplished by circumvention of a recalcitrant Congress.

While most presidents have used their State of the Union speeches to rather boringly present Congress with a “to do” list, this president has torn up the list and said, in essence, that he’ll just have to do it all himself.

This will give him a chance to rail on about those with whom he disagrees as he pursues an agenda that seeks not to transform, but to further divide the nation he promised to unite when he first ran for the presidency.

He has always been at his best when he’s been in campaign mode, belittling and questioning the motives, morals and integrity of his opponents.

He’s a president who needs an enemy.

He appears to think that by appealing to Americans’ economic frustrations that his own policies have made worse, he can make the successful class that enemy.

Follow-through, of course, is everything. Words, as Mr. Carney has warned us, are just words and don’t really matter.

Actions do, though, and if Mr. Obama follows through on his threat to govern by phone and pen, to ignore Congress and to implicitly emulate the style of authoritarian governments whose leaders don’t have to worry about legislatures, checks and balances, and the separation of powers that have limited the ability of U.S. presidents to “get things done,” we are in for a rough couple of years.

He may have been delivering his speech last night to Congress, but it would have been better suited for an “Occupy” rally of class warriors.

David A. Keene is opinion editor of The Washington Times.