President Barack Obama just completed his State of the Union speech – which could be subtitled Common Sense Law Making or Keep Your Eye on What the American People Need and Want.
Vice President Joe Biden, the Happy Warrior, sat behind him, fully authentic and engaged, warm and wise. Speaker of the House John Boehner, from very nearby here, also sat behind the President, grimacing, squirming, totally dour with a downturned frown on his dark face.
The President went through his powerful list of legislative needs and initiatives, a list of what we have been telling our leaders that we need for several years. The big ones are, of course, immigration, gun law reform, tax reform. Then energy, voting rights, medical and energy research, our veterans, the sequester, education, Afghanistan. Perhaps the most surprising to me was the request to raise the minimum wage to $9 per hour, and link it to the cost of living going forward.
Republicans are so full of fear and even hatred. I surround them with love, no longer trying to understand why President Obama is anathema to them. Sad, limited, unsmiling, slouching – that was Paul Ryan and many Republicans in the chamber this evening.
I know the paradigm is speeding up its shifting, as indicated by the number of women in the chamber. And I feel strongly there will be unexpected good changes coming up. Let’s hope a big part of that is an awakening among Republicans that life is good here and that they can help to make it better.