This just in from Dana Milbank, National Chairperson, Let's Put Gravitas Back Into Politics Foundation.
President Obama gave one of the most impassioned speeches of his presidency when he addressed a joint session of Congress Thursday night. Too bad so many in the audience thought it was a big, fat joke.
“You should pass this jobs plan right away!” Obama exhorted. Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) chuckled.
Why shouldn't those two chuckle at Obama's Big Plans, three years late? He's done more for the Republican agenda than they ever have.
That said--but not for the last time--I wish everyone would sit there respectfully, but whaddya gonna do? Look at what you got to work with.
Lindsey Fucking Graham, Strom Thurmond Chair of Applied Antebellum Studies, Washington, D.C., has been in the United States Congress for fifteen years. What did the employment picture look like when he took office, compared to now? How 'bout the Horrible Baby-Killing Deficit? How much of the current Federal deficit is directly traceable to things Lindsey Fucking Graham voted for? And his party stand for? What's he got to chuckle about except how deeply the rubes are hooked, and how long a Ponzi scheme can go on without anyone catching on or saying something? Of Bob "Bob" Corker, the most that should be said is he holds the Bill Frist Chair for Tennessee (Motto: The Thinking Man's Confederacy!) and aspires some day to fill it.
And I will be saying the same thing thirty-six months from now, about Presidential Addresses and Bob Corker, when one of the bolder Democrats has summoned the courage to cough pointedly at one of President Palin's howlers.
You wanna show disrespect, boycott. Maybe that's just me. If we wanna have Question Time, let's be elitist, just for the sake of viewing an imaginary future, one where we have both British-style rough-and-tumble and a still-functioning government. Okay, so they're both farfetched. Our observation might sound something ike this: There is a distinction between a Shakespearean sonnet and the rude scribblings on a mens' room stall. Not that the latter is entirely without charms; the point is that that distinction is flatly lost on a sizable number of Americans, and an even higher percentage of their elected officials.
Maybe the President should announce a speech every week, and invite the audience to heckle him.
Jobs? It's the Democratic party that sold out the middle class, the Working Man, and that happened more than four years ago. Barack Obama standing there as the deal spared the Financiers both money and prison time was just an acknowledgement of the fact. Of course, there are still more friends of the Lesser Classes among Democrats than their opponents, but only since those opponents have been stuck on Zero since the 1880s, Progressive Era excepted.
I don't know what percentage of the blame to belongs to the Democrats; the Bush administration was such a disaster that disaster was guaranteed to follow in its wake, but what did The Historical Democrats do about it? This is the Historical Congress of Suckitude; what are they doing about it now? Fuck Congress in perpetuity. The President runs the country, and has been since whenever you wanna start counting. Barack Obama is aware of this, since he has invoked emperorhood in order to continue covert surveillance on every American with an internet connection, bail out Wall Street scammers, and justify whatever th' fuck we spend on the Defense, Psychic Investigations, and Really Cool Robots Department, because we let the paranoiacs take over in 1946.
Candidate and President Presumptive Barack Obama professed his admiration for the way "Ronald Reagan brought people together even though and let me clarify my remarks from yesterday I didn't agree with his policies." It perhaps--perhaps!--explains his failure to grasp that the appropriate model was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, since his gazed was fixed 180º opposite.
I do not understand why Barack Obama did not consciously evoke FDR ("The last American President to actually win a war!") and the 100 Days. Or Martin Luther King, for that matter. The minute those Teabagger racist signs went up he should have given a ninety-minute teevee lecture on African-American history. (Granted, yet again, that I also believe he should have let at least one "motherfucker" slip out, early. As in, for example, "that Motherfuckin' Dick Cheney." I am not so delusional as to imagine that I'll be taken seriously.)
Compromise is a joke, but Compromise has been a joke for a long time. Thanks to the work of Restoration nobility, 18th century surveyors and political philosophers, and an insatiable and realizable lust for Indian lands that followed close behind, we have a semi-permanent ruling coalition of Dixiecrats with, frankly, less genetic variability than is ordinarily seen in a population sample that size, and representatives of a vast inland area in which there are no people. Or in which what people there are a disproportionately rewarded with government contracts, land, oil and mineral leases, water, and probably free premium cable.
Obama should'a come out swinging--from December, 2008, and he should have dared the Congressional Republicans, on the ropes but refusing to go down, to call Martin Luther King a Socialist. In public. In the spirit of Compromise, he could have pointed out that what he was asking was a helluva lot milder than what they called him when he was alive. In public.
How did this happen? He missed the fact that people were looking at him as some sort of Rescuer, a handsome and valiant and yes, half-African First Responder to the collapse of the White House? Yeah, he got stuck, economically, in the shorts, with no sweet talk first. Yeah, the President can't exactly go on teevee and announce "We're fucked" ten minutes after he takes office, and there are probably other good reasons he couldn't go on and say, "Our fucking money was stolen, and I'm gonna get it back." Should'a done it anyway. Should'a taken the majority of the American people with him, instead of going out of his way to meet with those who weren't ever gonna like him. Instead he asked the Republicans what he should do. It's not like I'm the only person who thought this was a bad idea. How does the man know the Shining Beacon That Was Ronald Wilson "Dutch" Reagan, and not the bios of James Earl Carter or William Jefferson "First Black President" Clinton?
And, no, I think that Barack Obama did exactly what he intended to do, though probably not as well as he wished. The only connection Centrist Democrats have to the old Democratic party involves the contributions of organized labor. Jimmy Carter--he was elected as a "moderate Democrat", remember--could have done something about it--like run a better PR operation--but he couldn't have seen the scope of the Reagan Revolution of 1981-1985. Bill Clinton could have done something about it, but he was one of the Original Centrist Weasels (Motto: Just Get Elected), and he wasn't prepared for the organized vehemence of the Great Clinton Hunt. But for godsakes, Barack Hussein "One of These Presidents Is Not Like the Others" Obama had to see it comin'.