Last night, President Obama addressed Congress as part of the annual State of the Union address. While some portions of his speech were moving and memorable — the story of Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg comes to mind — most of his remarks were either shockingly contradictory (the economy is doing so well we need to extend long-term unemployment benefits and allow low-wage foreign workers to compete for jobs with Americans who aren’t getting paid enough) or altogether unmemorable.
This morning’s front page of Roll Call — a Washington, D.C.-based paper that focuses entirely on the inner workings of government and politics — could not have done a better job of capturing the inherent contradictions of Obama’s style of governing. The president poked Congress for doing nothing at the same time his own party, which controls the U.S. Senate, contemplates the benefits of refusing to pass a simple budget. The man who was swept into office atop promises of healing division and ending partisan bickering can’t even get his own party to do things like pass a budget.
The two adjacent headlines — “Obama ‘Eager’ To Work With Congress, Ready To Act Alone” and “Senate Democrats May Skip Budget Yet Again” — are a great example of why so many Americans are so frustrated with what they see from their so-called leaders in Washington. It’s no wonder 80 percent of Americans disapprove of Congress and a majority disapproves of the president’s job performance.
Thanks a lot, Washington. This kind of behavior is exactly why America can’t have nice things.