Told myself I wouldn’t watch tonight’s State of the Union.
Told myself again.
Then (sigh) I watched it. Not all of it. But a good chunk. And, once again, I’m reminded why I voted for Barack Obama. Yes, he’s a great speaker. But the message was one I largely agree withâ€”taking accountability, looking forward, confronting Republicans for their stubborn refusal to back anything he does. Am I happy about the sudden dismissal of real health reform? No. But politics sucks.
My favorite part of tonight, however, was the Republican response, offered by Bob McDonnell, Virignia’s governor for 11 days. Although the GOP almost always seems to kill the Dems when it comes to pure politics, it somehow goes brain numb when the time comes for a televised response to the president. Last time it was Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana governor who stared blankly into the camera and spoke to Americans as if we were mentally impaired second graders. That didn’t work, so now McDonnell spoke from the Virginia capitol, a seemingly regal, presidential place to show strength and power.
It was ludicrous.
McDonnell strolled in to a standing ovation. He shook hands, waved, nodded, grinned, hugged. The whole scene was supposed to rival the president’s address, only it was, well, fake. Phony. Bullshit. Republican supporters instructed to stand and applaud wildly. It came off as yet another scripted political ploy, when what would have served the Republicans best would be a straight, intelligent speech.
PS: I love how Obama ran off myriad tax cuts, and the Republicans still refused to applaud. Seriously, what does it take for us to have a little give-and-take in this country. Here’s the clipâ€”toward the end.
PPS: The money line from McDonnell’s speech: “We are blessed here in America with vast natural resources, and we must use them all.” Uh, no. We are blessed here in America with vast natural resources, and we must not use them all. We must be selective and intelligent.