Sometimes the events in the political realm causes this throbbing to occur in my head. Usually it is fine, since these events are fleeting and all I have to do is turn the television off, listen to music, eat a ding-dong and think happy thoughts. The events of the last 10 days have managed to create a constant throbbing that even music by the Marconi Union cannot soothe.
Let us start with the two South Carolina debates. While watching, I was put off by the cheering. It is a debate not a hockey game. It wasn’t just the cheering, it was what the people were cheering about. They whooped and hollered at comments that made absolutely no sense. On display for the country to see was behavior by those in my party, best explained by Anne Coulter, when describing liberals, as mob mentality.
The more caustic or snide the remark, the louder the audience cheered. There is a lot of anger in the country and candidates would be remiss if they did not try to tap into this to garnish support, but they must do so responsibly, something lacking in those debates. In the second debate the crowd was whipped up into such a frenzy all rational conduct went out the window.
During the first debate in Florida, the crowd remained subdued. In that atmosphere Newt Gingrich’s comments fell flat. Why? People actually had time to comprehend what he said. Even more important, they listened to the replies. Whether it was from Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney or Ron Paul, it became clear that Newt’s rhetoric did not match the facts. It was proven he did lobby for Freddie Mac, he does behave erratically and he was thrown out of his position as Speaker of the House.
What happened the next day?
The disgraced former Speaker went on the talk circuit complaining that the audience was not allowed to cheer for him. He threatened to pull out of the next debate if the people were not allowed to behave like a raucous mob. He has put the media “on notice” he will not tolerate the suppression of free speech. As an “historian” he knows darn well it is not suppression of free speech to request a private audience to behave respectfully. The facts do not matter to him, he is playing to the mob mentality. He claims if he is the nominee, he will tell the Commission on Presidential Debates to change their rule requiring the audience to remain silent.
Can you see him threatening to pull out of those debates?
President Obama will be really bothered by that threat, won’t he?
It will be interesting to see what tomorrow’s debate brings.
Now for the second source of my pounding head.
No, it is not Jack Daniels.
It was President Obama’s State of the Union Speech.
Yes, it was the typical SOTU speech; long, boring and a laundry list of desires. Unlike most SOTU speeches, however, it was also candidate Obama’s campaign kick off speech:
But in return, we need to change our tax code so that people like me, and an awful lot of Members of Congress, pay our fair share of taxes. Tax reform should follow the Buffett rule: If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes. And my Republican friend Tom Coburn is right: Washington should stop subsidizing millionaires. In fact, if you’re earning a million dollars a year, you shouldn’t get special tax subsidies or deductions. On the other hand, if you make under $250,000 a year, like 98 percent of American families, your taxes shouldn’t go up. You’re the ones struggling with rising costs and stagnant wages. You’re the ones who need relief.
It is clear, as the President tries to distance himself from the occupy movement, he is clearly pandering to them.
I did get some relief last night, it came in the form of the response to the SOTU by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, this was my favorite part:
The extremism that stifles the development of homegrown energy, or cancels a perfectly safe pipeline that would employ tens of thousands, or jacks up consumer utility bills for no improvement in either human health or world temperature, is a pro-poverty policy. It must be replaced by a passionate pro-growth approach that breaks all ties and calls all close ones in favor of private sector jobs that restore opportunity for all and generate the public revenues to pay our bills.
That means a dramatically simpler tax system of fewer loopholes and lower rates. A pause in the mindless piling on of expensive new regulations that devour dollars that otherwise could be used to hire somebody. It means maximizing on the new domestic energy technologies that are the best break our economy has gotten in years.
There is a second item on our national must-do list: we must unite to save the safety net. Medicare and Social Security have served us well, and that must continue. But after half and three quarters of a century respectively, it’s not surprising that they need some repairs. We can preserve them unchanged and untouched for those now in or near retirement, but we must fashion a new, affordable safety net so future Americans are protected, too.
Just as my headache started to subside, I remembered it was Rush Limbaugh who chased this man out of the primaries before they even began. Time for another ding-dong.