Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Please exit the nation, stage left.

World News Tonight has released some of the text from Obama's speechwhich will go on for a while; the networks have allocated 90 minutes for coverage—and apparently it will end with something like, "But we're America. And we'll come out of this stronger than ever."


Where is Jordan Brown when you need him? (Note to any Secret Service agents who may be reading this: I imply that I need him to put me out of my misery, not to go after the president, whom I voted for, and who I know "means well," whatever good that does us.)

Look. Inasmuch as we're on the topic of hope, I hope you'll permit me to say that people who are reassured by that kind of all-purpose, flag-waving, stump-speech pabulum should follow the instructions in the headline I chose for this post, because they're clearly brain-dead already, so they have no business wasting the increasingly precious oxygen that the rest of us sapient beings rely to nourish our neurons.

Seriously now. That is what we want to hear from our president at this point in time? That will make us feel better?

(I mean, what's he gonna say otherwise: "Sorry people. We're screwed. Royally. Game over! Fact is, I'm headed back to Canada on the next flight out. It's kinda nice up there.")

It's like this afternoon, the stock market rallied, we are told, because Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke (probably on instructions from someone higher up, though the Fed chairman is supposed to be autonomous) announced perkily that the recession should end in 2009, if the steps we've taken so far work. That's an awfully big if. So big that I think it's s
afe to say that the condition invalidates the premise. After all, what prevents Obama from announcing tonight that "the recession will end on May 19...if all of our problems are solved by May 18!"

Again: Show us the plans. Give us the numbers. Explain the reasoning. Go borro
w Ross Perot's charts and diagram it all out for us. Or if the information is somehow too "sensitive" for general release, then at least tell us that you've gone over the data, and you've analyzed every recessionary trend since 1605, and based on that analysis the prognosis isn't as bad as you thought; maybe we've got another 18-20 months of hard times, and then we'll see some daylight. Tell us that kind of thing (assuming it's true).

Just please, oh please, stop with the clever bullshit.


Elizabeth said...

OK, wait -- Obama has not delivered the speech yet, but the media outlets are already covering it as a past event?

It's 7:30 pm here, 30 minutes before Obama's address, and I read the following, from AP, here:

WASHINGTON – Standing before a nation on an economic precipice, President Barack Obama told worried Americans Tuesday night the U.S. has reached a dire "day of reckoning" that will require boldness and long-term vision to create lasting revival and prosperity. "The time to take charge of our future is here," Obama said, delivering his first address to a joint session of Congress just five weeks into his presidency. Along with his warnings, he had reassuring words.

"Tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before."

Anonymous said...

I was thinking the same thing, what is even the point of the speech if the full coverage precedes it?

Steve Salerno said...

I admit it; I was wrong.

He began with those words.

Steve Salerno said...

One final note, at least for tonight:
I'm watching Sean (DMoTV) Hannity interview Republican congressman Eric Cantor, and Hannity is getting so frustrated with Cantor because the congressman isn't saying what Hannity wants him to say. Hannity wants Cantor to rip Obama a new one, and Cantor is sounding refreshingly bipartisan and even-handed about things, and Hannity is almost beside himself; I think I see actual steam coming out of his collar. It's pretty funny, in truth.

Anonymous said...

Who was the last high-profile person to give bad news, along with a plan and a program, during the middle of a crisis? I think it was Capt. Sullenberger who told the folks on the plane to "prepare for a water landing". I'm sure some politically-correct nitwits have scolded him for "not giving hope" or maybe "hurting someone's feelings" by being so abrupt.

But the dude had a plan, even if nobody thought he could successfully execute it. And everybody on board was informed that they were in serious trouble.

And now he's a hero.

I would have liked to have heard "The economy is is preparing for a water landing in the Hudson..."

Steve Salerno said...

Anon 11:47: Funny you should mention Sully (who, by the way, was at the speech; is he going to be dragged along to every high-profile event in politics, sports and who-knows-what-else from now on? Has he become a walking metaphor?) Right after that flight went down, some idiot columnist in my local paper wrote that he was disappointed that Sullenberger told Katie Couric he "didn't stop to pray" while he was landing that plane. To which a local rabbi replied, in a letter to the editor, "We can all thank God that Capt. Sullenberger didn't waste valuable time praying! There's a time for prayer and there's a time for action." The rabbi even quoted a section of the Bible where God chastises Moses for spending too much time on his knees, whining about his earthly problems. According to the rabbi, God said, more or less, "Get a-hold of yourself, man, and go out there and do what needs doing! I can't hold your freakin' hand through every little thing!" (Again, that is not an exact quote.) ;)

Steve Salerno said...

