It’s a sad day when the most regal person on stage at the State of the Union is Nancy Pelosi, but that’s exactly what happened last night. And despite the media accolades, the fact that Barack Hussein Obama’s first entrance into the US House of Representatives had all the pomp and circumstance of Hugo Chavez at the racetrack was as clear as day.
Most of it was Obama’s own fault. Yes, whoever decided to divide up the announcement by the Sergeant-at-Arms of his arrival to the House with a split introduction that contained ten seconds of pause in between did no favor to the Office of the Presidency. But far more pitiful was the fact that a dreamy, wistful and arrogant Obama with his head held up in the air and his eyes seemingly gazing at the stars was so self involved that he forgot to allow the Speaker of the House to introduce him.
The announcement by the Sergeant-at-Arms, which last night seemed like a sad joke, (leaving us to wonder why the same genius who split the announcement between two people didn’t go one step further and divide each of the eight words “Madame Speaker, the President of the United States” among the Sergeant-at-Arms and seven dwarfs for theatrical effect) and the Speaker’s announcement are usually the most regal part of the presidential address to Congress. But instead of allowing for the introduction to take place, Barack Obama was so enthralled with his own self that he rose to the podium, yelled “thank you” to the crowd, stretched out his hands to the masses and looked every bit like the two bit thug dictator that many feel he aspires to be. When he finally started with “Madame Speaker,” Pelosi had to interrupt him and hastily introduced him with the most nervously uttered few words ever to emanate from that podium.
This set the tone for the rest of the speech. Joe, who apparently “no one messes with” was asleep, or close to sleep, for most of the speech. Pelosi, probably still shocked by the debacle at the onset, seemed to be perusing the Complete Works of Charles Dickens. Either that or Beach House Monthly; take your pick.
The media, however, would have you believe otherwise. Charlie Gibson was not content with Obama alone being popular, he claimed that the stimulus bill was popular too. Even George Stephanopoulos, who moments earlier had exaggerated Obama’s popularity (perhaps unwittingly, using last week’s figures), seemed taken aback by the level of Gibson’s pandering. They were worse than the guy at MSNBC who almost started cursing on air at the commencement of the Republican response. At least the audience knew where he stood. Gibson’s disdainful inflection before the speech, that there would be a Republican response, was more subtle.
To the media Barack Obama is intelligent and inspiring. So inspiring that he managed to descend from Air Force One without missing a step, after almost banging his head upon exit from the aircraft. So intelligent that he tried to enter the Oval Office from a window that he mistook for a door. And so regal that he needed to be interrupted by the Speaker of the House at the onset of his first speech to Congress. Yet all of that goes unreported, much like his assertion on the campaign trail that this nation is comprised of 57 states or that kids with breathing problems need breathalyzers (Republicans prefer giving them ventilators - Obama self corrected himself on that one).
The media may not want to cover any of this, but to the American people, a picture is emerging. Namely, that the only thing historic about this administration is that the president has an IQ score under 70, or as Barack Obama might say “the age that children begin to collect Social Security.”
The Invisible Senator Gregg and Other (Disappearing) Stories
Has anyone noticed that the man least mentioned by the media in the last few weeks was Senator Judd Gregg? The winner of a 5th grade mousetrap car contest in Concord, New Hampshire made more headlines than did the Senator-Commerce Secretary-Senator.
While scientists may well be close to inventing a cloak of invisibility, at least according to media headlines from last year, I doubt that the purpose of this experiment was for the final product to be used exclusively by one senator from New England (and if it is, why can’t that Senator be Leahy?). More to the point, we all know what the media’s reaction would have been had a senator agreed to an appointment by the Bush Administration, only to retract a few days later citing irreconcilable policy differences. We’d still be hearing about him today.
In fact, when much of President Bush’s cabinet resigned after the first term, as is the case with all administrations, the media sold the public a picture of cabinet secretaries running off like rabbits in despair. These were people who had signed on for four years and who wanted to reenter the private sector. Their numbers were equal to those of other two term presidencies. Many remained in close contact with the Bush Administration even after their departure and all had supported President Bush for reelection. Yet the same media that spun that non-news event into a story was nowhere to be found after respected Senator Judd Gregg found that the policies of the Obama Administration were too offensive to his logic to allow him to serve.
Earlier this month, President Obama demanded that the “stimulus” bill be rammed through Congress. Not one representative had been able to fully read any of its versions and no senator read the final version either. (One senator, Charles Grassley, read an entire draft. The only senator to do so, he voted against the bill. For his efforts Grassley was awarded an invisibility cloak of his own by the media.)
Yet umpteen senators who admittedly did not read the entire bill went on a media blitz about how needed this bill was. I hadn’t known that clairvoyance was now a prerequisite to being elected to Congress. On second thought, the fact that those who touted how great and needed the stimulus bill was are at a loss to tell us what’s in it would show that being Miss Cleo is still not essential to holding elective office. One just needs to be indolent and tow the party line.
The story gets even better. After Democrats demanded that the bill be rushed through Congress and made a day’s delay seem like reckless procrastination, Obama decided to whisk off to Chicago for Valentine’s Day, scheduling the signing for that Tuesday. I understand that time was needed to read the bill, but in that case, why not use the extra time to allow elected representatives to look it over and vote on Tuesday morning?
In reality, the so called “stimulus” bill was not only loaded with pork, it also contained a healthcare provision that would penalize doctors who go above and beyond in saving critically ill patients, something that’s referred to simply as “cost effective guidelines,” proving that government run healthcare is essentially no healthcare at all. So far, only the former Lt. Gov. of New York, Betsy McCaughey, and Florida’s past Chief Medical Officer and current US Senate candidate, Dr. Marion Thorpe, are the only Republican voices to clearly layout the dangerous effects of this measure. And the media, those ever alert conveyers of information to the public, are asleep at their desks and ignorant of all things regarding this matter. After all, what’s the big deal about the government dictating to personal physicians what they can and can’t do in their treating of patients?
And so marks Obama’s first month in office. While the media may still be drooling over him, they are finally alone with their gobble cups. The question most of the public now asks is simply: “can we trade him in for a Chevy?”