Bedbugs and Bread Bags
Sometimes I think us East Coasters are a little sort-changed when it comes to the SOTU speech and the rebuttals—it’s late by the time all the coverage is done. I have to get up for my paying gig the next day, and I usually have to get to bed before I’ve been able to properly ruminate on the President’s speech, let alone the rebuttal. Especially not if there are five rebuttals.
What is a blogger to make of five rebuttals from the opposition party? Given that there’s an “official” GOP response, I have to guess that the “takes” from different “rebuttals” have to be taken individually, on their own merits, and not view them cumulatively. I mean—would that be fair—five against one? (Well, yeah. I did think Obama did a heckuva job. Easily worth about five of those other speeches.)
See, I’m not what you’d call a pro, like Ron “No ‘I’ in Leadership, well, except that one” Fournier. And the benefit of blogging for seven years is that my regulars pretty much know where I stand on the major points President Obama brought up (raising the minimum wage—for it, equal pay for women—for it, addressing climate change—for it, land wars in the middle east—against’em), so I just feel like a point by point of the SOTU itself is pointless. In general, he looked more at home giving the speech this year and his zinger about winning two elections himself took some of that expectation that Dems losing the midterms overall would leave him “checked out” and lame-ducking it until January 2017 away. He’s still “all in” as far as I can tell. But that’s just my opinion.
Now I guess I could pay attention to Senators Rand Paul or Ted Cruz, being possible 2016 Presidential contenders. Honestly, I thought Cruz’ mistaken upload of a “mis-take” was goofy enough to be planted to humanize him (shit, Rand Paul has me doing the “false flag” stuff, now…) and Rand Paul was…Rand Paul. He doesn’t disappoint. I think It’s pretty interesting that in the English responses immigration was still an ideological “no-go zone” (see what I did there?), but in the Spanish response, reform was a considered possibility.
But there’s no question that it was newly-sworn Senator for Iowa Joni Ernst who had my real attention—for awhile. See, I watched her delivery—a little deliberate, frozen smile, frozen hair (completely understandable nerves?) but she started off the bat admitting that her rebuttal wasn’t a rebuttal. Well, reasonable enough—I’ve never thought it was an easy task to tick off a point by point refutation of a usually hour-long speech released at the last minute on the fly, and presenting a Republican vision of what is possible for the coming years would be a great starting place for the new, GOP-majority Senate. And we didn’t get that either. What we got was, Obamacare is a failed program (isn’t) and bread bags.
Obamacare was phased-in in implementation and isn’t a perfect plan, but it’s got 10 million more people insured and lowered out of pocket premiums for many lower income people, and resulted in less people going bankrupt due to their medical costs. While health care costs are still going up, they are doing so at a lower rate, also. That’s not a “failure” if it exceeds what we would have gotten overall with the status quo ante. Instead of “repeal and replace”, I entreat my conservative friends to please start thinking about tinkering. Maybe call it “improve and refine”. But she didn’t dwell on the thing, so neither will I—
But bread bags. She is roughly my age, so we came up in the Reagan era. When I was small, we did sometimes use plastic bread bags—but not over the shoes. Plastic is what it is, and I don’t know how well it would hold up between pavement and shoe leather. No, we put them under galoshes to protect our socks from slush getting in. If you get wet, cold socks in the morning, you can’t think of anything but your feet the rest of the day. It wasn’t anything to do with being poor (well, I didn’t come up rich, and there were a lot of Salvation Army second-hand clothes worn—but to be honest I didn’t do anything but grow out of clothes when I was a kid) but keeping my socks and pants cuffs dry. Could be they do it differently in Iowa, Douglas Burns seems to recall doing the bread bag thing, too—but when she got to a whole busload of kids with bread bags on their feet, I was gone. What a missing study for Norman Rockwell!
Nope. She lost me to her Senate stump-speech down-home bread bag imagery, and I could hardly keep up with how her stint working in the Hardees biscuit line meant she knew why the minimum wage shouldn’t be raised.
She’s a poor girl, doesn’t try to hide it; bread bags on the soles of her shoes.
But you know me. I don’t judge—I outsource that. But I’ll tell you what: I don’t think the Keystone pipeline she brought up will put shoes on too many feet. I do know she kept her speech as short as it needed to be.
(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged.)