Altered State

Having just returned to the country in the last few months after most of the decade overseas, I was interested in listening to the State of the Union address of our current president. I am somewhat of a political junkie, but since returning I had pretty much ignored the going-ons in Washington. This was my chance to catch up a little bit.

So we tuned our new satellite to CNN and sat down to watch.  It was like watching the bar scene out of Star Wars. One person I was watching the show with likened it to an asylum.

My remembrances of watching presidential addresses from Congress as a kid include mental images of old, staid men sitting behind the chief executive, sometimes nodding off, sometimes looking like they were about to keel over. Yet, it conveyed a certain dignity.  These guys may be octogenarians, but they were OUR octogenerians and they conveyed the idea that we had a stable ship of state.

Watching last night, I felt as if I was watching The Love Boat.  President Obama was presidential and gave a good speech, as State of the Union Messages go. (Usually, they are long boring affairs filled with promises and stats.)  Behind him, however, we were subjected to a weird side show.

Joe Biden seems like an amiable guy.  But he is a little too amiable.  Much of the speech a wide grin was plastered across his face.  I felt like someone was telling him private jokes in his ear plugs (or maybe hair plugs). Everything seemed funny to him. Was I watching Jay Leno or the State of the Union address?

Nancy Pelosi had alternative poses. At times she looked as if she was shrugging, smiling in a funny way. This gave her sort of an Alfred E. Newman “What, Me Worry?”  persona.  At other times, it seemed she did not know what to do with her mouth. She puckered. She moved her lips around. It even looked like she was running her tongue on her front teeth with her mouth closed.

Biden and Pelosi with reasonably sober expressions. The morning after, it appears the only stills are those released by the White House.

The images coming across my TV of the assembled elites were also disconcerting.  These were our nation’s power brokers?  They looked more like a mob coming after Frankenstein than our country’s leaders. Their faces betrayed skeptiscism, amusement, and mockery.  Senator Reid was the only person who reminded me of the good old days. CNN caught him yawning.    

Our best and brightest

Give me that old time government religion which was led by old men.  They may have appeared to be close to the grave, but at least they didn’t seem insane.

The good old days


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