In last night’s SOTU address, Barack Obama came out firing on all cylinders -- eight chambers in sync with one another: these being the president’s love of self, his contempt for his adversaries; the vapidity of his rhetoric; the absence of anything remotely resembling an original thought; the never-ending conceit that the whole world revolves around him and his (puerile) leadership; the profusion of meaningless sentiments (e.g. “We know our economy is stronger when our wives, mothers, and daughters can live their lives free of discrimination”); the obviously fabricated statistics (“Every dollar we invested to map the human genome returned $140 to our economy”); and the blithely repeated falsehoods (including such howlers as the claim that Obamacare won’t add “a single dime” to the deficit… along with the further claim he already succeeded in cutting four trillion dollars from future spending … and the even more bodacious falsehood that “my Administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up oil and gas permits”).
With all the appeals for bipartisanship, Obama did his best to hide his contempt for the unenlightened, non-progressive minority. So this was a more cloying performance than many expected.
Because the president did not come out spitting and snarling, it would perhaps have been inappropriate for the Republicans to walk out en masse in the middle of his speech, as Aaron Goldstein suggested in this space earlier in the day. But they might at least have guffawed at some of the howlers, and have followed Vice President Biden’s example in yawning and rubbing their eyes.
If you have read Dreams from My Father, you know how much Barack Obama suffered as a young community organizer in trying to get people in any position of authority to take him seriously. He felt angered and humiliated at having to work so hard to gain a measure of acceptance from local politicians and pastors in Chicago’s Southside.
But he seemed to be enjoying himself last night.
Even if it was a truly awful speech.
And that goes to show that there is nothing a socialist/progressive loves more than a captive audience.