So the baby and I were discussing college plans and his future. Okay, I was discussing college plans and his future. He was texting with his girlfriend about the big tailgate party this weekend. That’s like a tailgate party for humans – they’re getting together before the big game – except squirrels don’t need pickup trucks. We have our own tails. So the kids get together and curl and flick their tails to get each other excited about the game.
Or at least that’s what I think the baby said. I wasn’t paying attention, because I was discussing college plans and his future. He was paying as much attention to that as I was to his tailgate party planning. I finally got grumpy – shocking, I know – and asked him to put his Blewberry down. I was, I said, feeling dissed.
“Whoa,” the baby said. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to act like a Republican.”
He may have meant Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), who announced yesterday that he would not attend President Obama’s address to a Joint Session of Congress tonight. The New Orleans Saints kick off the NFL season against the Green Bay Packers tonight, and a mere speech on jobs by the President of the United States – with 14 million Americans unemployed – cannot interfere with a favorite football team. One must have priorities, after all.
Or maybe the baby meant Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), who announced last week that he wouldn’t “be a prop” for President Obama’s speech. Congressman Walsh also called the president “idiotic,” though he later apologized and said he meant that requesting a Joint Session of Congress for a speech on jobs was “idiotic,” and that President Obama was abusing his power to give such a speech when there wasn’t a national emergency. I guess 14 million unemployed Americans isn’t a big deal.
The baby might also have meant Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), who will hold a Twitter-tele-town-hall tonight instead, because he’d rather listen to his constituents. A spokesperson said he will keep the TV on and listen to President Obama’s speech, because he’s a “multi-tasker.” Well bully for him. Those 14 million unemployed Americans would like to have one task to do that will pay their families’ bills.
Then there’s Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), who said he might have attended the speech if President Obama had sent him an advance copy of the speech, but “right now frankly I’m so frustrated I don’t think I’m going to go.” I bet those 14 million unemployed Americans are frustrated too, and they have more reason than not getting an advance copy of a speech.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) did not mince words about this display of political nuttitude:
The Republicans’ refusal to respond to the president’s proposal on jobs is not only disrespectful to him, but to the American people. In nearly 250 days of being in the majority, House Republicans have not passed a single piece of legislation to create jobs. The Republican silence on Thursday evening will speak volumes about their lack of commitment to creating jobs.
It seems 14 million unemployed Americans just aren’t that important to these Republicans. Nor is the President of the United States. He’s from the wrong party, you see.
And the wrong something-else-you-can-see. That last bit isn’t just a squirrel’s view. African Americans notice when white Republicans diss our nation’s first black president, and white Republicans have dissed President Obama like no president before. Democrats were supposedly a “disloyal opposition” for challenging President Bush’s war policies, but it’s fine for Republicans to challenge President Obama’s citizenship, yell “You lie!” during a State of the Union address, or just not show up at all. Because he’s “different.”
So Republicans will stand together in disrespecting him. You could call it diss-loyalty … and that’s being generous.
Good day and good nuts.