Wingnuts And The State of the Union

Terrance Heath

President Obama’s State of the Union Address, complete with a “mic drop” moment,” couldn’t have annoyed Republicans more if he’d entered to the theme from Rocky, and exited to “How Ya Like Me Now.”

Obama’s “Mic Drop” Moment

If Republicans in Congress expected to see and hear a chastened and contrite President Obama, they got a big shock on Tuesday night. Maybe getting a hug from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg — one of his “favorite people” — emboldened the president as he made his way to the podium. Perhaps Obama’s bounce in the polls put a bounce in his step.

After the midterm elections, The Grio’s Luvvie Ajayi had this advice for the president:

I think the President just needs to get real petty. He has nothing to lose as a lame duck President, so who gon check him? He better use that to his advantage to make things happen. This is why I want #PettyBarack to happen. The time of being polite and working with overgrown children with too much power is done for. Just show out!

Tuesday night, it looked and sounded like the president got the message loud and clear. Even before the State of the Union, the White House had a little fun rattling wingnut cages, with a fake-out tweet that suggested the president might don his infamous “tan suit” for the occasion.

The fun just getting started. President Obama lured Republicans in with a rhetorical rope-a-dope for the record books.

If Barack Obama were a rapper, that’s when he would have “dropped the mic” and walked away.

Twitter loved it.


President Obama had a few more memorable moments:


  • With a Latina climate scientist watching from the First Lady’s box, President Obama jabbed at the right with “I am not a scientist” caucus:


    I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what  — I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.






Instead of giving the concilliatory speech that the GOP wanted, President Obama took a victory lap, served notice to a Republican Congress that he’s done trying to appease them, and left to take his message right to the Republican heartland. (Including Kansas, where Republican tax cuts have left the state into a “smoking ruin”.)

Republicans complained that the president ignored the meaning of the midterm elections, but seem to misunderstand the results themselves. As crazy as it sounds, Republicans may have won a majority in the Senate, but the Democratic minority got 20 million more votes than the GOP majority. (The same thing happened in 2010, when House Democrats got more votes than House Republicans.) Thanks to gerrymandering and Senate deck stacked in favor of small, less populated states, a majority does not a mandate make.

Republicans are left to face that they’re dealing with a man who has nothing left to lose, and has opened the door open for the GOP to blow it.


Cammo Heels and Immigration

Rep. Joni Ernst, one of the wingnuts elected to office in November, gave the GOP response to the State of the Union. Given her penchant discussing the intricacies of hog castration, and waxing on about her “beautiful little Smith & Wesson, 9 millimeter,” Washington waited to hear what outrageousness Ernst would utter.

Past Republican responses lowered the bar considerably for Ernst.

Ernst played it safe, instead. A pair of cammo heels were the only nod to her campaign trail fiestiness, in a speech that was long on Ernst talking about the hardships of her youth, and short on empathy for the hardships Republican policies will inflict on millions of Americans.

The most controversial response was the Republican’s attempt at Latino outreach, with a Spanish language response to the State of the Union, by Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida. It might have gone unnoticed, except that Mother Jones magazine reported that Rep. Curbelo would read a Spanish translation of Ernst’s speech, rather than deliver his own remarks. (Ernst’s “English only” advocacy added further irony.) Republicans scrambled, and edited the press release that originally said Curbelo would read a translation of Ernst’s speech.

Curbelo’s speech turned out to be slightly different from Ernst’s speech. His included a plug for immigration reform. Hers didn’t.


Cruz Crashes And Burns

Sen. Ted Cruz (R, Texas) attempted to record his own response, flubbed it, posted it to YouTube anyway, and then removed it.



Rep. Steve King (R, Iowa), won “worst tweet of the night” and coined a new phrase — “deportable” — when he slammed the President for inviting a DREAMER to watch the SOTU.


Justice Alito stayed away. Maybe King should have done the same.

Member of the Wedding … Not!

Speaker John Boehner (R, Ohio) didn’t think much of President Obama’s State of the Union address, and it showed.

That was especially true when when the president plugged marriage equality.

What can we expect from a guy who spent $2.3 million defending the Defense of Marriage Act, unsuccessfully?

One Of The Most Immoral Things You Can Do”

According to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), closing loopholes and reforming tax code that allows heirs to inherit huge amounts of wealth tax-free is “one of the most immoral things you can do.”

Here’s President Obama: “Let’s close the loopholes that lead to inequality by allowing the top 1 percent to avoid paying taxes on their accumulated wealth.”

Here’s Rep. Chaffetz: “It’s one of the most immoral things you can do, is try to steal somebody’s inheritance, to steal it away from their family.”

Worse than cheating on your spouse? Worse than shooting an unarmed person? Worse than rape and murder? Really?

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