President Obama’s State of the Union address is upon us, and so is the Insane Clown Posse (Congressional Detach(ed)ment. Let’s check the starting lineup:
The response, a once careful attempt at stagecraft fashioned under the close watch of party chiefs to be as uniform and on message as possible, has given way to political free agency…
For example, Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, plans to spend part of Tuesday in a television studio off Capitol Hill recording his own unsanctioned rebuttal to Mr. Obama’s address that night. His staff plans to blast the video to news outlets around the world, and to the hundreds of thousands of people the senator reaches online through Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat.
Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, will have top billing for the newest — and to some Republicans the most unwelcome — post-State of the Union event, the official Tea Party response.
Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, not content to wait until Tuesday, got rolling last week when he released a statement in which he demanded that Mr. Obama answer accusations on a variety of issues, including National Security Agency surveillance and the Affordable Care Act. He then followed up with a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. asking for a special prosecutor to look into accusations of political persecution by the Internal Revenue Service.
Competing with them for the soapbox will be Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, the fourth-ranking Republican in the House, who is to deliver the party’s official response.
OK, so they’re going with four different ways of sticking fingers in ears and going “Lalalalalalalalala,” but something’s missing. Right on cue, here comes the FerengiMedia™ to round out the starting five:
Eager to dispel claims that President Barack Obama is engaging in “class warfare” as he heads into his State of the Union address next week, the White House is de-emphasizing phrases focusing on economic disparity and turning instead to messages about creating paths of opportunity for the poor and middle class.
The adjustment reflects an awareness that Obama’s earlier language put him at risk of being perceived as divisive and exposed him to criticism that his rhetoric was exploiting the gap between haves and have-nots.
On Dec. 4 Obama delivered a sweeping economic address where he declared that “increasing inequality is most pronounced in our country, and it challenges the very essence of who we are as a people.” He used the word “inequality” 26 times in his speech that day.
A month later the word has all but disappeared at the White House. In his most recent remarks about his economic agenda, the president made no mention of chasms between rich and poor. Rather, he stressed policies that help move low income people into the middle class.
Shorter Yahoo News (accurately named, dont’cha think?): “Don’t let him fool you – he’s still a-comin’ to steal from you to give to the OTHERS!”
Vegas would LOVE this bunch – they can double down (or is that quadruple down in this case?) like nobody’s business.