You couldn’t blame President Barack Obama if he would have rather had been just about any place that wasn’t Washington last night.
Because this particular Presidential Model reads the newsapers, watches the news, and probably has found all of the NPR stations in the DC market, he walked into his historic first State of the Union address Wednesday night knowing that the political chattering class has been measuring him for his coffin since Scott Brown became the senator from Massachusetts last week.
President Obama also had the displeasure of watching as Democrats on the hill proceeded to do the best Henny Penny imitation I’ve ever seen the day after the Brown victory. Despite continuing to have the largest majority in Congressional history, these fools were running around like the GOP had once again regained the majority instead of just increasing their minority by one.
Even the President’s supporters were writing him off. Heck, I had a bet with one of my friends on Facebook that some Republican was going to yell something at the Prez tonight. I lost $5. Damn Republicans let me down again!
Now don’t get me wrong. The occupant of the nation’s highest office is supposed to be cool under pressure. But I wanted to see President Obama put the Republicans, the Democrats, and the political chattering classes in check.
(For those of you not familiar with that term, to put someone “in check” is to tell them that their nonsense will no longer be tolerated.)
On Wednesday night, he finally decided to.
President Obama walked into the House Chambers and proceeded to call for more funding for education and a forgiveness program that would encourage kids to go into public service in exchange for loan forgiveness, a bill that would help create jobs, a health care bill that would actually reform the system, and banking reform that would stop the folks at Citibank from buying private planes with taxpayer dollars. He even called for an end to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that’s made it hard for gays and lesbians who want to serve their country to do so.
He then proceeded to issue a bipartisan smackdown to some folks who needed it.
First, he smacked up the Supreme Court of voting 5-4 to give corporations the right to adversely influence the political process by throwing as much money as possible at it.
He then told the Democrats to grow a set and stop acting like they no longer had the largest majority in history.
Next, he let the Republicans have it for the grief they’ve been giving him as he tries to clean up the mess their guy, President George W. Bush, left for him last January. He also took ’em to the woodshed for their policy of obstruction for obstruction’s sake. If you want to do that, he said, prepare to show some leadership. He also told them that if they had any better ideas regarding health care reform, bring ’em.
In fact, at one point during the speech I started to wonder when President Obama began channeling the spirit of the late comedian (and Chicago native) Bernie Mac. All that he needed to say was “I ain’t scared of you motherfuckers”, and it would have been official.
But while I’m glad that didn’t happen I was happy to see President Obama stop letting things slide. He needed to let folks have it. Not doing so would have just let the status remain quo. Now the ball’s in the courts of all concerned.
It was the only State of the Union speech I’ve ever sat through that didn’t feel like it took forever. While I’m sure he didn’t mean to, it caused some of the folks that I was watching with on Facebook to laugh occasionally.
That’s because President Obama did something that all of us could relate to.
He cussed out a whole lot of people…and they didn’t even realize it.
If you missed the speech, I have a clip of it at the top of this post.
If you don’t know who Bernie Mac was, here’s a clip of him right here.