Thursday, January 30, 2014

State of the Union Rebuff

Congress at SOTU:  Answers?  They Don't Even Know the Questions.

by Shawn K. Inlow

So I'm watching the President give his state of the union address.  I wasn't going to watch it, but, there I was and it was on and so I watched it.  The funny thing is that immediately after you watch a speech like that, commentators come on and begin to explain to you what you just saw.  That's well enough, I guess, while you're waiting for the republicans to come on and explain to you what you just saw.

In the Obama years, the republican response has been a bit of an adventure.  This has been a great deal of fun for non-republicans.  I mean, you had Bobby Jindal the one year and then you had the water break moment last year of Marco Rubio.  They had Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels a couple years ago and rather than continue in politics after that he took the cushy job of being president (of Purdue University).  And then there was the rising star that was Virginia's "Governor Ultrasound" (Virginia, apparently, is NOT for lovers anymore.) Bob McDonnell, who the feds were good enough to allow to leave office before they indicted him on corruption charges.

I love this stuff because A) the republicans keep trotting out whatever short list of people of color they can find in hopes of looking like anything but what they are (a party full of rich, old white guys) and B) you're taking someone your party ostensibly has high hopes for and your tossing him out there to follow perhaps the greatest natural orator in presidential history.

Used to Pick Apples

Well the other night, they sent out this nice church lady from Washington state.  She was pretty and nice and had absolutely nothing of substance to say.  And, of course, she had the worst case of cotton mouth on record since I woke up from that woods kegger back in 1978.  God lover her, she kept dry gulping in the middle of every sentence but you just know she wasn't gonna pull a Rubio and dive for the water bottle.  

Though she wasn't a person of color, she was that Stepford Wife of the republican party.  She was a woman and, unless you haven't heard, the republicans are waging a "war on women."  So they trot out Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers to prove how pro-woman they are.

Then the republican rebuttal machine doubled down by rolling out Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen because she's a Cuban Woman.  And she talked in SPANISH.  Republicans love women, you see, and sometimes they let them talk. 

And then it got weirder.  In recent years, it just hasn't been good enough just getting a republican out there to fall on their face after the president hits another clean winner.  Nope.  Not good enough.  Lately, we've been treated to the endless pleasure of the "Tea-Party Response."  Because, you know, it's important we let Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Brothers have THEIR say too.  And boy-howdy do THEY know how to pick 'em!  Michelle Bachman a couple years ago.  (Superstar!!!) and Herman Cain, who culled passages of his presidential stump speech from one of the Pokemon theme songs (no joke).  At least Herman Cain was entertaining.

Senator Mike Lee (Rhymes with "Tea") of Utah took to the interwebs and talked about how the tea-party marched from Boston to Philadelphia over the space of 14 years a couple hundred years ago and wrote the Constitution.  To be fair to Lee,  though, he's probably the only one, President Obama included, who managed to touch the actual third rail of the truth about what's really eating Gilbert Grape.

Needs to Read Steinbeck
"This inequality crisis presents itself in three principal forms," said Lee.  "Immobility among the poor, who are trapped in poverty by big-government programs.  Insecurity in the middle class, where families are struggling just to get by and can't seem to get ahead.  And cronyist privilege at the top, where political and economic insiders twist the immense power of the federal government to profit at the expense of everyone else."

Lee, in The Mountain's view, is wrong about the first of his three assertions.  Anti-poverty programs like food stamps and public assistance don't trap people from rising up the economic ladder:  They prevent people from plummeting down through the cracks and becoming destitute.  The rich should consider these programs as insurance.  Take them away and watch the crime rate soar as more and more people get more and more desperate.  There ARE no jobs out there and taking away someone's SSI or welfare check is not going to create them.  Some of these people need to put down "Atlas Shrugged" and pick up a copy of "The Grapes of Wrath."

But Lee rings true in his second and third assertions.  It IS hard to get ahead anymore and the power structure at the top is there there like a vampire to suck the marrow out of the dry husk of the American dream.  Lee, though, wants you to distrust the government but trust the big money.  The Mountain says you have to dismantle the mechanisms that allow big money to OWN the government.

Ayn Rand
And then came Rand Paul, the half-sensible / half-baked-potato who, let's face it, can't carry his daddy's jock, who trots out on social media to give a rebuttal to the rebuttal to the rebuttal to the state of the union speech.  

Dumb ass starts out invoking the petrified Ghost of Reagan before segueing into a glorification of the story of the virulent anti-gay far right darling, Star Parker.  The upshot:  More money for rich people is good.

Christ, Almighty.  If these chumps can take a whack at it so can I.  The Mountain will post its first-ever (and hopefully last-ever) state of the union address tomorrow.  The Mountain senses a need for clarity.  People are running around shouting arguments at each other that do not address the real problems.  The Mountain is not a candidate and so has nothing to lose or gain.  Maybe you, dear reader, will begin to think about what the serious questions are instead of the superficial political ones being posited by those with ulterior motives.

1 comment:

  1. Must be a masochist to put yourself through that :) You may be a bit too sharp on Lee, I'm not positive on his point but it didn't say we take away help. He may be referring to some programs as they are currently constructed but he doesn't give any ways to improve the programs. It is clear that current programs mainly deal with the effects of poverty while doing little to help people rise from it. Figure out to help people rise from poverty and you have a fame in your future.


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