Wednesday, January 29, 2014

SOTU: Super Bowl with No Game

Perhaps the sharpest commentary was a repeated cutaway to John McCain smirking as the President went through a laundry list of ways to improve the State of the Union, mostly by executive action, inviting the GOP to join the game with him. But with John Boehner visibly reacting only to the reference to himself as the “son of a barkeep” who attained high office, the Republicans refused to suit up.

It was like the Super Bowl, with one team staying off the field, while the other raced up and down the field, eating up yardage while nobody scored.

McCain may have a point. With the President ending two Middle East wars and trying to avoid new ones, what is there for those like him to get excited about? They will have to make do with rehashes of Benghazi.

The lobotomized atmosphere continued into the postgame with the GOP trotting out a tranquilized Sarah Palin lookalike, complete with her own Downs Syndrome child, but no zingers, offering instead a sweetly reasonable content-free alternative to the President’s vision, consisting mostly of a rehash of her life story from humble beginnings and “offering a prayer” to God three times in her last sentence.

Barack Obama, for all his eloquent proposals that make sense, will in his last two years continue to play a game against a team that stays on the sidelines sniping and waiting for time to run out so they can win the next two elections by blaming Democrats for not scoring big.

Even if he achieves some of his goals laid out last night in lame-duck time, Obama’s legacy is already engraved in stone as a President who couldn’t get the big things done and had to settle for symbolically small and/or tainted accomplishments like Obamacare in a time that called for FDR-like transformation.

Perhaps the most pointed commentary on all this was the final standing, roaring tribute to Sgt. Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger nearly killed by a massive roadside bomb in Afghanistan who was found in a canal, face down, underwater, shrapnel in his brain.

Both sides of Congress ended the SOTU with a standing ovation for this young man in the gallery, his body wrecked in the service of his country, in a war that the President says is ending but, in the fine print, will go on.

Is the maiming of our best young people all that politicians can agree on in a time of urgency for the nation?

Cory Remsburg’s heart is still alive and beating, but what about the dead hands of Tea Party naysyayers as they applaud him but obstruct every value that he was defending?

In the Super Bowl Sunday, somebody will win. In last night’s Washington, everybody lost.

1 comment:

Shared Humanity said...

We have been losing for decades and neither party will prove up to the challenge of addressing the problems facing humanity. I am a Progressive and will continue to work to get elected fellow Progressives. But while I have campaigned for a candidate for every election cycle of the past 30 years, I feel like we are only trying to slow the long slide towards a disaster of our own making.