We set ourselves up for the public smacking we took last night. Stood strong, turned our chin at just the right angle for maximum contact, dressed in our best smug smile and the President’s haymaker punch knocked us all to the moon. Nice job.
In truth, it was well deserved. The party has nothing to show for the entirety of 2011. Not one positive note of change was sponsored by Republicans. Every time the President tried to bargain we played him along and then pulled his chair out when he tried to sit down. Ha, ha you loose, Mr. President. We have elegantly trained Barack Obama to be a cynical, tough minded opponent. All the first timer’s dreams of cooperation have been driven out of his plans. Now he knows the score. So it was no surprise he nailed the party last night by doubling down.
The best part was the juxtaposition of a brilliant State of the Union full of confidence and clarity and the “we’re all domed” rebuttal by Governor Mitch Daniels. It was like watching the talking dog act that follows the Ballet.
“What’s on top of a house, Mitch?”
The President called for investment in American industry, we whine about unfairly taxing the richest .01%.
The President talks about how far we’ve come out of the recession, we counter with “Everything is actually worse!”
The President demands we retrain and invest in our workers, we counter with eliminating the minimum wage so we can fight China with our own dollar-a-day workforce.
The President talks about unprecedented cooperation with the rest of the world in imposing sanctions on Iran, we counter with “Nobody’s frightened of us anymore!”
The President begs for bills to keep money out of politics, to reform the tax code and take on serious immigration reform, we counter with “NOT ON YOUR NELLY! We’re Broke! We’re Broke! We’re Broke!”
The President creates a financial crime investigation unit, a trade rules enforcement unit and a special unit to prosecute predatory lenders, and we counter with unzipping our pants and asking “Want to see an Elephant?”
In short, countering a hopeful call for hard work on difficult problems with the same old ‘Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt’ rhetoric isn’t working. Three years of looking totally unproductive and out of touch is taking it’s toll. Even Eric Cantor looked like he was wondering if he was on the wrong side. The President sounded very Republican last night. I mean the old party, the one that was all about investment in American business. The one that would have looked at an effective 0% borrowing rate and said “We’ll take all the Money China can give us, build the best infrastructure in the world and then whip their ass.”
However, the new Republican ideal is to sell discount coupons for the gas chamber, and raffle off “line upgrades” so the lucky ones don’t have to wait in the back. We’re coming out of the recession and as the news gets better every day we have three years of obstructionist egg on our faces. It looks very much like we did nothing to help and everything to slow the process down.
The voices that say that are getting louder as well, it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep up a believable “Alternate reality” of indebted doom. Even the Tea party is losing steam. The old anger isn’t there anymore, people just don’t want to hear it, they’re tired of depression and are looking at the hopeful signs. We can point at “Europe” and scream “See, see, this is what will happen to us!” but even the EU is getting it’s act together. Negativity is dying, it was never that good a tool anyway.
The 2012 elections are fast approaching and we have two crappy candidates, that we don’t even like, and no plan except “What ever he says is wrong!” Meanwhile the President looks like a decisive, effective, long range planner. Oh well, think about it this way – We’ll have 5 years to pay off the debts for this failed attempt at a campaign, 5 years to have a good think about what ever the hell it is we’re doing, and at least 4 years good fishing time when they kick half of us out of congress as well.
Copyright Prentiss Gray 2011