Thursday, January 28, 2010

State of the Union

Those of you who don't live in a cave will know that Obama gave his State of the Union address yesterday, which means that the Republicans and others of the right-leaning persuasion should be spending today going over all the things in the speech that could even remotely be construed to make Obama look bad. Given that Obama covered a lot of different topics in the address, they've got a lot of material to work with, but so far they seem to be focusing on a few select topics:
There's also a little fact-check that they ganked from the AP. A couple of the items on that list are legitimate causes for concern - specifically, the hiring of lobbyists and the level of openness that doesn't live up to what he promised during his campaign. Everything else on the list borders on nitpicking - "The stimulus didn't help that much! We didn't catch that many terrorists!" - and apparently Obama is supposed to magically make insurance companies, Congress, and Russia do everything he asks. Uh-huh.

Equally telling is the stuff they haven't reacted to. Tax cuts, offshore drilling, reduced government spending - I guess all those things are only good if a Republican president proposes them. Nor are they paying much attention to his statement on healthcare and reducing student loan debt, or any of those other things he mentioned that would help out lots of people in a lot of ways. No, they're talking about stuff he mentioned only briefly - those things are important, yes, but they weren't the big points.

I think there's a reason for this. The Republicans in Congress are not going after the actual substance of Obama's speech, or openly and straightforwardly disagreeing with him, because frankly that would make them look like assholes. No Congressperson who actually wants to get reelected is going to say that there's no need for healthcare reform, or that it's okay that people are going into massive debt to pay for college, or that the bottom 95% doesn't need a tax break. They certainly don't want to have to explain why they'd be against punishing the banks with a fee or doing something about the Citizens United v. FEC ruling - if they did then people might figure out that their love for Jesus, fetuses, and Joe Six-Pack are collectively outweighed by their love of corporations and money. Giving into their instinctive disapproval would also expose them as hypocrites - do they really believe that offshore drilling, reduced government spending, and tax breaks are only good ideas when a Republican president is proposing them?

So they've got to take some time to make shit up - instead of saying we don't need healthcare reform because the system works for them, they gave us a bunch of crap about facism and death panels. And for the moment, we're only going to get their views on the issues that they've already got canned responses to - Obama's soft on terrorism, he's a liar because he didn't get everything done in his first year, and the gays will destroy the military. Once they've had time to make up some more shit we'll get to hear all about why the taxes breaks that they used to love so much are actually going to destroy America.