Digression!! (If anyone gets that reference, they get 5 bonus points should they ever find themselves in my American Literature class.) So I'm way off topic today and delving into the world of politics. My second genre in my MFA program was political speech writing, so I know of which I speak. I felt like today I would tell you exactly why Barack Obama is a genius.
Four words: State. Of. The. Union. First off, the "prom date" seating arrangement, keeping Republicans and Democrats mixed instead of sitting in their typical partisan arrangement, went very well. I think I might ask my students on the first day which party they identify with and then make a seating chart to force them to sit next to those they disagree with.
Sure, the symbolism was great, along with the purple ties by all three men filling our widescreen, HD, plasma televisions, but the practical results were more impressive. While the Repubs, of course, weren't impressed with the rhetoric in their post speech reaction, and some Dems met it with a luke warm reception, it was the undecided, moderate voters that Obama was looking to capture with this speech anyway. And that he did.
For undecided moderates watching at home, they were forced by Obama to make up their own minds on his ideas. In past speeches, a Republican leaning moderate, undecided voter could take his or her cues from the crowd. Which of Obama's ideas did I like? The ones where the right side of the isle stood and clapped. Which scared me? The ones that got liberal Democrats frothing at the mouth. The crowd could easily influence the opinion of the viewer at home.
With this seating arrangement, NONE of the lines came across as upsetting to the Republicans because we didn't know where or who they were. Every single idea he put forth seemed like it got applause from everyone because the applause came from all around the chamber. Viewers at home had to get the feeling the crowd loved his ideas; therefore, they should love them, too. Brilliant.
The other result was our elected leaders, men of conviction, intellect, and principles, didn't even know which ideas THEY were supposed to like. Never before have we seen our leaders exposed as such puppets before. No, they were a puppet show BEING PUT ON by lemmings. Here and there, you'd hear this Congressman or that Senator starting to clap on his or her own...and then awkwardly...silence. They were more confused than the teachers at graduation. Maybe they should have invited THEM to the rehearsals. Just sayin.'
Obama praised the hard work and dedication that led to Joe Biden, the scrapper from Scranton, and Boner, the whatever from where ever, getting the privilege of staring at Obama's bootie all night long struggling to see the special guests in the crowd through the President's ears. I think Boner almost cried. Not that making him cry is very difficult these days. He delivered lines about business that would have made Ronald Reagan cry, too. He sounded like a Democratic Republican. Let's cut every program we can possibly afford to cut, as long as they're not really important. Let's do this, but not that. Constantly placing himself right in the center of the isle on a night where isles finally didn't matter.
For one speech we forgot about all the divisions, and really did concentrate on what brings us together. Obama finally made good on the promise of not red states, not blue states, but THE UNITED STATES. Sure, this might have rubbed some the wrong way. Pelosi probably downed a few extra martinis afterward, and once Boner touched up his mascara in the bathroom, he probably went right back to wanting Obama's head of a stick. But what the American people saw and heard during that snippet of TV time was just what it was starving for--an end to the BS fighting and a look at what matters to all of us, bringing American back to the forefront of innovation, making us once again the center of the Universe. Together.
Then, it was over, and the Republican response was everything it shouldn't have been. Instead of riding the wave of bipartisan cooperation, instead of building off the hope, optimism, and forward vision of the President, they turned back to doom and gloom. It was 2008 all over again. Obama: YES WE CAN. Republicans: NO WE CAN'T. And in the tradition of Republicans underestimating the intelligence of the American people, they chose some sniveling little whiny bitch boy to annoyingly condescend to a camera, basically telling us Obama is going to bring on Armegeddon, and our kids are going to be living in a desolate wasteland where recycling their own urine is their only option for drinking water. (Enter Kevin Costner)
See, after Obama clocked Grandpa "Green Jell-0" McCain in the 2008 election, they named that idiot Michael Steele head of the RNC. See, "America's African-American community will automatically switch over to the conservative side because we named a black man our leader. That will show Obama." Their intended message--we are diverse, too! Their actual message--we believe African-Americans only voted for Obama because he was black, and they would totally dig us if we were black, too! Guess what, Americans vote based on policy and their beliefs, not color.
So, there's Obama being all youthful with his Just for Men suave hair and his basketball fit abs. "Let's just find a really young guy to put up there to compete. Then, surely all young people will vote for us!" Not gonna lie, that's, like, totally condescending. Just sayin.' You might as well run subtitles of the speech across the bottom of the screen with "hahahahaha" or "LOL" after each major point. The guy was a total wiener. Obama has more cool in his left fist bump than that punk has in his whole erector set. I felt like telling him to go back to his RPGs and leave us alone. I don't want a lecture from some guy that speaks fluent Tolkien Elfish or whatever the hell they call it. Way not cool.
And when young voters had just seen a room full of adults cheering and crying over a President being all presidential, casting himself in the light of Kennedy (there was a Sputnik sighting over the White House later that evening), and even getting his freakin' autograph afterward, do they want this loser whining about how his kids are going to inherit death and pain. I mean, they're all convinced 2012 is the end anyway. Can't we just give them SOME hope there will be a class of 2013? Geesh. It was a bad move and made Obama look even more brilliant.
So, in the final tally, Obama just won the 2012 election about 70-30 over anyone who runs against him. Game. Set. Match. Sure some Dems are going to think he should of pushed more liberal ideals, but they won't vote Republican anyway. It's about the moderates. The undecideds. And they want unity and jobs for crying out loud, and Obama has the long-term, big-picture ideas that will get all of that done. I guess we won't have a President declaring "I can see Virginia from my house" any time soon.
Looking for proof that even the Republicans agree he won big the other night? Arizona conservatives are actually trying to pass a bill that would force "all" candidates to present PROOF they were born on American soil before allowing them to run, questioning the legitimacy of our Executive Branch of government in wartime. How patriotic. They're getting desperate again!
In memory of Kieth's Countdown...."Good night, and good luck."