Random Observations on the State of the Union Speech:
1. President Obama mentioned "Republicans" only three times in the State of the Union speech last night. Each time it was in a grouping with Democrats and, twice, others, like "business leaders," as in "Democrats, Republicans, business leaders, and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in Washington as the sequester, are a really bad idea." At no time, not a single time, did he lay the blame for obstructionism at the feet of those responsible, you know, Republicans. Indeed, if you had no idea who was responsible for the sequester (Republicans who took the debt ceiling hostage), the failure to pass jobs programs (Republicans), and the death of the Dream Act (you know who), you'd think that the problem was everyone, which, of course, it isn't.
On a bill about refinancing mortgages for homeowners, Obama said, "Democrats and Republicans have supported it before, so what are we waiting for? Take a vote, and send me that bill. Why would we be against that? Why would that be a partisan issue, helping folks refinance? Right now, overlapping regulations keep responsible young families from buying their first home. What’s holding us back?" Again, notice: he didn't say, "Okay, everyone, look at those motherfuckers on the right side of the House. They're what's holding us back, on everything."
So when Republicans went forth after the State of the Union and said that President Obama was blaming the GOP, it was a goddamn lie. On CBS This Morning, Paul Ryan said of Obama, "He seems to always be in campaign mode, where he treats people in the other party as enemies rather than partners." That's only true if you accept that Obama meant "Republicans" when he asked, "Why would we be against that?" (which he totally meant).
In other words, you could be pissed that Obama didn't go more forcefully and specifically at Republicans. Or you could marvel at how Obama essentially got Republicans to say, "Yeah, we are those motherfuckers he was talking about. That's us."
2. Mostly, though, it was a boring, middle-of-the-road, uncontroversial speech, filled with solid ideas that most Americans support, ideas on infrastructure, immigration, jobs, and climate change that, as is tediously pointed out by everyone who follows politics, the GOP supported not so long ago. The fact that anything Obama said would be considered even the least bit radical or out-of-the-mainstream is simply the depressing circumstance of the post-Tea Party context in which the speech is given because enough of those lunatic assholes vote in the primaries to scare the shit out of GOP candidates.
3. The foreign policy section was ridiculous and depressing. Al-Qaeda "is a shadow of its former self," he said before justifying the drone missile program by saying that "we don’t need to send tens of thousands of our sons and daughters abroad or occupy other nations." Then he made a vague promise related to the complete lack of oversight of the president's ability to blow the fuck out of anyone he chooses (and anyone nearby). "I will continue to engage Congress to ensure not only that our targeting, detention and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances, but that our efforts are even more transparent to the American people and to the world," he offered. That means, essentially, "I'll decide what you need to know and when you need to know it." If you have to say you're going to be "more transparent," it means you're going to remain opaque. There was no talk about an end to this kind of hostility, only a promise that this is the way things will be from now on (unless a brave Congress is willing to make him stop).
4. But the final section, calling for votes on "proposals" on gun control, invoking the names of those injured and killed by unending gun violence, was passionate and engaging, to such an extent that you had to wonder where that kind of emotion was in the rest of the speech. However, when the Rude Pundit realized that the President of the United States was essentially begging Congress to allow votes on the simplest, most minimal new gun laws, he just felt sad, for the man, for the body, for a nation that no longer can reach for anything more than the mundane and then call it "grand."
5. Goodbye, Marco Rubio. When you bent over to get that bottle of water, you may as well have been going to suck your own dick, which, to think of it, was pretty much all your response was.