Conservative Crybabies at Obama’s Last State of the Union

Terrance Heath

Crybabies. That’s the perfect word to describe conservatives’ reaction to President Obama’s final State of the Union address — as well as the official GOP response by South Carolina governor Nikki Haley.

It started even before the president even delivered his address.

Rep Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) issued a scathing response to the State of the Union two hours before Obama delivered it.

The battle of the State of the Union guests continued, as House Speaker Paul Ryan invited two leaders of the order of Catholic nuns fighting against Obamacare’s contraceptive coverage.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) announced that in lieu of inviting a guest he would reserve an empty seat, dedicated to “the lives of more than 55 million aborted babies,” in response to the president reserving an empty seat in the First Lady’s box to honor victims of gun violence.

Anti-gay Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis was a guest at the State of the Union, due to a secret admirer who was revealed to be Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who denied inviting her. Jordan said he gave the invitation to the Family Research Council, who gave it to Davis.

It continued during and after.

Republican pollster Frank Luntz tweeted: “The United States is still the strongest nation on Earth.” Republicans in my focus group literally LOL’ed.

The cast of “Fox and Friends” complained that Obama ripped off his State of the Union speech from “The West Wing.”

● Rep. Alcee Hastings (R-Fla.) invited Broward County Sheriff Nazar Hamze — a Muslim — to be his guest at the State of the Union, in response to which Center for Security Policy head Frank Gaffney ranted about the “Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of Obama’s State of the Union” during his radio program with Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.). Lankford whined that Hamze’s presence undermined American values and national security.

Fox host Megyn Kelly also attacked Hastings for inviting a representative of CAIR to the State of the Union.

House Speaker Paul Ryan tried to radiate his contempt for just about everything the president said.

He even refused to clap for curing cancer. (Wait for it. Republicans will figure out a way to be against curing cancer, now that Obama has prioritized it.) In the end, though, he’s no John Boehner.

Twitter buzzed with conservative contempt.

Over at the National Review, Trevor Bing whined about Obama pointing out “the lesson of Iraq” — that the U.S. can’t rebuild every country that falls into crisis.

That is insulting to all who fought. What does Mr. Obama say to the families who lost a loved one: they died in a quagmire that weakened us? The lesson of Iraq is that after American troops achieved stability, Mr. Obama quit, leading to a larger war and more American deaths.

No, it’s only insulting to anyone who still thinks that the Iraq war wasn’t a quagmire that cost over half a million lives, and over $2 trillion, all based on lies. According to a 2015 Quinnipiac University poll, 59 percent of Americans believe invading Iraq was the wrong thing to do.

It’s not an insult to American service members who carried out the mission assigned to them. It’s an insult to those who gave them that mission in the first place, and only because the truth hurts.

But Bing’s whining inspired Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum to perfectly encapsulate conservative crybaby syndrome.

They’re like small children, ruining everything they touch because the world is a big playground that they govern with their guts instead of their brains. Then they throw temper tantrums when the adults come along and try to clean up the messes they’ve made.

South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, tapped by House Speaker Paul Ryan to give the official Republican response to the State of the Union avoided most of the pitfalls that sank her predecessors. Just being picked for the spot puts Haley on the short list to ascend to GOP politics at the national level. Though the choice also came across as another attempt to show that Republicans weren’t all white guys.

Haley almost delivered. She didn’t appear to suffer from overwhelming thirst, she looked at the right camera, and she wasn’t Bobby Jindal. She delivered an obligatory swipe at the Black Lives Matter movement — one particularly unbecoming of the governor of a state that in one year saw the murder of Walter Scott by a North Charleston police officer, and the racist murder of nine African-Americans at Emanuel AME Church.

But then Haley borrowed a page from President Obama’s speech, and warned Republicans against listening to the “siren song” of the “angriest voices.” Then she defended immigrants.

It was an obvious slam against Donald Trump. Right-wingers wasted no time responding to Haley with the kind of xenophobia she spoke out against.

For her part, Haley doubled down in an appearance on NBC’s Today, where she confirmed that Trump was indeed one of the “angriest voices” she warned against in her speech. In the next breath, Haley blamed President Obama for dividing the nation “in ways we’ve never seen before.”

Maybe Haley should go back and listen to her own speech, because Obama’s never been one of the “angriest voices,” not even when he’s had every right to be.

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