Last night President Obama gave yet another magnificent State of the Union Speech to a joint session of the US congress and attended by most of the US supreme court. Much of the nation watched this speech on television, as has become the custom since the days of the G W Bush administration and the 9-11 attack on the World trade Center and the Pentagon. And when one recalls the rhetorical (of lack thereof) approach to speech of George W. Bush, who could not properly pronounce the word “nuclear”, with the oratory gifts of Barack Obama, the lack of oratory symmetry between that republican and this democrat is clear.
Thus, the GOP must have been shaking in their boots over Obama’s speech-giving capabilities last night because they deemed it necessary to respond with no less than THREE republicans. Senator Ted Cruz from Texas criticized Obama for his use of executive orders, even though Obama has issued far less executive orders than GW Bush or Saint Ronnie the Ray-Gun .
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky hemmed and hawed about Obama’s raising the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors and about passing an extension of unemployment insurance that Obama promoted in his speech, repeating his claim that unemployment compensation is bad for the unemployed…You know, like food is bad for starving people.
But the official republican response to Obama’s speech was delivered by republican congresswomen Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state. She countered Obama’s concrete proposals of raising the minimum wage, equal pay for women, reducing oil use in favor of using more natural gas, increased spending for education, universal pre-K, innovative research and infrastructure jobs, immigration reform, etc., with her story of being raised on a farm in Washington, raising farm animals, saving money for college, praying a lot, and then going to college and praying a lot and getting married and praying a lot and having kids and praying a lot.
McMorris Rodgers offered the republican plan for prosperity for America which consisted of a positive attitude and hard work and good morale and praying and….no specifics.
With the mid-term elections a mere 8 months away, republicans are hoping that they can maintain control of the House of Representatives and take control of the US senate from the democrats in November. But this hope comes on the heels of their tea-party-engineered government shutdown and near-US-debt default last October that the GOP got blamed for. Were it not for the disastrous Obamacare website rollout at the same time, most political forecasters would probably be writing the republicans’ obituary now.
It’s true that during the closing moments of 2013 a bipartisan budget deal was reached between democrats and republicans to avoid yet another government shutdown early this year. But the bipartisanship ended there.
The House is, after all, only interested in only three things:
1. Making Obama and the democrats look bad;
2. Making Obamacare look bad; and
3. Helping their Super-PAC campaign contributors make and keep more money.
So last night, realizing that the GOP-controlled members of the House probably wouldn’t budge from their intransigent positions, Obama laid it out:
If he can’t get congress to enact common sense legislation that he can sign into law on these issues, he will unilaterally invoke and sign presidential executive orders. Perhaps that sounds dictatorial to the GOP, but then his predecessor GW Bush signed 197 of them during his two terms as president, and St. Ronnie the Ray Gun signed 256 of them…far more than Obama’s 167.
However, you’d never know it by listening to the SCREAMING of republicans last night as they yelled about Obama ignoring the constitution. But the facts are that there is no intellectual symmetry whatsoever to the number of presidential executive orders signed by democrats vs. republicans as seen above, just as there is no intellectual symmetry whatever to the number outrageous statements and behaviors demonstrated by republicans vs. democrats.
Take, for instance, (caught on camera no less) New York state republican congressman Michael Grimm’s actions against a NY1 news reporter, Michael Scotto, in which Grimm threatened to throw Scotto off a balcony for asking a question about a justice department investigation of Grimm for alleged illegal campaign fundraising.
Obviously, the reporter had the right to ask the question, but the republican congressman thought the reporter didn’t have freedom of the press, any more than some republicans say that women don’t have the right to equal pay, or that wives don’t have the right to say no to their husbands, or that women can’t get pregnant by an act of rape. Democrats don’t run around making these idiot statements.
And finally, how would one explain that in this day and age, the number of republicans who reject the science of evolution in favor of creationism is actually rising, while the number of democrats sending their children to engineering/technology colleges is increasing?
No intellectual symmetry, is how.