President Obama will give his first State of the Union address tonight. Because none of his previous 411 speeches have helped his sinking job approval, this one could begin to turn it around, but only if he says something like this:
“Madam Speaker, Vice President Biden, members of Congress, distinguished guests and fellow citizens:
“I come before you tonight a humbled man. I’ve been chastened by what I have seen and heard from the American people over the past few months, and certainly over the past week. I want to welcome Sen. Scott Brown to Washington. A state senator now freshly elected to the United States Senate, he reminds me of myself not too long ago. Sen. Brown: I’m sorry I made fun of your pickup truck. It was the freshest attack I could come up with, having already made fun of people who cling to their guns and religion. But you deserve your props: You turned Massachusetts into a swing state. And for that, you give new meaning to the phrase, ‘Heckuva job, Brownie.’
“Of course, Sen. Brown couldn’t have won in Massachusetts without a little help from yours truly. After Tuesday night, I had a ‘come to Jesus’ moment. I finally realized that I - and my radical wingmen in this room - went too far, too fast, in the wrong direction. The American people reject our wholesale attack on the free market: bailouts, “stimulus,” cap-and-trade and government takeover of health care.
“As recently as last week, I was still blaming President George W. Bush for my woes and insisting I just had a communications problem. I now realize that I’ve got a content and competency problem. That’s why I am embracing real change. Not that phony ‘Greek columns,’ ‘we’re the ones we’ve been waiting for’ change of 2008, but change the American people actually want.
“First, jobs and the economy. I used to think 10 percent unemployment would help me get my big-government agenda through; the more people dependent on the federal government, the better for me and the progressive movement, and the more leeway I’d have to push through ever-more government spending.
“My bad. Americans need to go back to work in order for the economy to grow, and no, not just in my beloved public sector. The first thing I am going to do is demand the resignation of Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner. Our failed economic policies have only led to higher unemployment and a stalled recovery. Real change starts with you, Tim.
“I am also announcing tonight that the Republicans are right about tax cuts: They will stimulate job creation and economic growth. So I’ll move to make the Bush tax cuts permanent and effect a payroll-tax holiday and a slew of new tax cuts for businesses of all sizes.
“Second, as much as it kills me to say it, it’s time to pull the plug on the incoherent mess known as health care reform and start from scratch.
“Tonight, I am announcing adoption of key health care ideas that Republicans have been advocating all along: lowering costs through real competition by removing state barriers to insurance providers; enacting thoroughgoing tort reform; permitting medical savings accounts; and allowing states to experiment with other solutions first. We need health care reform, but we don’t need a federal hijacking of nearly 20 percent of the economy. And I’ll honor my promise to air any new discussions on C-SPAN.
“Third, I know it took me a week to get my act together after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up that plane over Detroit. I seriously thought my mere presence in the White House would quell terrorist acts against us, stop Iran from building nuclear weapons and bring the Israelis and Palestinians together in peace. But as I said last week about the Middle East peace process, ‘This is really hard.’
“I know this may come as a shock, given that I’ve spent my first year bashing him, but President Bush was right. Therefore, I’m ordering the reinstatement of major Bush counterterrorism policies, including keeping Guantanamo Bay open, indefinitely detaining terrorism suspects, allowing enhanced interrogation techniques and continuing rendition to third countries of suspected terrorists for those interrogations. President Bush was right to treat this as a war, and I’m done treating it as a law enforcement issue. I am therefore requesting the resignation of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. He didn’t talk me into this approach, but he carried it out. In fact, while I’m at it, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Special Adviser Valerie Jarrett: You’re fired, too.
“From this point forward, I promise to be a different president. I promise to really listen to Republicans and incorporate their best ideas. I promise to fight Islamic terror with every military and intelligence tool possible. I promise not to ram big-government policies through in defiance of public opinion. I promise to reduce the deficit by cutting spending. I promise to stop slamming my predecessor and take responsibility for my own presidency. I promise no more sweetheart deals, for anybody. I promise real transparency, starting by producing all of the personal records I’ve kept sealed. And I promise never to blow off the American people again.
“The state of our union isn’t its strongest because I’ve arrogantly and unilaterally taken the country off a radical cliff. I’m done steamrolling you in the name of the progressive Saul Alinsky revolution. Your revolution has gotten my attention, and you’re right. Let’s bring America back together.
“Good night, and God bless America.”
Monica Crowley is a nationally syndicated radio host, a panelist on “The McLaughlin Group” and a Fox News contributor.