“We are just students trying to become lawyers, doctors, congressmen like yourself and one day president, so we can make a change to not just the state of South Carolina but also the world,” Obama read. “We are not quitters.”
Five weeks into his first term and President Barack Obama addressed both houses of Congress and the world for a big giant pep-talk and assurance that “everything’s gonna be alright”. I have to admit I was feeling pumped up after listening. I heard the sense of urgency in his voice and the way he almost stumbled over his words, he was so determined to get us to hop on the Hope Train. It was so nice seeing our FLOTUS, Michelle Obama take her seat and to watch Barack proceed down the aisle like the heavyweight champion of the world. Nancy Pelosi was lit up like a Christmas tree and I can imagine some people were basking in the glow of all things #44.
Not everyone was so enthused. One Republican member was busted on camera doing a cross-word puzzle. I can’t wait to have this idiot publicly identified. How disrespectful! Even if you don’t share the policies of your Commander-In-Chief isn’t it protocol to at least pretend to pay attention? I was watching C-Span 2 to avoid all of the political punditry but they interviewed various members afterwards to get their take on the speech.
No surprises with the Republicans focusing on the potential “debt passed along to future children” spiel though they were very careful not to openly attack the President, just the House Democrats and to whine about lack of bi-partisanship blah blah blah. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal gave the official rebuttal but it really had nothing to do with the speech. Even Fox News panned his response – yikes – and people have been making fun of his delivery. I might have had sympathy except the state is losing 430 jobs daily and he claims he’ll refuse the stimulus money to the detriment of his own constituents. If he’s going to be the GOP’s Great Brown Hope they’d better put him back in the oven ’til he’s done! His t-shirt would read: “I’m With Stupid“
I paid close attention to Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters who did stop to offer analysis. They both took the time to discuss agendas for their districts, particularly Lee who went into detail about things she wanted to see transpire. I can’t help but think of Waters’ comments on Real Time With Bill Maher last week. She mused that Attorney General Holder needed to remember his position and how he couldn’t speak plainly in light of it. This was in response to his comments on race.
I thought it was refreshing much in the vein of Rev. Wright, but you know most whites have a hard time hearing about their privilege bluntly, though Holder did include others in his critique. So I suppose that’s why he was sent to the “undisclosed location” instead of another member of the senior staff. That was a total dunce-cap-sitting-in-the-corner move but oh well.
Despite all of our imperfections, the obstructionists and the doubters there are people focused on helping others and achieving. One is 14 year-old student Ty’Sheoma Bethea whose school has deteriorated to slightly better than 3rd world status and had written a letter begging for help.
Some of the agenda laid out is very bold (i.e wanting to cure cancer, jump starting the healthcare initiative and reducing the deficit by half) and will require the participation of all of us to get it passed in some semblance that will help. One caveat to the speech was PBO’s misstep in implying the United States invented the automobile. Nope – that honor goes to France and Germany. We perfected the assembly line – h/t to brownfemipower for catching that and posting it to Twitter. I really liked his call for citizens to accept responsibility for taking advantage of all future opportunities. It’s good advice to follow!