Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The President’s speech: The new Jacksonians advance. What’s the matter with Congress?

Speaking of the huddled masses, did anyone see the President’s speech last night? Was anything so childish and cloying as the prom date theme? All boys and girls together holding hands. It all but cried out for Tiny Tim, rest in peace, in buck teeth and ukulele singing “tip toe through the tulips.” Cannot these people just say no to a bad idea? Has it occurred to anyone that the reason Congress has in recent times the lowest respect in the history of the English-speaking people – around 11% approval last Fall - is because they are unable to oppose with character, dignity and integrity and overwhelmingly agree to just anything? Nations are not conquered by armies. They are conquered by mediocrity; the yielding of Prometheus’s second gift to the human race: The ability to stand up on your own two feet.

The President knows before he prepares his speech that this Congress will believe anything. They want to believe. One psychobilly crackpot in Arizona can turn them to jelly overnight. America is prime for the conquest. I believe Mexico could take us today. Or Canada. We flaunt our fear and celebrate appeasement and accommodation. Jared Loughner wins. Al Qaeda wins. Sirhan Sirhan and Mark David Chapman win every time. We want to be conquered. The stress of adult responsibility sends us cowering. That horse is too big and too hard to ride.

And what is truly startling, the leadership of this benign group of fawning appeasement that is Congress today comes from the badlands; the dangerous heartland of America: Colorado and Alaska, land of jackals, desperados, gold diggers and midnight riders; of Jack London, Neal Cassady and John Wayne – all girls together now and no telling tales. Can anything be left of the dangerous and creative heart of America when it produces a Congress like this? We want something today we can all agree on. We want pablum. I all but expected the President to throw himself into the mosh pit of adoring No Label hands at the end of the speech.

What the President said was not new, nor was it remarkable: “win the future” with high-speed rail, clean-energy technology and high-speed Internet; “take responsibility for our deficit” and “reform our government.”

What was new was the response. The Washington Post had two windows to watch responses, Republicans and Tea Party. And CNN decided to air a response by Michele Bachmann, a Tea Party favorite and one who may seek the presidency in 2012. The Wall Street Journal featured a Tea Party response above the Republican response on its front page.

Throwing a bone to the Tea Party by saying he would veto any bill that contained earmarks is clear indication that we have entered a new age of Jackson with the Tea Party. The lace curtain elements of left and right converge today in Third Way and No Labels in opposition to a singularly new American entity. Here are the desperados and midnight riders, acknowledged for the first time by the president and the press. The country people first awakened in America with Andrew Jackson. The brawling, rusticated Jackson brought terror to institutionalized high church Colonials same as Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann do today. He hated State of the Union speeches and saw only in them the American desire for European monarchy. Today he might see Pharaoh and the teeming horde. They didn’t hold them for a long period. And idea that might come up again as the new Jacksonians advance on Washington.

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