Well, the State of the Union Address is finally over and everyone can get back to work, and that includes the President. I hear no raves, but plenty of sighs of relief. FireDogLake.com, that excellent website of progressive and liberal bloggers, posted a number of reactions to the speech and all of them said much the same thing, “Close, but no cigar.”
One of the FDL bloggers, John Chandley, who writes under the name Scarecrow, summed up his thoughts in his title, “Obama Ignores the State of the Union, Makes Nice Speech.” [Here]
If you ignore virtually every major problem facing America, particularly those posing immediate crises for unemployed families, broken communities and struggling states, and focus only on what a country would normally do in ordinary times, then you’ll find some things to like in the President’s address to Congress. Yeah, we should invest in education, and energy, and infrastructure.
Agreed. And as we wrote the other day, remembering FDR’s 1944 list of economic freedoms for everyone in the country, we would hope that every President would remind us to keep our eyes on the least among us--the least strong, the least affluent, the least physically fit, the youngest and the oldest. The Koch brothers and the Pete Petersons can (and do) take care of themselves. Obama gave only passing reference to the poor and unemployed.
The general atmosphere in Congress during the State of the Union Address seemed friendly and collegial, as it should always be. (The chair left empty for Gabby Giffords was a gentle reminder to everyone to behave.) Even Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R, WI) Republican response that immediately followed the President’s remarks was what one would expect from Mr. Lugubrious.
What was totally unexpected was Michelle Bachman’s response that CNN ran right after Ryan’s remarks. It was also streamed live on the Tea Party Express website. Why CNN ran her response is beyond me. In so doing, the network gave equal time to The Tea Party. I wonder why.
Of course, most of us were still reeling from the speech Bachman delivered over the week-end to Iowans For Tax Relief in which she displayed a shocking ignorance of American history. I could not find a transcript of her remarks, only a video [Here] and this abridged transcript and remarks from TalkingPointsMemo.com. [Here]
Bachmann (R-MN) also noted how slavery was a ’scourge’ on American history, but added that ‘we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States.’
‘And,’ she continued, ‘I think it is high time that we recognize the contribution of our forbearers who worked tirelessly — men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country.’
It’s true — Adams became a vocal opponent of slavery, especially during his time in the House of Representatives. But Adams was not one of the founders, nor did he live to see the Emancipation Proclamation signed in 1863 (he died in 1848).”
Listen to the whole speech, [Here] at your peril. Bachman obviously also does not even know that many of our revered “founding fathers” were slaveowners, men like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Later on the Rachel Maddow show, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D,NY) summed up Michelle Bachman as “clearly not in touch with the mother ship.” [Here]
Just remember this woman would like Obama’s job.
Yes, indeed! It’s going to be an interesting two years until November Election Day 2012.
Fasten your seat belts...