Conservative Reactions to State of the Union

Fox Not NewsI spent most of the night glued to Fox News. Part of this is just that MSNBC is too predictable. But mostly, I just wanted to know what the conservatives would have to say, given that I knew Obama was going to propose some things that normally would be hugely popular — even among conservatives. And I knew they would hate these proposals. So I thought it might be fun to watch them make their bold stands for the power elite. I wanted to see them explain how they truly cared about the middle class and that is why they were for more tax cuts and subsidies for the rich. Oh: and Juan Williams was there too.

The evening did not start off well. To begin with, there was no SOTU coverage until 9:00. Bill O’Reilly did his usual 8:00 show because, you know, it was only a Democratic president giving the speech — nothing important. Finally, Bret Baier came on and gave his usual biased, but somehow still vanilla introduction. And then came Nina Easton. She’s an editor at Fortune Magazine who is mostly interested in economics, but not last night! She was going on about how Obama was going to ask for approval to attack in Iraq. Fine. But she made it out like it was a big deal and that this was what the headlines would be about tomorrow. In fact, all the discussion before the speech was about ISIS and how important terrorism is and how we should be afraid — very afraid.

This was quite interesting because after the speech, Baier came back on and said that “as predicted” the president spoke little about foreign affairs and instead focusing on domestic issues. I think that was his way of saying, “Since I’m the only halfway reasonable person in this room, I want to make it clear that I always knew that what these other fools were talking about was nonsense.” Of course, in the lead-up to the speech, he didn’t counter any of that nonsense.

At this point, we got to hear from George Will who did nothing but quote a large section of the speech with a mocking tone. He really needs to retire. He is no kind of substitute for Charles Krauthammer — and you know how highly I regard him! After Will, we got Stephen Hayes who scoffed at the president’s attempt to make nice with the Republicans because he had been the most “divisive” president in history. Blah, blah, blah. Somehow, conservatives always forget that Lincoln fought the Civil War. Regardless, Hayes’ examples all came from late in his term — after the Republicans had shunned Obama at every turn. Finally, Nina Easton noted that the TTIP and TPP would grow the economy — something she can’t know because she’s never seen these secret monstrosities.

Fox News went to commercial, so I switched over to MSNBC just in time to see Steve “I’m more conservative every day hoping for a good gig in the 2016 election” Schmidt. He was arguing that ISIS was a far more important issue than public funding of child care. I suspect that’s true — for Steve Schmidt, who probably has a stay-at-home wife, but certainly has enough money to pay for child care. Gratefully, Chris Hayes countered him powerfully, noting that ISIS isn’t some kind of existential threat to the United States. Rachel Maddow, who may be suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s, came to Schmidt’s defense. But the kind of fear mongering that Schmidt was doing should be left to Fox News where it belongs.

The only other thing I saw was back over on Fox News after Joni Ernst. Everyone was respectful. They all agreed that at least she didn’t awkwardly grab a bottle of water and guzzle it in the middle of her talk. But it was clear they were shell-shocked. They understand better than anyone. When you have a political movement that is based upon taking away from the poorer classes and giving it to the rich, you need people like Ernst to convince the people that you aren’t really reptiles in human costumes. But really, I think a close watching of an hour and a half of Fox News will make you think that might just be true.

Oh: and Juan Williams was there too.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

3 thoughts on “Conservative Reactions to State of the Union

  1. I found your website when i googled steve schmidt thinks isis more important than child care.

    As a foreign person living in the US..I have to say this is insane…is foreign policy really more important to Americans than basic social services needed for a healthy middle class?

    I was proud of Obama, i watched the speech on MSNBC but for me MSNBC seems to be the most reasonable and intelligent. Particularly Chris Hayes and Melissa Harris Perry’s show. I like Rachel’s show too. I am not a super socialist either I am a moderate (in my country anyways) but when I watch CNN i feel like i am watching TMZ and Fox News plays like North Korean state television. MSNBC seems centrist to me though I know for Americans it’s like Che Guevara TV.

    Anyways…I find it sad that the most intelligent and reasonable news network on American TV is considered partisan and that the center lies in CNN..which to me doesn’t represent the center but the absurd. Tabloid trash and politics as a horse race with no discussions of policy. At least on the horrible Fox..there is actually discussion of policy but never on CNN or the terrestrial networks. I wish MSNBC had more respect amongst the American public because if more people watched it, then perhaps more people would vote and be engaged in politics and stop falling behind the rest of the world in basic services.

    You get nothing for your tax money in America except a giant miltary. No wonder people are always pissed off. They pay taxes and don’t see where their money goes. They get no benefit from it. It would be amazing if Obama could get the paid child leave and sick days things passed. I’m not sure how executive orders work though. Normally i would think that executive orders would be cheating but looking at how the lower house gerrymanders and draws districts to their liking…executive orders are welcome as far as I’m concerned.

    • Olivia: You are certainly right about the military wasting our tax money. Since the Cold War, Americans have been told there is a deadly scary horrible force out there bent on our total destruction, and if we waver for an instant we’ll be doomed. Enough people believe this that we can never slice a penny from the military budget, even though the vast majority of it is wasted on expensive boondoggles like space weapons that don’t work and military bases protecting American business interests.

      The roots of modern conservatism go back to the 1950s, when extreme right-wingers thought our Republican president (a centrist, Eisenhower) wasn’t doing enough to save us from the dastardly Russians. Even though the CIA overthrew democratic, slightly liberal governments in Iran and Guatemala during that period on the pretext those governments were “communist” (they weren’t!) Some even said Eisenhower’s administration was riddled with Soviet spies and sympathizers. This was nonsense and the people who believed it were considered a fringe element at the time. As you observe, that kind of crazy talk is largely mainstream today.

      Hope you stick around for a while and help us make Americans realize how dumb and dangerous that sort of thinking is — we need all the help we can get.

  2. Heh. I saw the same Schmidt bit. He was no-shitting-about-it comparing Churchill addressing the English people after Dunkirk to what he thinks an American president should do today. Hayes promptly told Schmidt to go fuck himself and Maddow was trying to keep the peace. It was entertaining.

    I guess “terrorism” has now officially become, not just in Chris Hitchens’s addled brain, but in a large contingent of American scaredy-cat minds, quite like the various Red Scares. The real enemy isn’t the enemy. It’s the traitors within who say “good God these loons couldn’t conquer us in a trillion years.” That’s who we really have to be eternally vigilant against.

    Terrific Perlstein piece I just read and which ties into the GOP response to, well, anything (at this point I assume they plan to lie unapologetically, it bolstered Romney’s numbers a bit at the end and Ernst went ape with mendacity):

    Well, well worth worth looking at, if you hadn’t seen it already. Very sad.

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