BY KENNY BELFORD
We new it was coming, we just didn’t know exactly when.
Last night President Obama addressed Washington leadership and the nation in his State of the Union address. Republicans could barely mask their total revulsion at having to sit in the audience and listen to him.
They had good cause to feel uncomfortable. For years they’ve verbally assaulted him, most frequently with lies and absurd claims and predictions. They knew ahead of time that the facts were in, and Republicans hate facts. They knew it was not going to be pleasant to have their lies and dire predictions debunked with truth and genuine, irrefutable facts.
So there they sat, dour faced as if they were the next patient waiting to be called in for a no-sedation colonoscopy. The presidential address began and point-after-point was scored by the president, supported with verifiable facts. Tension was mounting, which is understandable if all your wild claims and blatant lies were being debunked one by one, and worse yet, with real facts.
We knew it was coming, we just didn’t know exactly when.
Then it happened: Late in the State of the Union the president made the comment, “I have no more campaigns to run.” The moment arrived. Basic civility could no longer be contained by the Republicans.
Hearing that statement, the Republicans started a boisterous round of applause and cheering. Of course it was rude, but the Republicans could no longer contain themselves, and that act was intended to give themselves a moment of empowerment, communicating their disapproval of the president’s accomplishments benefiting Americans.
But the Republicans only had a brief moment to feel pride over their act of rudeness. Once again the Republicans made a fatal tactical error. They failed to remember President Obama, unlike the past president, is smart, Magna Cum Laude from Harvard smart.
President Obama turned his head towards the seating area where the clapping and cheering Republicans were seated and, smiling, said: “I know because I won both of them.”
And the entire chamber erupted – well, not so much from the Republicans – in winning touchdown, protracted applause and cheers. Game, set, match.
House Speaker John Boehner, seated behind the president, had a “I just licked a wet possum” expression. The Republicans in the audience instantly realized they’d lost their moment, perhaps even realizing they’d played the role of straight man in setting up this zinger for the ages. Once again, President Obama won the day, and left the Republicans to ponder what just happened.
Today, I’ve already seen ads on the Internet offering “I know because I won both of them” t-shirts and hoodies. I think I’ll buy one.
– Kenny Belford lives in Muskogee, OK and is an occasional contributor to The Oklahoma Observer