Paul Ryan and Michele Bachmann delivered separate responses to the President’s State of the Union address tonight.
CNN reported that the President received 84 percent positive reaction (52 percent very positive, 32 percent somewhat positive) to only 15 percent negative. CBS said that the President’s plans for the economy increased from 54 percent to 81 percent — a 27 point increase.
The speech quality dipped quite extensively after that.
Ryan, chair of the Budget Committee in the House, delivered the official Republican response and spoke to the nation sitting at a table in the Budget Committee hearing room. Ryan avoided going full Bobby Jindal but his response was rife with spending lies and omissions. (In talking about corralling the deficit and national debt, it is intellectually dishonest for him to omit that he voted for Medicare Part D and TARP.)
The main event everybody came to see — Michele Bachmann’s tea party response — was delayed several minutes because the congresswoman was stuck in traffic. (She must think traffic is a socialist, freedom-hating plot to silence “We the People”!) But it was certainly worth the wait.
Oh how to describe this wonderful moment in American political history? It was as if CNN accidentally aired an SNL cold open. That’s perhaps the best way to describe it. Bachmann went full Bobby Jindal with a hint of Ross Perot.
To CNN viewers, Bachmann was staring off camera. (Perhaps trying to read misspelled tea party cue cards?) There were charts and historic photographs accompanied with a botched pronunciation of Iwo Jima as “Iwo Jama.” The speech was a recital of the usual tea party boilerplate with none of the subtle transitions. In the same breath, Bachmann demanded we “repeal Obamacare” and proclaimed “we must make things again.”
Among the many factual errors in Bachmann’s speech, she attributed the fiscal year 2009 deficit to President Obama, and recited the “16,500 IRS agents” zombie lie.
If Paul Ryan’s delivery was on the level of high school debate team, then whatever that was from Michele Bachmann, it would be closer to a middle school science class presentation.