Tonawanda News

January 19, 2014

DUVALL: Obama's un-stately State of the Union

By Eric DuVall
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — President Obama will deliver his fifth State of the Union address in nine days. Here are some of the things he probably won’t say:

“Mr. Speaker, Congress, the American people, I stand before you today presiding over an economy that is still pretty crappy. I’ve got some small bore ideas you’re going to hear all about in a minute — elected representatives, feel free to stand and clap or boo, it’s pretty much your only job here tonight — but first, I must say for the record, the state of our union is strong. Except for Texas. I think they’re still debating secession.

Texas notwithstanding, there are millions of our fellow Americans out of work. Rather than try to help them keep the lights from being shut off, we’re yanking their unemployment benefits. So, you know, that’s a decent idea. Good work, people.

This could be OK if we had anything resembling industrial policy to help them find jobs in this country but we don’t. The plan, as I’ve laid out numerous times before, is to continue to allow developing countries to do the tough jobs most Americans are now too lazy to do while we make vast sums of money selling each other cellphones and fast food cheeseburgers.

We have not raised the minimum wage in a generation and as a result, all those cheeseburger sellers can’t afford to buy anything besides their own dollar menu items. 

Did I mention the dollar menu cheeseburger at McDonald’s is now $1.29? That sucks. It should still be 99 cents. That’s why I’m calling on lawmakers to pass my landmark Dollar Menu Preservation Act, requiring all fast food restaurants to charge no more than a dollar for that stuff.

[BIPARTISAN STANDING OVATION]

Speaking of fatty foods, we’re all getting a little thick around the middle these days. That’s why we passed Obamacare, to prevent health insurance companies from dropping people due to pre-existing conditions. In 20 years when eight in 10 Americans has Type II diabetes, you’re going to be real happy we did that.

[DEMOCRATS CLAP HESITANTLY, REPUBLICANS BOO INCESSANTLY]

And before you ask, yes, that damn website will be working by then. In fact it’s working right now. Sort of. Millions of people have used it and report only moderate levels of frustration and confusion. Industry experts say they’re getting new customers. But millions more must still sign up. 

That’s why I’ve ordered a full-on public relations blitz to encourage younger Americans to get coverage. We’re really pulling out all the stops. We’ve devised a system that floods twenty-somethings’ Twitter feeds with kitten memes and Buzzfeed has agreed to create “27 Ways You Know You Have Health Insurance.” I’ve instructed my staff to share it on their Facebook pages.

Despite all this good news there are still many problems in our country. Problems you all have refused to do diddly squat about, I might add.

[BIPARTISAN STANDING OVATION]

This is my fifth time up here and every time I come down to this end of Pennsylvania Avenue I make the obligatory reference to immigration reform. But this time I really mean it. We’re going to overhaul our nation’s broken immigration system. We’re going to create a path to citizenship for the millions of people whose only crime was being born in another country — and sneaking into this one illegally.

[DEMOCRATS APPLAUD, REPUBLICANS SCOFF SHOWILY]

And to do this we must work together. Really, I just need you all to do some kind of work at all. My approval ratings have hit a low point but you do realize only 9 percent of Americans like you, right? I mean, 9 percent is a really low number of Americans. More people approve of root canals than you.

So in the name of bipartisanship I say, together, we will work to restore Americans’ faith in government, or at least like us more than painful dental procedures.

Thank you, God bless you and may God bless the United States of America.”

Eric DuVall is the managing editor of the Tonawanda News. Contact him at eric.duvall@tonawanda-news.com or follow him on Twitter, @EricRDuVall.