First, I didn't watch it. And I'll say this... this is the first time in my adult life I've not watched the SOTU, regardless of the President at the time. The fact is, I've had a belly full of Obama and his teleprompter after seeing him yammer on 6 zillion times in a year. I waited to read the transcripts this morning.
Second, the blogosphere will be buzzing all day about every syllable he uttered. There will be little original left to say. I have this post, and I think one other in me regarding this speech. Onward.
The thing that stood out to me the most on the innerwebs this morning isn't even Obama, per se. It's Chris Matthews. In my humble opinion, this fool's off the cuff remarks about Obama say sooo much about him - and many on the left - that I have to address it:
I was trying to think about who he was tonight. It's interesting: he is post-racial, by all appearances. I forgot he was black tonight for an hour. You know, he's gone a long way to become a leader of this country, and past so much history, in just a year or two. I mean, it's something we don't even think about. I was watching, I said, wait a minute, he's an African American guy in front of a bunch of other white people. And here he is president of the United States and we've completely forgotten that tonight -- completely forgotten it. I think it was in the scope of his discussion. It was so broad-ranging, so in tune with so many problems, of aspects, and aspects of American life that you don't think in terms of the old tribalism, the old ethnicity.
Chris Matthews forgot Obama was black... for an hour.
Here's the thing, Thrill-boy... For all your accusations of racism and rampant rednecks, it is the left who can not get past the color of this man's skin. You people spend so much time patting yourselves and each other on the back for electing a black man that you cheapen what could be the only good thing about an Obama presidency - that we finally destroyed that racial barrier.
I did not vote for Barack Obama. Still, I was proud of my country that we'd (in my mind) moved beyond the divisive past and proved once and for all that a black man can move all the way to the top in America. Granted, that feeling of pride wasn't enough to overcome my feelings about Obama the man, but those are separate issues in my mind.
I don't care what color Obama is. I mean that sincerely. I don't think of him as a black President, or the African-American President, or the bi-racial President, or the post-racial President... He's just my President. I disagree with him more often than not, but I don't think his race has anything to do with his bad policies, and I am sick to death of the constant harping on his melanin levels.
Not so the left. For many liberals, Obama's race defines him. (Ahem... racists.) And we don't need a more vivid demonstration of that than Matthew's boneheaded remarks about "forgetting" Obama is black.
I don't need to "forget" that Obama is black, because as far as I'm concerned it's irrelevant. He's just a man, a politician, and I don't much care for where he'd like to take us. But I do wish the left could follow Matthew's lead and forget this is a black man and just let us deal with our President without the constant racial references and the tension it creates.
UPDATE: I'd like to temper my statement about Matthews' remarks. It seems he's irritating some liberals as much or more than he annoys me. The posters at Democratic Underground are going off on his nonsense - actually calling him a racist, just like I have. Some of them are a little more... um, blunt about it:
If we're gonna have a shit fit over Harry Reid using the word "negro"
This f*cking assh*le should be drawn and quartered for such a racist statement.
Huh. Wonders never cease. Maybe Matthews is good for something. He gives the left and right something to agree on... namely that he's a racist boob.