There’s been enough written about Alito’s stunning reaction to Obama’s SOTU speech – and in particular Obama’s discussion of his fears for the results of the Citizens United decision. So I will leave that alone – aside from questioning why a Supreme Court Justice is so concerned about the potential outcome of their supposed application of the law? So much for neutrality, I guess.
Rather than that, the most stunning thing I saw in the speech was the Republican response to several references in the speech where Obama laid out tax cuts. The supposed big government, tax and spend liberal is setting out cuts in spending – and the Republicans don’t move, don’t cheer, don’t clap – they sit there in silence. Stunning.
In addition to confirming my long read that Obama would track to the center given that, in the end, he is a pragmatist, it made for a very interesting scene: Republicans, in effect, turning their collective noses up against the talk of tax cuts!
Indeed, their response was stone silence. You could almost see the blood vessels in their greedy hands bursting from the pressure of their corpulent butts sitting on them.
So, why the silence? They’ve been demanding tax cuts forever – why no welcome to their mention now? Did the reflexive response of the mandated “NO” that’s met everything suggested by Obama tie their collective hands? Did they have enough advance notice before the speech of the tax cut discussion that they included the instructions not to clap with the Joe Wilson-required reminder in caucus to not yell out and reveal the inner-Teabagger infesting the Grand Old Party during the speech (hey, next time include Alito in the memo, OK)? Or is there something more insidious going on?
Well, to hear the response to the Right’s media machine, there sure seems to be something there. Was the rejection of the affirmation of a select area of conservative principles by the Republicans at the SOTU speech a wary nod to Obama for following the Clintonian mode of “Triangulation” (moving to the center to take command of the middle and independents). Or, worse, was the reaction bred out of Republican contempt for Obama? How uppity for him to suggest we do something that we have been demanding forever? The outrage! That’s our agenda!
Anyway, Olberman summed up the response pretty appropriately in this video. Moreover, the much less politically-slanted Media Matters sure sees something interesting in the response. Take a look and comments welcome: