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January 31, 2014

A Witty Night in the District

Harry M. Covert

With one swipe of a pen, and a poke in the eye, it’s what happened earlier this week during a joint session of Congress. About time, too.


The Man looked at them all without blinking. He said, "here's what I'm gonna do."


No matter the partisan side gentle readers may have, it was quite a show, almost as serious as asking why is it illegal to lie to the Legislative Branch.


It was a witty night, especially when a congressman threatened a reporter with a toss over the side rail if the news gatherer asked another unpleasant question. The legislator later apologized. In reality, he's nothing more than a bully and a snot. The latter word is a good one. Wouldn't want to have bean soup with him in the House Dining Room.


But, let's go back to the podium. In the background there were the Vice President and the Speaker of The House. Joe Biden was having what appeared to be the time of his life. His compadre, John Boehner, a Marlboro man, was trying to be dignified and every now and then would applaud. Once the latter stood reluctantly following a Mr. O remark.


Seemed like No. 2 enjoyed acknowledging audience friends with grins and finger-pointing. No. 3 was trying to keep a good face and hopefully not getting caught up in any partisan misdemeanors.


Usually, the State of the Union program over the years has been mostly fluff, Dr. Feel Good programs and a chance for some national exposures. I had lots of good chuckles.


For the first time from a public perspective, it seems that Mr. O got the better of a trouble-making Congress. He even seemed to get the drop on the black robes of Supreme Court. At least the Chief Justice did the dignified thing and showed up.


Four others of the "co-equal branch" skipped the performance, probably because they were excoriated the last time. Taking powders were Antonin Scalia, Sonia Sotomayor, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. Justice Alito probably can be granted a permission slip. He was staying an execution of a Missouri death row inmate for a short while with a "swipe of a pen."


It appeared that Mr. O finally took his Commander-in-Chief role seriously and grabbed the "bulls and bullesses" by the – um – the horns. Seems he took a page from the regal Ronald Reagan, going over their heads, straight to the Mr. and Mrs. America, boys and girls, and "all the ships at sea", probably excepting those on  another sickly cruise ship based in New Jersey.


It was fun to watch. So many of the partisans, the squirmers, squirmed to high heaven and attempted to be tough and determined.


So, with the august threat of another left-handed writing instrument, possibly a Parker or Cross or Montblanc or some other classy pen, Mr. O said he was raising the minimum wage for new government employees to $10.10. Where did the 10 cents come from? Who knows?


Everybody knew that was coming. More importantly, workers of all government contractors, et al, and the rich and poor, finally saw something important happening.


A joy to behold was watching the curmudgeons of the Congress getting several more fingers in the eye.


There was at least one hero in the crowd. A real man of honor, Army Ranger Sgt. Cory Remsburg. Of course, critics and other naysayers have been having a tough time taking Mr. O to task for this one, the moment that sealed the night.


Sergeant Remsburg was deployed 10 times to Afghanistan and Iraq. On his last one, he was seriously wounded. It was thrilling to see this young man sitting with the First Lady.


When people consider role models, hall of famers, the greats of the great, Sergeant Remsburg is the one to talk about. He was on the battlefield for his country. He has the severe wounds to show it, along with thousands of others.


The next time Americans want to speak of "giving back," see Sergeant Remsburg, he's done the job – almost giving his all.


Mr. O beat them all Tuesday night past. He may be a lame duck leader at this point, but he certainly has a lot of lame brains to deal with.


All of my pens, and I have a bunch, are right-handed instruments. Even without portfolio, I can swipe my pen(s) and know a true hero when I see him.


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