After watching the easy eloquence of our new Commander in Chief in front of the Joint Session of Congress last night, I was enthused. I was energized. I was elated with the plans ahead. I had only two qualms about the speech: One, I wanted to hear more specifics regarding the education plan. I'll probably type up and frame his "giving up on your country" quote and hang it in the classroom. But no follow up on how to keep kids in school? Disappointing. But still, gotta love the call to action. Great job, Mr. President. My second qualm, the line about "schools that don't prepare our kids..." D0n't? DON'T??? Mr. President, I beg to differ. The verb should be can't. We cannot do our jobs with the ever-growing demands and ever-shrinking budgets provided to education. We drive the best of our profession into the private sector because of the intense, and constantly ratcheted-up demands dumped upon the shoulders of today's educators. But hey, you've all heard me go off on that old chestnut, so 'nuff said. Other than that, the speech was amazing. It gave me goosebumps, and patriotic happy tears. Yes, even The Hubby was tearing up with pride. What a night for the Democrats. What a night for our country!
So, the next thing we know, the speech has flown by, and there's some skinny, geeky dude, looking out of place, wandering up to a podium and grinning like a fool. Now, was it our imagination, or did The Hubby and I hear someone whisper, "Oh, GOD!" just as Jindal was walking out??? It was in hushed tones, but The Hubby, His Mother and I all looked at each other in disbelief, and said, "Did someone just say..." (Although, in hindsight, I can now see why they made that remark!)
The lulling tones, the condescension, the lilting storytelling (stories, I say, but maybe tall tales would be a better characterization of his anecdotes), the "Golly, Gee!" qualities...I thought any minutee, he'd change into his sweater and tennies, and start singing, "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...won't you be my neighbor?" I am going on the record, right here, right now, as saying that Jindal is the reincarnation of Mr. Rogers. Honest to God. Scary, but true.
Either the GOP thinks the American people are inane, horribly childlike or just plain gullible, or they have realized that they had to go waaaaaaaaaaaay outta the Beltway to scrounge up somebody that wasn't a part of messing things up in the first place to speak to the President's plans. I haven't decided which it is yet...but Jeez, Louise! Is this the best they can do to rebut the great orator that is our President? Amazing. Un-f-ing believable. The are so far outta touch that they can probably see Russia from their front yards.
Jindal spouted the party line in child-friendly language for what the GOP must see as the ignorant populace. Nothing new here, his lines were typical. Don't let government fix things. Taxes are bad. Government is fine when it comes to taking money for Katrina, but not when it comes to putting people back to work, no way! How hypocritical. At a time when the government is the only place that has deep enough pockets to jumpstart the economic downturn, Jindal is preaching old skool Reganomics. The only way that the trickle down theory ever did work, however, was in this case. Look how far the Republicans had to trickle out of the Beltway to find Jindal's sorry ass to appease the Republican conservative base. I would give the world to know who made the decision to toss this little leager onto the mound at Dadger Stadium! Jindal made such a poor showing that the only way the GOP could have done any worse is to have hired Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann to be his opening act. She could have brought the house down with her recent line opposing the stimulus bill: if you haven't heard, she opposes it. Why? Because, "we're running out of rich people"!!! (Guys, I couldn't make this crap up...)
Yes, the minority party is still living in Mr. Rogers' Land of Make-Believe, complete with the little trolley and the puppet king. But we have a real leader now, a statesman and a scholar that can actually joke around with the Joint Session of Congress and get a pretty good laugh - because he made the joke, not because he is the joke. It's a brand new day, and the GOP continues to prove over and over that they have yet to see the dawn.
What did you think of the whole evening? Did anyone else hear the "Oh GOD!" on MSNBC? I can't wait to find out, so post away, my fellow politicos! The world awaits your commentary, and so do I!