By the way, I don't know if anyone else noticed this last night, but during Bobby Jindal's reply on behalf of the Republican party, somebody with a mischievous streak got onto Wikipedia and changed the caption above Jindal's official Wiki photo so that it read as follows:

Bobby "Curry Scrotum" Jindal

Tasteless, and not something of which I approve. But sorta funny too.

Steve Salerno said...

p.s. to comment just above:

here's today's web report on it:


Dimension Skipper said...

It's as if Earl Pomerantz has been reading SHAMblog.

Elizabeth said...

Jindal was dreadful beyond belief, both in form and substance. He sounded like Mister Rogers wannabe.

I think he should consider becoming a kindergarten teacher, and/or recording children's fairy tales on CDs and such.

"Get a-hold of yourself, man, and go out there and do what needs doing! I can't hold your freakin' hand through every little thing!" (Again, that is not an exact quote.)

Steve, are you sure? This sounds and looks very familiar. I'd swear I saw it in *my* Bible...

Steve Salerno said...

Eliz: I know that Jindal is highly touted as the GOP's Great Non-White Hope for 2012, and though I'd heard a few sound-bites, I'd never actually seen him perform at any length. And I was...astonished. To say the least. He is so, so bad, with all of those ridiculous affectations, right down to the little stage-laughs he felt compelled to execute before delivering a line he evidently thought ironic or memorable in some way. Wow.

Now there's a ticket I'd love to see: Jindal and Palin. Mister Rogers and Mrs. America. I repeat: wow.

Anonymous said...

Due to political correctness, you Americans can now only make fun of fat people (but not as much as before), evangelical Christians and Indians. I'm sure Hollywood would never have released "The Love Imam" - they never seem to poke fun at Muslims.

Now if Bobby Jindal had a fat, evangelical wife, the party of hate would be all over him. How will the demcrats portray him? He must be mocked immediately before he gains any national traction. Palin is stupid; Bush is stupid; Reagan was stupid; Nixon was a war-loving, lying scum; and so I guess Jindal is a funny little Indian boy - a "Slumdog Govorner" perhaps?

Elizabeth said...

Yep. And as unbelievable as it sounds, watching Jindal makes one miss Palin.

Elizabeth said...

I take back what I said about Jindal at 9:53. It was, after all, offensive to Mister Rogers and to children. My apologies. Jindal's rejoinder last night was more like a second rehearsal of a high school drama club.

BTW, Anon, it's not only Dems who are criticizing Jindal's last night debacle. Conservatives do it as well.

I actually had high hopes for the man, given all the good vibes surrounding him in the media till now. But it is really hard to find anything positive in his speech. It was both painfully amateurish and out of touch, with that too-often-repeated and now worn-out GOP mantra government bad!, which simply does not cut it these days.

Steve Salerno said...

I must also say that as an American, and someone who considers himself a patriot, I was more than a little put off by Jindal's obvious intent of turning that speech into a combination travelogue for Louisiana and his personal version of Barack Obama's "here I am, world" speech at the 2004 Dem Convention. (Yeah, right. "As if...") Even leaving aside the theatrics and diverting mannerisms, it was clear that this man's words were intended more to position him as a "player" on the national scene than to respond directly to anything Obama said. And in that regard, Jindal's speech wasn't just second-rate; it was highly inappropriate to the circumstances.

Jen said...

Steve confesses: "I'm watching Sean (DMoTV) Hannity...."

Okay. I can't stop myself. Why oh why would you spend precious time watching a person who you consider to be the "dumbest man on television"?

I don't argue the point you make about him. Personally, I can't stand the sight of him and will either leave the room (my husband likes him) or insist we change the channel when his mug shows up on the screen.

But Steve, you have other choices! Why choose to watch this guy?

I'm just sayin' ...

RevRon's Rants said...

I especially got a laugh out of Jindal's assertion that it was the people of Louisiana who pulled themselves up by the bootstraps after Katrina, rather than the federal government. Hell... far too many of the ones who needed pulling up just moved here... and they're STILL collecting federal assistance, years later. I'm not typically in favor of Social Darwinism, but...

Steve Salerno said...

Jen: Why do I watch Hannity? Know thy enemy. (Or is it "thine"?) But that's really only part of it. I watch because it's fun to see him embarrass himself night after night. And some of his guests are actually interesting.

In a more general sense, as I've said on the blog many times, I think it's a bad idea when we start consuming only the "news" and commentary that fits a world-view that's comfortable to us. I could never, for example, be the kind of person who only watches Keith Olbermann or Rachel Madow. Just as, even when I was an arch-conservative (he admits with some chagrin), I couldn't just sit there day after day listening to Rush or reading only the Journal. It's just how I've always been.

Jen said...

Steve, you wrote: I think it's a bad idea when we start consuming only the "news" and commentary that fits a world-view that's comfortable to us.

Yes, as much as we prefer our comfort zones, we've got to leave them in order to ... well, grow. :)