The State of the Union Is "Can We Just Start the Campaign Already?" (Random Observations):
President Obama's State of the Union speech last night (aka "Shit What I'm Proposin' That You Bastards Ain't Gonna Pass") was fine, dull, whatever. But a few things stuck in the Rude Pundit's craw and brain that he didn't really discuss while he was a-tweetin' it.
1. The use of the Osama bin Laden raid and killing as an analogy for how Republicans and Democrats can come together for a common purpose was just really weird. At first, it seemed like Obama was going to give his most obvious foreign policy achievement a subtle, almost in-passing reference at the top of the speech. But at the end, he dove in head first: "Some may be Democrats. Some may be Republicans. But that doesn’t matter. Just like it didn’t matter that day in the Situation Room, when I sat next to Bob Gates -- a man who was George Bush’s defense secretary -- and Hillary Clinton -- a woman who ran against me for president. All that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about politics." How does this transform into tax policy or immigration reform? It's something about getting each other's backs or being stitched together human centipede-style or something. It was hard to tell, really. And coming from the President who regularly orders murder without trial, it probably might have been better to just toss bin Laden's rotting head in John McCain's lap and say, "That's what you get when you're not afraid to go into Pakistan, bitch."
2. But the positive outweighed the negative (a sentence that ought to be the Obama campaign slogan) in the speech. He seemed to indicate he was going to go after a couple of people in the financial industry. He said he was going to do some green stuff. He made a pitch for infrastructure spending. He said the word "unionized." He made another pitch (albeit with less commitment) for more bipartisanship. He didn't come at Republicans nearly as hard as he could have, although he did call out their rhetoric, as he has before, and he did say that they were big fucking hypocrites: "Even my Republican friends who complain the most about government spending have supported federally financed roads, and clean energy projects, and federal offices for the folks back home."
3. The thing that Obama does best, when he's not in "Fired up, ready to go" mode, is to present himself as this eminently calm and reasonable guy who is pretty much the polar opposite of the caricature that is tossed around by Republicans and the right-wing media every day. The speech was for the fence-sitters and for people who may not like Obama (primarily because they don't hear about the reality of what he's doing) but think the GOP is wacky. You'd have to be pretty nutzoid conservative, like licking-Gingrich's-taint crazy, to think that the rational man speaking of how make moderate changes to the tax code to save the economy is the Bolshevik Kenyan cartoon monster who is forcing people to take his goddamn food stamps and act European or risk being put in Sharia law concentration camps. Of course, Gingrich's taint is probably pretty clean these days.
4. Ultimately, what President Obama did last night was give a template for his campaign for reelection. And you can see that, in taking on Mitt Romney (which he will), all he needs to do is keep emphasizing that rich fucks can afford to pay more. He also spoke in a squishy, non-committal way about being open to war with Iran and being willing to negotiate on Medicare and Medicaid spending, leaving himself plenty of wiggle room. In other words, other than taxes, immigration, and a few other domestic issues, he's leaving Republicans with precious, precious little to run on.
5. Regarding creepy ass Mitch Daniels, staring at us like a mellow version of the screaming dude from the Munch painting, and his Republican response, the Rude Pundit didn't know what country he was talking about. When he said that "The late Steve Jobs -- what a fitting name he had -- created more [jobs] than all those stimulus dollars the president borrowed and blew," it wasn't just notable for the dumbass aside. No, it was an outright lie, by a factor of 20. And what the hell does "We must always be a nation of haves and soon-to-haves" mean? "Soon-to-have" sounds like a guarantee of economic comfort and stability. The only way you can do that is with, you know, socialism.