Obama’s Paean   (2016Jan12)


Tuesday, January 12, 2016                                                10:35 PM

Eight years and many a fine speech—but perhaps more impressively, never a stupid remark—take that, Republicans. We used to handicap poor Dubya whenever he made a speech. Bill had a good run—until the end when he started debating the definition of ‘is’—and lying some, which is its own kind of stupid. Before Bill we had Reagan and Bush—theirs was a kind of dazed-bully kind of stupid. But President Obama is an intellectual—he’s used to having to talk down to people without ‘talking down’ to them—but he’s always been more the knowledgeable guy you look up to than the guy you want to drink beer with. I’ll never understand the ‘drink beer with’ BS.

You may want to feel good towards your candidate for president—but you have to feel that they are more knowledgeable than Joe Schmoe from the local bar. I mean—even Dubya was a college grad—he wasn’t stupid stupid, just stupid for a president. It’s a hard job—you can’t have no idiot at the switch in there.

Which brings me to my favorite part of Obama’s final State of the Union Address—when he called out Trump and Cruz for their anti-American rhetoric of hate and division, saying we should reject all politics that target people by race or religion. That was good. I also enjoyed when he pointed out that America is too strong to be threatened in any real way by ISIL or Al-Qaeda—that citizens may be under threat from random craziness, but the country as a whole should deal with that without jumping the shark about national security. It’s refreshing to hear a politician tell us not to be afraid, isn’t it?

I’ll tell you why the healots have gotten out of hand—progressives have progressed—they learned that progressive programs are more subtle than a catch-phrase. The world’s complexity demands thought and patience—and we have to be sturdy in our grasp of change. Change without thought breeds chaos—catch-phrases work on the emotions, not on governance. The divide between good politics and good governance widens every day—it has always created a paradox, but now the ubiquity of media makes a monster of campaigning, completely overshadowing the whole idea of good government. So, while thoughtful politicians must be ever more careful of statements they know will be picked apart by nitpickers, the hucksters can shout their vitriol to the rafters without fear of an answering shout from their more serious rivals—people handicapped by their insistence on thinking before speaking.

I understand that people like Trump have to be covered by the media while they are running for president—but I hope we can enjoy a moratorium on idiots after the election is over (assuming we don’t elect one). I’ve heard enough from Trump to last me—and if I never hear him again it’ll be too soon. On the other hand, President Obama’s cool will be sorely missed—it’s hard being an egghead—and there’s something reassuring about having one in office. I felt like, even if the rest of the country is going crazy, at least the president gets it—I’ll miss that—I truly believe it’s better to have some brains in the executive office.

Anyway, here’s today’s improv:

 

 

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