When was the last time you went to [a State of the Union address]?
Oh, my goodness, I expect fifteen years. But I’m not the only one who didn’t go. John Paul Stevens never went, Bill Rehnquist never went during his later years. Because it is a childish spectacle. And we are trucked in just to give some dignity to the occasion. I mean, there are all these punch lines, and one side jumps up—­Hooray! And they all cheer, and then another punch line, and the others stand up, Hooray! It is juvenile! And we have to sit there like bumps on a log. We can clap if somebody says, “The United States is the greatest country in the world.” Yay! But anything else, we have to look to the chief justice. Gee, is the chief gonna clap? It didn’t used to be that bad.
Habit 1: Maximalist goals.
There’s a lot about Obamacare for a Republican not to like. But to demand Obamacare’s outright repeal (which is what “defunding” amounts to) barely 10 months after decisively losing an election in which Obamacare occupied a central place—well, that’s shooting for the moon. we’ve seen equivalent moon shots again and again since 2009. During the original Obamacare legislation, Republicans took the position: no, no, not one inch. During the election of 2012, Republicans were not content merely to replace one president with another. They also campaigned on the most radical platform the party since 1964. They wanted the biggest possible mandate. Instead they got whomped.
“There were some waterboarding jokes that were really tasteless,” the guest said. “I can see the case for enhanced interrogation techniques after Sept. 11 but I can’t really endorse sitting there drinking wine and fancy dinner at the Plaza laughing uproariously about it.”
There’s nothing Democrats can do about gerrymandering, so here’s a radical proposal: Let’s turn our attention to whether Democrats are poised to capitalize on the opportunities that do exist in the House. Because for all the talk about gerrymandering, there are still 17 House Republicans in districts carried by President Obama. And there are another 17 districts that Romney carried by less than 3 points, and still a handful more of even redder districts where weak GOP incumbents won reelection by a narrow margin. If Democrats are going to ride a wave of public frustration with the shutdown, the wave would hit these districts first—and Democrats would need to be poised to ride it. Right now, they’re not.
“Take Me Out to the Ball Game” was Katie’s well known reply, but in 1908, a woman at the ballpark rooting and cheering was neither a common sight, nor was it fully accepted. “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” advertises just the opposite: that a woman’s place was indeed in the grandstand at the ballpark and not just safe at home.