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7 March 2022

Here in the southern parts of the USA, especially Texas, where I live, we have a colloquialism often used when we can’t just come out and tell a person, “you’re stupid.” For those of us raised in polite society, who would never insult you to your face, we replace our criticisms and epithets with “Bless your heart.” While a small, crying child may actually get a sincere “Bless your heart,” anyone twelve years old or older will, at some point, do something so dumb and pathetic, they will earn the “tut-tut”, head shake, and murmured invective from a big haired, Dallas mom.

On Tuesday, March 1st, 2022, President Joe Biden gave his State of the Union Address to the American people. The congressional floor was definitely more populated than 2021’s speech but that was the only part with more eyeballs. The viewership on this one tanked to the lowest numbers in 15 years. Not a great statistic for a president who is already struggling with approval ratings.

The speech, itself, was what we have come to expect from our politicians: nothing too striking, nothing too bold, just the usual self-aggrandizing phrases and “facts” twisted to make the political party in power look good and the other party look bad. But there were several moments that won the cabal in Washington a resounding “Bless your heart” from viewers like me.

Joe Biden’s cognitive decline.

It’s been on display ever since he announced his candidacy and it was front in centre for a speech his handlers couldn’t extricate him from. Watching him squint at the camera, stumble over words, and mixing up Ukraine with Iran was a painful experience. He looked old, sounded addlepated, and presented weak. This man represents America and for those who continue to let him waddle front and centre and make a complete mockery of himself and this country, I say, “Bless your heart.”

Russia/Ukraine

We all expected something on this front. President Biden’s grandiosity about giving financial and artillery aid to the Ukrainians in their fight against Putin, completely washes over the fact that it was this type of interventionist activity in 2014, under his former boss, Obama, that led to the current crisis. Biden wants to give them one billion dollars more and expects to be patted on the back by the same group of people who have spent us into a 30 trillion dollar debt. In short, he’s going to keep doing the thing that caused the problem in the first place and take our taxes to fund this fiasco even more. To that, I say, “Bless your heart.”

Inflation

Biden spoke to the current economic conditions. It was just the tiniest bit disingenuous to start with a “record number of jobs and growth in the economy” and immediately pivot into inflation. In his defence, we have come to expect the first lie, however, it is inexcusable to be so blindingly dumb when it comes to inflation and what causes it. “One way to fight inflation is to drive down wages and make Americans poorer” Biden said. “I think I have a better idea to fight inflation: lower your costs, not your wages.”

Of course, it isn’t that the Federal Reserve is printing money faster than carnival ticket dispenser, or that government is spending the money like a drunken sailor, or that all the new, un-inflated dollars go to the big banks first before the rest of us get any of it. Surely that couldn’t be the cause of the inflation.

No, it’s definitely that fast-food places are charging too much for chicken nuggets.

Y’all, Bless his heart.

Hecklers

As Biden was talking about dangerous chemicals that cause cancer and other ailments, GOP Representative, Lauren Boebert heckled the president about his disastrous withdraw from Afghanistan and the Thirteen soldiers that died. She made two attempts to derail him and was met with boos.

Biden had just begun to talk about his late son, Beau, who may have gotten his brain tumour from the chemicals he was referencing. It was the most human moment of Biden’s speech and Boebert looked like moron trying to score political points.

Given the GOP’s love affair with war and the pile of bodies surrounding their own policies, Boebert’s outbursts were not only ineffective but hypocritical as well.

Heckling is only funny when the Muppets do it. Bless her heart.

Nancy Pelosi’s Hands.

How I would love to pontificate further on Biden’s plans to spend more money on infrastructure, cheap manufacturing, wind turbines, and ice cream machines on every corner, I have to give my final slot to Nancy Pelosi’s hands.

One of my least favourite parts of SOTU is the constant clapping. The incessant ovations make an already long, drab speech last an hour longer.

Nancy Pelosi didn’t clap. She rubbed her fists together. It looked like the tiny hands skit from SNL. It was equal parts awkward and bizarre.

It was the type of thing you’d expect from an 81 year old woman but, preferably, one that is in a private environment watching Wheel of Fortune with a pet cat – not from the woman who is third in line for the presidency. Her bizarre actions, coupled with her own set of idiosyncrasies, made the SOTU look like a nursing home theatrical production and Kamala Harris was the nurse who was there to remind them of their lines.

Nancy needs to go, y’all. Bless her heart.

The entire political class is an unmitigated disaster. Bless their hearts.

The fawning, corporate press that cover their blunders and crimes are a disgrace. Bless their hearts.

And for some reason, we keep voting these idiots into power and expecting different results.

Y’all, bless our hearts.

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Paul Thompson is an internationally performed composer and owner of House of El Music. He regularly writes for movies, theater, albums, and live events. His first novel, Drosselmeyer: Curse of the Rat King (a prequel to the Nutcracker) debuted in September of 2021. He lives in Dallas, TX with his moderately well behaved beagle, C.K.

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