January 27, 2010

My President can dunk over your president

I thought it was a pretty good speech. The O Man brought his A game to the House. He was less deferential, more realistic, and he said a great many things that made sense to me. I think he's beginning to realize that he never got into gear during the first year and needs to make up for lost time.

His outline of an alternative energy future was the most hopeful thing he talked about. An economy runs on energy. We've built up a massive trade deficit and an unsustainable debt burden by relying on imported oil. By contrast, wind and solar energy arrive here in the United States free of charge. I have thought (for what that's worth) for a long time that the only real way to transform the economy so that Americans can go to work again and build wealth (instead of shipping it all overseas) is by fundamentally altering the energy paradigm. Harvey Wasserman has outlined a quite plausible future in his text/comic book Ecotopia (it's the size of a big comic book with lots of colorful pictures), and it's a nice world he describes.

Obama seems to understand the need for a breakout move in that direction, and his reference to the Chinese and German efforts in the same direction (he should have mentioned the Israelis and Danes, too) injected just the right note of competition into the idea, so that the troglodytic, knee-jerk rejection of the superannuated Republicans lolling in their seats would make them look even more anti-American than they are. A canny touch, because Being #1 in the world is what Republicanism is all about. They just want to do it in the stupidest, most self-destructive way possible, and preferably one that always smells like sulfur as a by-product.

Anyway, Barack threw them a few sops: we'll keep wasting vast amounts of money on a largely irrelevant conventional military establishment, which, although it completely failed to stop 9-11, will surely stop the next 9-11, although no future 9-11 will look exactly like 9-11 anyway. I was just trying to see if I could say 9-11 in one sentence as many times as Dick Cheney can. Also, nuclear power plants, Barack said, looking to his left like a puppy hoping for a Milk-Bone. The Repubs liked that one. They like all the ideas that are antiquated, cost-ineffective and dangerous.

I wonder what Barack could do if he didn't have to deal with that hopeless Congress. As a body, they really are an immensely useless aggregation of frauds, cheats and scoundrels. They are America's Great Work-Around. Obama had to remind the Democrats that they had the largest majorities in decades, and that they might consider, you know, doing something with them. That's how pathetic the Democrats are: they're unaware they're in control. I think it frightens them, and they're secretly pleased they have party in opposition whose basic platform was fashioned during the Bronze Age (particularly John Boehner, although he shades a little toward cordovan, like fine Coreentheean leather.)

It's possible this next decade will be better than the last. It almost has to be; if it's worse, we won't survive as a nation. Obama may have hit on a useful way to tag his opposition, as the party which defines itself solely by obstruction. That seemed to make them squirm a little, being called out as a political organization which works night and day to make certain America can't get anywhere. Keep it up, O Man. You may be getting your shot back in the groove.

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