My impulse was to here write, “It’s been an interesting week,” but in reality it’s just been a week much like those that came before it. The social weather forecast: continuing craziness with scattered outbursts of outright insanity.
President Obama gave his final State of The Union (SOTU) speech on Tuesday, and so I find myself writing about how proud I was of my president for the second time in as many weeks (and, very possibly, the only two times since he was elected).
Watching that speech, I kept thinking, “Where has this guy been for the last seven years?”
I’d have been a lot happier with my president had that guy shown up more often! He’s the one I voted for (twice).
It reminds me a bit of how athletes can get the yips, and the harder they try to break the streak, the worse it gets. It’s only when they relax and stop trying so hard that they succeed.
I’ve always wondered what would happen if politicians stopped trying to thread the needle all the time and let the pieces fall where they will. Americans do respect plain speech, even when they disagree with it.
I suspect Donnie Boy’s success is, in part, due to his unguarded approach. Many of his followers acknowledge that he’s talking smack. But they love that he’s talking plainly and directly. The off-the-chain hyperbole doesn’t bother them.
In large part because we’ve legitimized hyperbolic opinions to the point that we accept them as reality (rather than just what someone thinks is real… often without rhyme or reason). And we’ve delegitimized critical thought to the point it rarely informs those opinions.
If others share my disdain for the carefully navigated politically filtered monologues that flow from the mouths of politicians, no wonder a guy who talks like your loud-mouth bigot uncle is doing so well in the polls.
DB’s intrusion into politics is so severe that both the president and the Republican Responder (SC Gov. Nikki Haley) took thinly veiled shots at him. It’s astonishing to everyone — and a damn good clue as to how damaged is our society and politics — that Trump has managed to become the topic of every political conversation (including, damn it, this one)!
[No one can predict what will happen, the usual political calculus no longer seems to apply, so I can’t predict we will simply get bored with DB, but it is becoming my last, best hope. There is also some hope in that it’s one thing to stand in line in the cold for hours to just watch an exciting show, but something else to do that to accomplish a somewhat onerous task with no immediate gratification.]
One criticism from the right of both the president’s recent town hall and SOTU speech is that he was “lecturing” (I’m not sure what they call it when they do it).
It strikes me that, firstly, that’s part of what leaders do, they educate, and secondly, someone really needs to.
When I heard one pendant from the right criticize the SOTU speech as “disjointed” is when I thought, “Ha! They got nothing!” It was, in fact, a very well-written and delivered speech. Good structure and a strong closing.
It was also the week of the first GOP debate of 2016.
I think Rand Paul was smart to skip taking a seat at the loser’s table…
Sorry, the kid’s table…
Sorry again, the undercard table.
The three that did show up are deluded and despicable. I won’t even sully this post with their names. Suffice to say they represent the evil and ugliness the USA has to offer. Only ego accounts for their being in the race at this point.
Not that those at the adult’s table (ha!) are any better. One moderate voice of reason, Jeb Bush, is all but lost in the noise. Ben Carson is rather interesting, too. Very religious, but I do appreciate a number of his values.
Mostly I’m bemused by how much talking there is with so little actually being said. It’s going to be very interesting to see how this all shakes out in the early primaries.
§What’s really dismaying to me is how utterly useless journalism seems to have become. Investigative journalism seems nearly a dead art.
Reporting these days seems to consist of letting people talk and doing very little fact-checking or pushing back on the outrageous crap.
The one group of people who should be our watchdogs with regard to the social dialectic are completely failing at their jobs.
Even the modern version of an on-air reporter — essentially a talking head to occupy time between commercials — is bad at their sole job: making words come out of their mouth.
Here’s an example from an interview with Chris Christie who was asked about support for the NRA. Quotes may not be exact, but they’re as close as I could write them down at the time:
Interviewer: Do you stand with the NRA?
Christie: I stand with any group that supports the 2nd Amendment and public safety.
Now note the general failure to actually answer the question, as well as the dodge at the end there. This begs for the obvious question: So, do you think the NRA supports public safety?
Instead, the reporter tried to pin him down on whether he supported the NRA but, politicians being practiced at evasion, never did get an answer. Had he asked the obvious question, Christie would have had a harder time evading.
It makes me wonder if journalists are that incompetent or if they’re feeding their subjects deliberate softballs (for fear they’d never get another interview if they, for once, did their job).
Hanlon’s Razor suggests incompetence, and it’s what I’ve generally gone with.
One certainly has to wonder when one sees in the news ticker: “A man falls to his death while apparently distracted by electronic device in San Diego, according to authorities.”
I wondered briefly how one can be “apparently distracted” but what I really want to know is where the man was. If he was in St. Louis, for instance, it’s really something to be (apparently) distracted by a device in San Diego.
Maybe he was so far away from the device they weren’t sure.