Saturday, April 17, 2010

Column following State of the Union address

Never have so many looked so foolish. I was prepared to slam President Obama once again in the days leading up to his first State of the Union speech, but his address last week hit it out of the park, and it was truly enjoyable to see all of those fat cat Republicans sitting on their pudgy, uncalloused hands, putting on their best Cheney-esque scowls and shaking their collective heads when they disagreed with something they heard, which was often.

Still, invigorating and full of promise as the speech was, I still have reservations about the “union” that the President was referring to. It’s hard for me to believe that any of the senate members can even recall, if they ever knew, what regular life is like for the vast majority of the citizenry of this country.

In their union everyone wears an expensive suit, drives a Mercedes or BMW. They “work” behind a desk, live in houses

with so many rooms that a small town in Wyoming could

move in with room left for Rhode Island.

Their family meals are often prepared by “the help” and

dinner discussions revolve around stock investments and

their next vacation in St. Bart’s, or skiing in Aspen.

When they get sick, the doctor comes to them. Their kids’ college education is secure.

Their union is in good shape thanks to huge government bailouts

and they even get their yearly bonuses as well. All this while they

complain about the president spend-spend-spending us into


Then there is the small matter of the rest of the union,

the other ninety-nine percent of the country.

They wear jeans and overalls, work on farms, factories, fast food joints,and

supermarkets, where they

actually work for a living, make less in an hour than what the suits might spend for a martini at the club. They live in mobile homes, cheap duplexes or big empty new houses that they were

conned into buying with fancy language and small print and

are now on the verge of losing to foreclosure. Their houses

are empty because they have sold what furniture they had to

try to make that mortgage payment, or they never had enough

money left to buy any furniture after the closing on the

house. They drive used cars, or, in trying to keep up

appearances, buy a new one and have a monthly car payment that is as much as their rent.

When they get sick, they can’t get treatment

because they can’t afford the huge insurance premiums, so they suffer in silence. When it gets

cold, and the cost of heating their homes

is so high that they can’t afford it,

they suffer in cold silence. They can’t afford to take a

vacation where it is warm because while oil and gas prices

have risen to stupidly high levels, their paycheck has not

increased at all. Instead, they stay home and read about how

the other union spends their holidays in St. Barts and


They elected a president who they thought was like them,

from humble beginnings, who worked hard and made good, and

who promised change. They only change they got was what was

left in their pockets. And they suffer in silence. But not

for long. Even a dog can only take so much abuse before it

bites back, and the majority of regular people in this

country have had enough. They will bite back, because they

are not happy with the state of their union.