Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Evening Joe

     There's MSNBC's Morning Joe. And then there was last night's Evening Joe.
     Let's face it- States of the Union addresses are thinly veiled cockwanding in which the incumbent president pats himself on the back for 60 to 90 minutes, usually with minimal contact with reality. The Vice President and Speaker sit behind the president to provide the warm red backdrop of chagrin. Occasionally, they get up just to prove to the American people that they're not too old to move.
     The Founding Fathers thought so little of the SOTU that they did the 18th century version of phoning it in to Congress. I imagine, in especially bad years, it arrived through a window in Philadelphia's Independence Hall wrapped around a rock. So, because of the limitations of media in those days, the SOTU was never intended to be delivered to the American people.
     Nowadays, this pompous, august tradition is delivered each February and, to the opposition party, it's intended to be an opportunity to make the presidency seem more irrelevant that it already is. It engages in the usual childish behavior- Refusing to stand up to applaud the president, not showing up at all and, in the Age of Marjorie Taylor Greene, to stand dressed like a Chinese spy balloon and scream their heads off like howler monkeys with their nuts caught in a vise.
     So, bottom line, the idea of being the opposition party during the State of the Union address is to neuter the president and to try, however unsuccessfully, to relegate him to the kiddie table during the rebuttal.
     But that's not what happened last night. Instead, the president gave the SOTU for the ages and used the opening the Republicans had given him by calling him a liar when he'd accused them, rightfully, of wanting to phase out Social Security and Medicare.
     Biden basically said, "Oh you don't want to cut it? Then we have a deal."
     Yes, the president of the United States negotiated a deal to keep Social Security and Medicare in place, thereby neutering their big bargaining chip in their suicidal plan to play chicken with the White House over the looming debt ceiling hostage drama. And he did it during a State of the Union Address.
     For a political wonk like me, this is the Ziegfeld Follies, the Oscars and Kennedy Center honors all rolled into one.
     So, essentially, the president put them on notice and reminded the American people that, yes, the Republican Party wants to take away your Social Security, which they've been slavering to do for 85 years.  Because, if you're to listen to Mike Lee, which recently compared Social Security and Medicare to weeds that needed to be torn out by its roots, Rick Scott, who wants it to be sunset every five years and Ron Johnson, who wants to bring it up for a vote every year, yes, the GOP wants to steal your Social Security or put it on the craps tables of Wall Street out of some maniacal desire to phase out one of the many good things about government that actually works for the people.
     They wanted to embarrass the president and instead got called on the carpet before the American people, in the peoples' house, during prime time, with hundreds of millions watching, so they could stumble around blinding looking for something to wipe the egg off. Then, to add insult to injury, Biden then twisted the knife by doing a victory lap in Wisconsin today.
     Folks, most of us wouldn't call the State of the Union high entertainment but, for people like us. we would've gladly forked over $49.99 for a PPV package to see that.


At February 9, 2023 at 3:30 AM, Blogger Stan B. said...

Senile old man gave the smartest speech ever by reminding Everyone why Repubs suck so much- and when they called him on it, shoved it right back in their face. Wish the rest of the Dems would take his cue...


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