I was on the porch at the shack with Swamp Rabbit, critiquing Barack Obama’s sixth State of the Union address. Obama was the embodiment of magical thinking for American liberals, an icon of hope because he was an articulate outsider. He turned out to be the consummate insider, a good pal of Jamie Dimon and other elite fraudsters, but put him onstage and he still sounds like a crusader against income inequality:
It’s now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next fifteen years, and for decades to come. Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?
I told the rabbit that the questions Obama posed have been answered many times since the Reagan years, when the income gap between the rich and poor already was widening. But our silver-tongued leader obviously enjoys re-asking it, especially now that both the Senate and House are in Republican hands and his opportunity to fight income inequality has come and gone.
“The man is a lame duck,” the rabbit said. “Don’t matter what he says or what you say. How ’bout you git down off that soapbox? There’s real news goin’ on out there.”
I pointed out to him that I was standing on his case of Wild Turkey, not on a soapbox. “What’s the real news?” I said.
It was “Deflategate.” Someone from the New England Patriots, prior to the team’s game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, may have let some of the air out of the footballs the Patriots would use. Slightly deflated balls might be easier to throw and catch, so the balls may have been a factor in the Patriots’ lopsided victory. In other words, the Patriots have been accused of cheating. Stop the presses!
“That’s crazy talk,” I said. “Everybody knew the Patriots were going to win that game. You’re just mad because you didn’t have the money to bet on them, and because you lost money on them the week before. How come the Patriots are news but Obama isn’t?”
The rabbit twitched his nose and spat in the swamp. “Because nobody knows yet how the Patriots story is gonna turn out. That’s more than you can say for the Obama story.”