Wednesday, February 25, 2009

In Which the Author Awakes to a Strange Circus World

I'll come clean. I fell asleep near the beginning of President Obama's speech last night, thanks to a bad cold, a good dinner, and a cap-full of generic-brand NyQuil.

I awoke today to see a torrent of negative reporting about Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's Republican response. Wow. Keith Olberman just showed a highlight of Jindal's speech. He does indeed sound like Kenneth The Page from 30 Rock, as he reads the same old southern conservative talking points.

Am I still dreaming? Or is the Republican Party really this clownish? I mean, where did the all-powerful lords of darkness go?

If anyone can find a video of the full Obama speech, please post it in comments. I'd like to see the whole speech before I watch Jindal's weird response. Sure, I could read them both, but it seems like the tone is pretty important in both cases.

So what were your thoughts on the speeches?

6 comments:

Camp Papa said...

I don't have a link to either speech, but I'll be happy to share my opinion and something else. I have never seen a president speak from the well of the House who appeared more comfortable, more confident, and who exuded a greater air of competence. As for the governor, I think he wrote his speech about a month ago. He certainly wasn't responding to anything that the president actually said. If that was their best shot, they are in deep trouble...which, of course, is good news for America.

What I came to BTM to do tonight was to post a comment to your previous post. I was at an Ash Wednesday service this evening and came across the following prayer in the United Methodist Hymnal. I don't know anything about its author, but it seems appropriate for the sentiment of this site.

For Courage to Do Justice

O, Lord,
open my eyes that I may see the needs of others
open my ears that I may hear their cries
open my heart so that they need not be without succor.

Let me not be afraid to defend the weak because of the anger of the strong
nor afraid to defend the poor because of the anger of the rich.

Show me where love and hope and faith are needed,
and use me to bring them to those places

And so open my eyes and my ears that I may, this coming day, be able to do some work of peace for thee.


by Alan Paton, South Africa

Becky said...

Dude, I know. It is really something, how they don't get how goofy and out of touch they seem. It's kind of adorable. But they seem to think that their constituents want them to be waging ideological warfare. Like Jindal refusing the 100 million in federal money for unemployment insurance. Not adorable.

Anyway, I saw Obama's speech, and I thought he totally rocked it. This looks like the whole thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MVtE7C-YVc

Like, watching it, I felt hope. And I really think he explained in clear terms how we are going to try to fix this thing. I only read the text of Jindal's remarks, but I kind of blacked out after he said his parents came from "a distant land." And then his talk of "empowering people" rather than using government to help solve problems just made me angry. How about empowering us by actually doing something?

Becky said...

PS: Alan Paton is the _Cry, the Beloved Country_ Alan Paton.

Mark said...

Dave, you don't have to hear Obama's speech to judge Jindal's because it was clearly written before hand. More on this in a second. I think the party simply wanted to use the opportunity to introduce Jindal to the general public in the same vein that Clinton and Obama were introduced in similar responses (although Obama was introduced more during the 2004 DNC rather than his 2006 response to the State of the Union). Jindal is born of immigrant parents, is young, and is usually personable. Does this remind you of anyone?
In his speech, however, Jindal was stiff and robotic. The 30 Rock reference is spot on. We were all joking here that he reminded us of a tour guide.
"Well, highhhh, welcome to Louisiana. I'm Bobby Jindal..."

Anyway, to further prove the point, the response did not respond to anything that Obama specifically said in his address. It was simply a reliance on the same conservative talking points that don't even make sense anymore. "We don't believe in running up the debt."; "We don't believe in big government."; "We don't believe in raising taxes"; Oh really? Where have you been living? Well, let's look at the rise of national debt and presidential spending over the last 50 years in terms of administrations.

here:
http://www.oldamericancentury.org/charts/graphs/natl-debt_Chart-2004.jpg

and here:
http://www.cedarcomm.com/~stevelm1/usdebt.htm

It amazes me how many times the Republican machine can just spew this rhetoric that is completely false. Why don't facts matter?

Mark said...

http://www.hulu.com/watch/59587/presidential-press-conferences-president-obamas-address-to-congress

this is both the address and the response one after the other...

Scott said...

Jindal's speech was borderline incomprehensible. What could be made out were the same old tired Republican talking points: cut taxes, cut spending, government stinks. But, really, after the shellacking Republicans took in 2006 & 2008, are they even buying their own bulls**t anymore? They still sound like the Republican party of 1982 or so, definitely not a political party up to the task of running a nation. I'm so glad the serious adults are in control now.