January 28th, 2010

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State of the Union Reaction

I'll start with what has become my annual frustration with the fact that what the Constitution intended as a serious duty of the President to check back with Congress now and again and keep them informed has become dueling press ops. This year reached a new low by the GOP "response" (you need a response to the State of the Union?)being staged as the alternate reality version where McDonnel got elected President instead of just governor of Virginia (although from the news coverage at the time I think they can be forgiven for the confusion).

Obama: Reminds me of Robert Heinlien in that even when it is total crap it is so well written I generally keep reading just for the mechanics. Since the content got put out well advance, the only questions were style and emphasis. I thought calling out the Supremes for a little mass glaring was cute. It also highlights that Ginsburg might keel over at an moment. Given that Stevens is also likely to retire, perhaps our next quest for a Supreme Court justice will focus a shade less on Roe v. Wade and more on Citizens United.

I will be glad to see real commitment to eliminating DADT. And no, I really do not want to hear whining about how it took him so long to notice and how its only because in an election year the Ds need gays to drop money as if these were Stonewall t-shirts on Pride Day, etc. IF YOU GET WHAT YOU WANT, YOU SHOULD NOT GIVE A CRAP. Further, if he is pledging, WORK WITH HIM AND HOLD HIM ACCOUNTABLE IF HE DOESN'T FOLLOW THROUGH. Yes, it's just about politics. And you really mean what you say during a hook up? As long as you get a happy ending, have the grace to pretend to it was fun and don't try to get his phone number.

McDonnel: Much smarter. I find the "pretend state of the Union" set stocked with both black members of the VA GOP and adoring crowds a bit absurd, but I am not the target audience. For a nation getting its first exposure, it looked a heck of a lot better than "little governor boy reading talking points" from last year. Tone was also much smoother. Yes, the words were still the same, but they blended better -- especially for people who are not passionately intense about the process and don't show up thinking "all Republicans are lying scum!!! I hate them!!! Thieff!!! Baggins, we hates them forever! Narf!"

And I can tell references to my children's pop culture stuff is the new "everyman" currency. Just because Scott Brown did it does not mean you have to do it. This is gonna get old real fast.