Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The State of the Union Is Disunion

I liked it, Joe liked it. Ha ha, made John stand.

Barack Obama's SOTU address was a good one. The president has always crafted fine speeches and delivered them well. His ideas were generally rational, forward-looking, and mostly small ball, which is fine. In that sense, it was Clintonesque, but without middle-school uniforms. Rather, it was a checklist of the small things we can't do because we don't have a functioning Congress -- which he wisely decided not to rile -- and small things that he is going to do because he has the power to do it by executive order. I didn't hear him suggest doing anything I would have a problem with. Many Republican congresspeople declared him "lawless," probably because they were hoarding all the laws and not giving the president any.

Rodgers: GOP response or PTA response?
The Republicans had a problem with the SOTU address. In fact, they had four problems with it: A GOP congresswoman -- Yay, they have one! -- gave the mainstream GOP response (it's all Obama's fault), a congressman gave the tea party response (it's all Obama's fault but with tea all over it), philosopher king Rand Paul gave his tea tea party response with libertarianism all over it (it's all Obama's fault even though the Paul family women are dong just fine), and a Latina GOP congresswoman -- Yay, they have one! -- delivered la respuesta de la corriente principal del Partido Republicano (¡Todo es culpa de Obama!). I'd say the four represented a Republican Party response if I could figure out what they said. Oh, they said they had "plans." That's a start! Did I say it was all Obama's fault?

Lee: The tea party knows what it's
for, and that's being against Obama.
I agree that it won't be a memorable night. There were no grand pronouncements -- the Era of Big Government is over, or the axis of evil is scary -- or huge policy shifts. If anything can be gleaned from the whole affair, it might be that "the Government of Big Parties is over," or something. It's nice to think that the Republican Party is so great they decided to have four of them, so in that sense it was a Republican night. We have more parties than you! Not something to run on, but the messaging this election year is going to be fun to watch. Unravel, anyone?

Paul: I'm responding because I'm
politically ambitious, I guess.
I've got to hand it to Barack Obama: He's one unflappable dude. Whether he gets anything done for the rest of his final term (on a serious note, watch for foreign-policy breakthroughs) is anybody's guess, but he has done one thing for sure: He's overseen the fragmentation of the opposition party and left them in a state where the only GOP frontrunner left at this point is Senator Rand Paul.

Anyone want to bet how long it'll take for his run to unravel? Anyone? Hillary Clinton, thank Obama Derangement Syndrome for getting you into the catbird seat.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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