The Christopher Dorner story may be over, but the President’s State of the Union assault on Tea Party barricades is just the start of a long siege.
For over an hour last night he fired off a fusillade of rational proposals to raise the minimum wage, reform immigration, expand education and otherwise invest in the economy, but he will have to take the battle with Congress to the streets.
As polls show even more Americans than those who reelected Obama solidly behind him, the President will have to keep campaigning across the country in coming months to pressure GOP incumbents into action between now and 2014.
Marco Rubio’s lame response underscores their rote resistance. Looking like a sweaty Albert Brooks in “Broadcast News,” the party’s New Hope offers nothing but bromides against big government and the news that he has just finished paying off his student loans.
All this was to be expected, but the highlight of the night was Barack Obama’s impassioned peroration on legislation for gun control.
To an audience including families of victims, he pointed to the parents of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who attended his inauguration and was killed “a mile away from my house” in Chicago a week later:
“Hadiya’s parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote.
“Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote.
“The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence--they deserve a simple vote.
“Our actions will not prevent every senseless act of violence in this country. Indeed, no laws, no initiatives, no administrative acts will perfectly solve all the challenges I’ve outlined tonight. But we were never sent here to be perfect. We were sent here to make what difference we can, to secure this nation, expand opportunity, and uphold our ideals through the hard, often frustrating, but absolutely necessary work of self-government.”
John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell and their minions were there to hear those words, but will their constituents persuade them to act on them?