Wednesday, February 13, 2013

STATE OF THE DISUNION

If you watched President Obama's State of the Union address last night you may have been as struck as I was by the stunningly stupid, I can't think of any other word for it, response from most Republicans.

It has become a tradition at these events for the each party in the chamber to stand and applaud when the president says anything they might interpret as supporting one of their positions or causes. Both parties do it, and the spirit in the room has usually been, at least in my lifetime, collegial. I mean literally it feels like college kids playing at being adults, with a certain amount of good humor and no, or at least very little, evil intent.

That changed once Obama was elected. We had the Republican who shouted "liar," and similar incidents showing the deep level of animosity some Republicans have for our president. But last night, it seemed to me that anyone outside the USA watching would have to conclude that the Republicans in the House and Senate are simply too "stupid" to understand their own president's words, or so malevolent they don't care how their actions are interpreted by anyone outside the "stupidity" of their core constituency.

Even if you didn't hear the speech you may have heard of the ending, which was more emotional and dramatic than any State of the Union speech I've ever seen, and I've watched pretty much every one since I was a boy sitting on the couch with my father, the Democratic Party Chairman for our town, as we watched the old black and white TV. It was a simple plea—a weak one in retrospect in the eyes of many who want some serious new gun regulations—for a vote on new gun regulations like background checks for all gun sales.

As the president pointed out the survivors of gun violence in the audience, he repeatedly and simply asked for a vote on new gun regulations, not even a vote FOR them, just a vote. As the audience rose to applaud that request and to applaud the victims in the audiences, John Boner and his party members sat in their seats, looking disgruntled, not moving their hands for one clap, as though they were saying, and they were, they despised the idea of going against the NRA so much they wouldn't even consider voting AGAINST new gun regulations, just in case someone might think they would ever even consider or talk about gun regulation in any way.

They did that on numerous issues, including fixing our infrastructure. When once again (he's done this before in this tenure) President Obama pointed out that 7,000 (or is it 70,000) bridges in our country need repairs, and even though he couched his request with how it could be paid for without raising the deficit and how corporations and businesses are making it clear if we had a better infrastructure in the USA, like say they do in European countries and many even so called "developing" countries, they would bring more jobs home, despite all that, the Republicans sat on their hands and looked glum and angry at even the suggestion of fixing anything in this country. It would be almost too weird if it wasn't just the same old politics of "no" in the face of their Tea Party and other rightwing groupthink primary voters and corporate and otherwise wealthy donors and lobbyists. But it came across as just plain sourpuss stubborn stupidity.

How incredibly disappointing is it that we can't dislodge this kind of stupidity from, if not the entire Congress, at least enough to make them an impotent minority, which they would be in any parliamentary form of government, because those who actually vote for these women and men are a minority in the overall population. (One of the most disappointingly memorable images was a glum-faced angry Republican Congresswoman sitting on her hands while the Democrats cheered Obama's call for the House to pass the equal pay for women law. It was a clear statement from this woman that as a woman she didn't want equal pay for other women like she receives in the House!)

16 comments:

Penelope Milford said...

Michael, your insightful comments got me thinking about the true nature of what appears "stupid". I looked it up in my Webster's International Dictionary (2nd Ed) and found it derived from
"stupor 1. Great diminution or suspension of sensibility; suppression of sense or feeling; lethargy."
Sounds to me like the symptoms of a disease with which we are all too familiar. Thanks for your interesting take on this.

Anonymous said...

He won the election so, why is now campaigning in North Carolina ? The work that he should be doing is in D.C. not in North Carolina ....

and for your information I didn't and will NEVER vote for a Repub.

Lally said...

The only way Obama can get some of these policies passed is if enough pressure is put on members of Congress to, for instance, go against the NRA etc. and that is why he has to 'campaign" around the country to stir up support for his program. Even some Dems would like to see the gun regulations wait until after the 2014 elections so they can use the lack of new regulations against their Republican adversaries. etc.

tpw said...

But they're not really stupid. I mean, they're no geniuses, that's for sure. They just simply work for who pays them (and who will reward them much more abundantly when they leave Congress for a lucrative pay-off job), not for voters and ordinary citizens. If we got corporate & special interest money out of political campaigns & put an end to the legalized bribery of legislators getting high-paying jobs with the corporations they favored in their law-making activities, they'd be clapping along with everyone else.

Lally said...

good point tp

Anonymous said...

sure costs us voters Big Bucks per each of these presidential "campaign" trips.. way way out of proportional "influence" we have on our particular
representatives.

meanwhile, while our Democratic president is out of town things are getting passed through those Repb controlled committees ( with plenty of "pork" attachments to satisfy all the participants.
our system is like every other system of government in the world : corrupt to the bone

we're a culture of Thieves, Liars, and (for want of a better noun) Rapists ... those who are not
are Naive Sheep.

Lally said...

Uh, no, I'd say we're a culture, in part, of people who hide behind "anonymous" and other pseudonyms to generalize so simplistically that everyone, including anonymous, is divided into four categories, all of them repugnant to many of us who do not fit into any of those categories, and if we do, rarely. So on the lie meter, anonymous is getting up there and will soon join the stalker in the deleted column. Opinions, fine, facts better, but lies, there's enough out there already, no adding more here please.

JIm said...
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Robert G. Zuckerman said...
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Robert G. Zuckerman said...

The world is changing and the hypocrits, teapocrits and doomspawners are losing traction and influence. Goodness is reclaiming the world. Guns are already over, it's just time before they physically disappear. Education, spiritual enrichment and interfaith/interracial/human/living acceptance are gaining ground and strength. There is zero room and zero tolerance for guns, lies, hypicriscy. The end of guns, fossil fuel and meat are close at hand.

harryn said...

What is sadder still, is that the congressional majority represents an even larger base of 'stupid' people and corporate manipulators that are desperately clinging to their guns, bibles, evolution theories, fear of marauding hoards, and disregard for climate change.
I remember the black and white TV sets that radiated hope in those presidential addresses - how the family would hang on every word and talk about it for days after - and I recall the respectability of the chamber - and how my parents explained that they were probably the most important people in our country because they shape our destiny. Unfortunately, many of them still have the capacity to do so.
I recognize the shift of consciousness that R.Z. refers to but am saddened again by the fact that President Obama's brilliance is being eclipsed by the ignorance spawned by this century's Republican party - a pathetic, self-interested, fear mongering fraternity.

Tradebum said...

Who's the Anonymous pussy? Hummm must be a pubby sitting on his ass hoping no one will notice. From a line from Graham Greenes The Quiet American: "sooner or later you have to take a stand." So come out of the closet Anonymous.

Tradebum said...

PS
Michael, this post made me laugh so hard. Sourpuss'. LOL. God forbid they should do something for all Americans. Maybe things will change now that they've disowned Karl Rove.

JIm said...
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JIm said...
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JIm said...
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