UnNews:Obama asks: "Can't we all just get along?"
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27 January 2011
"I anticipated this day, and wisely failed to pull out of either Iraq or Afghanistan, close the prison at Guantanamo, impose a carbon tax, end the Bush tax cuts, or achieve single-payer health care. I knew that's the way this Congress would want it," the President said.
Mr. Obama set out to achieve a goal that has always been easy: to make Republicans forget what they came to Washington to do.
Indeed, each Republican held hands with a Democrat, in recognition that their harsh words were surely what made the apolitical Jared Loughner plug Rep. Gabrielle Giffords between the eyes. Amid the paired couples, however, exactly one partner stood up to applaud, no matter what the President said, making the floor of the House of Reprehensibles resemble a playground full of see-saws.
Kelly Ayotte, the new Republican Senator from New Hampshire, drew straws and was assigned to partner with Democrat Barney Frank. "I was surprised," she said. "He was a perfect gentleman. He really kept his hands to himself." Nancy Pelosi, of course, was paired with John Boehner, who replaced her as Speaker. They wrestled over the oversized gavel to see who would treat the other to Cherry Cokes after the speech. The atmosphere of shared vision made Speaker Boehner get all misty, though that doesn't mean a thing. Or it could have been Ms. Pelosi's Arugula perfume.
The President agreed on the need to impose a harsh freeze on a tiny portion of the federal budget, along the way to pouring more money into windmills. "We'll control spending," he said, "to the greatest degree possible given trillion-dollar deficits." And he promised to listen to the opposition on health care. "You've got a lot of good ideas I want to hear," he said, "like that one I didn't listen to last year after I told you I wanted to hear it."
Making a special appearance to warm up the audience was Rodney King. The black comedian reprised the crowd-pleasing performance he gave when he found himself on his back a decade ago, amid a dozen Los Angeles policemen swinging billy clubs. His exclamation--"Can't we all just get along?"--set the theme for the merry evening.