Thursday, January 28, 2010

Republicans Are Encircled

Last night during the President's 'State Of The Union' speech, as the Republicans programatically sat on their hands like good Stepford Senators, President Obama used them like a comedian uses a straight man or a prop.

He told his audience how his administration had fulfilled a goal of cutting taxes. Getting applause from everyone but the block of non-participants sitting in prayer on the left side of the aisle, he pointed to them and observed, per HuffPo's Sam Stein, "I thought I'd get at least some applause on that one!" to the delight of the majority of those present.

Republicans did not applaud the cutting of taxes.

When the President spoke of the Roberts Supreme Court's recent decision to let global money buy American elections, the members of this conservative court sat silent and unmoving in the front row, but for Samuel Alito. As Sam Stein recounts, he appears to have mumbled "Not true!". We'll see. There were no blushes, but all eyes were on them.

President Obama mentioned that at the beginning of the year 2000 there was a surplus in the treasury. When he arrived in office 8 years later, there was a massive deficit, the economy was a wreck, and America was trapped in two wars, no hero in the world anymore.

"It was this way when I walked in the door!" he said, pausing for a long moment of reflection.

Republicans were caught between their commitment to non-applause and the fact of the previous administration's failings. There they sat, like chastened boys, waiting for the whip.

In Britain, the notion that our war on Iraq was and is a crime is gaining a serious foothold, as commissions report that they were fooled by false intelligence we sent them. George Bush's war is en route to becoming a Republican albatross that will hang on Republican necks for years. Here in America, while Obama has kindly held back the floodgates of indictments, grand juries quietly work onward. Leaks happen. Freedom of Information requests open files.

Being Republican is becoming harder to explain. Independents have options that Republicans do not.

When Republicans departing their party can explain to the home crowd why they left, then it will fall apart.


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