Just about an hour before the State of the Union address this evening, the official White House Twitter account sent out this:
The implication, of course, was that President Obama would be wearing his now-legendary tan suit for his address to Congress and the nation tonight, the same one that caused Twitter to practically collapse in on itself in a singularity of self-satisfied snark back in August of last year. Since the president didn’t in fact go tan for tonight but chose a more traditional look, that means the White House just trolled everybody. And if I may say, rightfully so. As a country and a culture, we’ve earned it. By teasing us with the tantalizing possibility of a meme we simply wouldn’t be able to deny — one which would basically render whatever else happened during the State of the Union Address background noise — the Obama White House showed that it had our number. That number, by the way, is zero.
I don’t know about you, but I’m really enjoying this stage of the Obama presidency. He’s got a freewheeling kind of Bulworth-meets-Chris-Rock-at-the-Apollo vibe going, where he knows he’s got this thing locked and after six years he’s over the people he’s never going to make happy anyway. It’s refreshing to see him at ease and finally just admitting that he has no fucks left to give for the political adversaries who early on promised never to give him so much as an inch and six years later have consistently done just that.
The thing is, while they were always willing to burn the country down as long as they could hang it around his neck — they haven’t been able to do it. Gas is under three dollars a gallon. The Dow closed today at 17,515. Unemployment’s at 5.6%. The deficit’s been cut in half. Millions have affordable health insurance they wouldn’t have been able to get a few years ago. Osama bin Laden is dead. (Yes, there’s an admittedly horrific new threat out there, but if you really think that wouldn’t have happened had McCain or Romney been elected president, you’re nuts, and if you know a better way to confront ISIS than what we’re doing at the moment, I’m all ears.) Like him or not — agree with his policies or not — most people in the United States are better off than they were six years ago. It’s as simple as that. The man has done the seemingly impossible during his presidency given how broken this country was when he took office. Unless you’re one of those assholes who hates Obama just because he’s Obama, you need to be willing to admit this.
With that in mind, Obama’s final push is a high-water mark in going for broke because, well, fuck it, why not? It’s like if you could hear the casually smiling face behind his internal monologue it would be saying, “Yep, I’m gonna propose we tax the super-rich to give the middle class a break. Why? Because the 1% now has half the global wealth. Don’t like it? Tough shit. I want kids to go to community college for free. That bother you for some reason? Don’t care. I invited an undocumented worker, a victim of gun violence and somebody who spent the past six months neck-deep in Ebola to the State of the Union address tonight. Why? Because fuck you, that’s why. And as for you ingrates out there who six years ago were eating Alpo watching this thing and tonight have a job and can put gas in your car without having to refinance the home you were in danger of losing not too long ago, you pay me back with a Republican Congress? You reward the very children who’ve spent my entire presidency trying to sink this country in the hope that you’d blame me for it? What the hell is the matter with you? Look, I’m over it all. I’ve done good and I know it. The state of the union is, I can’t even with you people anymore. Now how’s this for a hashtag: ‘Suck on my tan suit’?”
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.