January 27, 2010
Guessing What President Obama Might Say in His State of the UnionBy Harold Witkov
The secret phrase is "back from the brink."
Now that the highly-regarded Ted Kennedy Senate seat has a 41st Republican derrière to keep it warm and the terrified Democrats are fleeing faster than the Brits at the Battle of New Orleans, everyone is guessing what President Obama's next move will be. Will he take note of the will of the people and alter his leftist agenda towards the middle, or will he simply look for new ways to jam things through?
Many believe that we might get some clues as to what the president is up to by what he will say in his upcoming State of the Union address. I, for one, do not believe that President Obama is going to change course, no matter what he says in his speech. Nevertheless, I plan to watch the State of the Union. But the way I figure it, as long as I am going to watch, I may as well provide myself some entertainment.
Back in the fifties, there was a television game show called "You Bet Your Life," starring Groucho Marx. In a segment of the show, Groucho would interview a contestant, and if he or she happened to say the "secret word," a papier-mâché duck would be dropped on a string from above and the contestant would "win an extra hundred bucks."
When the president gives his speech, I am going to play "secret word" -- or in this case, "secret phrase." The secret phrase is "back from the brink." If the president says my secret phrase in his speech, I am going to have myself a laugh and imagine a papier-mâché duck dropping on a string from above and dangling in front of the president's startled face before the joint session of Congress.
Why "back from the brink"? Truth is, President Obama has already used this phrase on a few occasions, and it irked me every time I heard it. In each instance, he has used the phrase to imply that if it were not for him and the Democrat Congress passing the Recovery Act, we would all be goners -- that they personally "pulled this economy back from the brink."
This is what I call playing the "we owe the president big time" card. In other words, he saved our skins and we owe a life debt to him. This often-used storyline has been around long before the President ever adopted it. Here are a few examples:
"You have saved my life; I'll give you whatever you want."
-Prince Edward to Miles Hendon, The Prince and the Pauper
"I owe my life to you and offer you my friendship."
-Captain Ramballe to Pierre Bezvkhov, War and Peace
"Little enough for the man that saved my life."
-Gomer to Andy, Andy Griffith Show; Andy Saves Gomer
"I give you these ponies, but I owe you a life."
-Younger Bear to Little Big Man, Little Big Man
"I never did thank you for saving my life."
-Lieutenant Dan to Forrest Gump, Forrest Gump
If our President chooses to play his clever "we owe the president big time" card, recognize it for exactly what it is: pure fiction. The president never pulled us "back from the brink." It was by claiming that we were in dire peril that he was able get his failed legislation through. If we were truly on the brink, why were so many earmarks loaded onto the Recovery Act, and why has so much of the money yet to be spent?
If the president says "back from the brink" during his State of the Union, I will be on to his little trick. Besides picturing a descending papier-mâché duck, I will be reminding myself how he and the Democrats have been Pied-Pipering America "to the brink," and not from it. Then I will thank the voters of Massachusetts for moving us one step safer away from Obama's bankruptcy death wish for America.
As for the president's "back from the brink" phrase, I am figuring that since he said it before, he could do it again. If he chooses not to use the phrase during his State of the Union, my evening entertainment will turn out to be a dud, and I might even owe the president an apology. I certainly will not owe him a life debt.