I dutifully watched Obama speak last night to Congress. I find such affairs to be tiresome but I thought the president was in fine form. This wasn't the grandiloquent Obama of signature flair, more the patient teacher going through the lesson, but there was flashes of brilliance and his words soared at the end. All the while, his delivery and composure were flawless, this despite having to stare down a seedy crowd of malcontents sitting on their bums and looking constipated.
That would be the Republicans. The best fun in these formal affairs is watching the opposition party. It was fun when the Democrats were the ones sitting looking glum but the rudeness of the Republicans last night was in a class of its own, a low class. As I told Jack Kelly in our PG+ debate at noon, there were times when Obama's words would have got the Lord Almighty to leap from his chair and cheer but the Republicans just played sullenly with their Blackberries.
They seem determined to be a party of snarling jerks made up of the old, the crazy and the just plain ornery and they show every sign of succeeding. As I believe the old, the crazy and the just plain ornery aren't a majority in this great land of ours, I can't imagine this is the path to electoral success but what do I know?
Dana Milbank in the Washington Post said the "insolence by House Republicans stole the show." (He also faulted some juvenile behavior by Democrats). The worst incident was when that GOP clown called the president "a liar," something I never remember happening when George W. Bush was speaking. (So much for "I'll respect your president as much as you respected ours"). I am sure Rep. Joe Wilson from South Carolina is now a folk hero on some right-wing blogs because that is how low we have sunk in this country.
It is strange that the party of family values can't manage the most elementary of them - courtesy. The Republican response was at least polite but it was also totally disingenuous. Rep. Charles Boustany made it out like they stood ready to compromise. But even Little Nellie and Her Dog know they don't. They are going to say no, no and no. Obama will be lucky to get a single GOP vote in the House.
By the way, thank you Little Minx for pointing out that the good doctor Boustany flirted with the nutty Birther movement. Yeah, a guy inclined to think that Obama is not a legitimate president will lead the charge on compromising with him. Do they really think we are that stupid?
I finish this, though, with a criticism of Obama. He should not have said: "I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits." That is completely unbelievable. Heck, I am a strong supporter of health-care reform and I don't believe it.
I do believe he is a natural born American, however, which gives me a leg up on some.