Obama's SOTU Riles Rightbloggers Less Than Jokes About Thirsty Marco Rubio
But when rising GOP star Marco Rubio had a comical moment in his official Republican response, and people had the temerity to laugh at it, rightbloggers sped past partisan bickering and straight into persecution mania.
Pre-speech, the American Spectator gave the floor to several eminent conservatives for prebuttal. One Mark Meckler of Tea Party Patriots compared Washington to the Capital City of The Hunger Games, a trope that despite the flogging of top rightbloggers has yet to make the big time. While ordinary Americans "are in the most difficult economic times since the Great Depression," said Meckler, D.C. residents are rolling in clover: "Lamborghini USA has put its headquarters in D.C. The construction cranes are everywhere. The restaurants are full, despite outrageously high prices." This sounds like class warfare to us; has anyone asked Paul Ryan to comment?
The other contributors were even angrier. "Tonight, if I even remember to turn on my television, my eyes will be on Samuel Alito, the most principled and civilized high court justice," sulked the Spectator's own Matthew Walther. "I don't want to watch Barack Obama give a SOTU address and I don't even want to think about Obama giving such a speech," cried his colleague Quin Hillyer, sticking his fingers in his ears. "He says the same things over and over, in the same hectoring, holier-than-thou tone of voice..."
While Hillyer's mummy was giving him a cookie, fellow writer Aaron Goldstein demanded the GOP Congressmen "walk out on Obama... Republicans would be excoriated in all the usual circles. The GOP would be accused of being divisive, disrespectful, eroding civility, and, no doubt, racism. But Republicans are accused of these things every day of the week and twice on Sunday. How will it be any different if they don't walk out on Obama?"
When Goldstein's readers peeped through the fingers they had no doubt clapped over their eyes at that point, they saw him try to explain "why this gesture will be advantageous to the GOP. First and foremost, it would be a sign of unity amongst Republicans. It's no secret there are hard feelings amongst GOP since Obama's re-election victory in November. Walking out on the SOTU address would demonstrate a resolve not only against Obama's agenda but against his imperial manner." True, this approach didn't work for the People's Temple or Heaven's Gate, but third time's the charm.
TV libertarian John Stossel made up a speech he wished Obama would give, in which the President admitted his own anti-poverty programs "perpetuate poverty by making Americans dependent," denounced Lyndon Johnson, and announced he would cut the budget in half. Conservatives may have finally found their Aaron Sorkin.
At Lew Rockwell's blog, Michael S. Rozeff warmed up the crowd by explaining what the State of the Union really is: "a ritual designed to reinforce the aggregation of citizens into the mass that supports the State... The State of the Union Address is one more tool by which it engages susceptible members of the public and lures them into playing its game on its terms. The goal is to reinforce consent to the State via togetherness and unity in a common process of striving. It is to make people forget the pain, travail, death, taxes and controls imposed by the State." Our Founding Fathers were some crafty bastards.
After the speech, some of the brethren followed the lead of Quin Hillyer. "BOORING" headlined the Daily Caller, which devoted half its coverage to Marco Rubio's GOP response and Rand Paul's Tea Party response. "Don't know how long I can bear to listen to this chump," Patterico christened his open thread before vanishing.
Over at National Review, live-rightbloggers grumbled throughout the speech. "Predictable, Forgettable," headlined James C. Capretta, who hoped Obama's unconscionable call for "even higher taxes on job creators and entrepreneurs... will be long forgotten in a few short weeks." Douglas Holtz-Eakin said Obama had a "finger-pointing style that makes one wonder why the Congress even invites him to speak."
Jonah Goldberg offered his usual level of analysis. He announced he had been attacked for speaking out against "the rote insistence that Jill Biden be referred to 'Doctor Jill Biden,'" though he failed to tell us who had thus rotely insisted. "Jill Biden isn't a 'real' doctor," Goldberg explained. "She holds a doctorate in education." Goldberg then denounced people who insisted on being called Doctor as well as "people who insist on calling other people 'Doctor,'" whom he claimed "do so for similar reasons -- out of an over-compensating need to show respect."
Accuracy in Media (AIM) gave a patient, point-by-point rebuttal. For example, they said, "Obama headlined climate change and lecture the audience and the nation on the importance of heeding scientists' warnings on this issue," but "failed to mention that science is science, whose nature is to create hypotheses and theories and then disprove them over time," which surely would have turned the crowd against him. "Also," AIM added, "there is not a widespread consensus on the issue as he suggested in his address," despite the propaganda assaults of climate scientists.
Honestly, we're not sure whether this is from this year or last year, but what difference does it make?
Radio host David Hodges also did a detailed analysis, first setting the tone by announcing that "either my fellow countrymen are ignorant beyond belief, or President Obama is the greatest liar to ever occupy the White House, or both, but I could hardly contain myself as I listened to the fiction coming out of the President's mouth at last night's State of the Union Address."
To Obama's "already, the Affordable Care Act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs. The reforms I'm proposing go even further," Hodges replied, "I have already documented how the death panels are real... I cannot imagine anything worse that what you have brought to the American people unless, of course, we are looking at a mandatory termination age in which all people that reach a certain age will be euthanized similar to the 1970′s movie Logan's Run." To Obama's claim that "today, our scientists are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to Alzheimer's; developing drugs to regenerate damaged organs..." Hodges retorted, "Why do you insist on jet fuel additives (i.e. fluoride) be in our water?" etc.
One real hair-raiser for rightbloggers was Obama's proposed raising of the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour, which would lift the annual income of low-end workers to a princely $18,000. "The largest percentage of minimum wage earners have 'less than a high school' education," reported Warren Beatty at American Thinker. "...The last time I checked, public schooling included high school. And public schooling did/does not directly cost (except for 'cool' clothes) those being educated. Dropping out of school is a conscious choice. Yet we consumers are expected to pay higher prices to support what is a bad decision. Some economists suggest that increasing the minimum wages may actually encourage some students to drop out of high school." So Obama was not only costing businessmen money, he was also contributing to juvenile delinquency.
"There are people who would like to work for $4 an hour," said Ron Ross at the American Spectator, "and there are employers who would like to hire them for that wage. However, for them to enter into such a transaction is a criminal act. Some far-away clueless politician has arbitrarily decided that $4 an hour is not fair and not enough to live on." Well, it's good to see Republicans already working on their 2016 campaign pitch.
Adam Carolla thought the higher minimum wage rewarded bad behavior, reported the Daily Caller. "Your jobs where you're paid just a little bit are jobs you're supposed to have in high school and you're supposed to move through," they quoted the comedian. "And you certainly aren't supposed to have two fucking kids when you're making Minimum Wage. It's not responsible; it's not responsible to the kids you're trying to raise; and it's not responsible to the community they live in because you're not -- you're not paying your fair share... So you want to talk about fair share? Stop shitting out kids when you can't afford kids." Perhaps this signals a Republican shift on free contraceptive coverage.
All this is mere partisan bitchery, to be expected after any political event. But knowing the brethren as we do, we expected some grace note would be added to their froth, and sure enough an opportunity arose: People laughing at Marco Rubio's lunge for a bottle of water during his SOTU response.