On the cusp of irrelevancy

Dana Milbank: "Warren Buffet pays a lower tax rate than his secretary - an outrage he has asked us to fix," Obama went on. Widespread laughter broke out on the GOP side of the aisle. "This isn't political grandstanding," Obama said. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) guffawed. "This isn't class warfare," Obama said. More hysterics on the right. "We've identified over 500 [regulatory] reforms which will save billions of dollars," the president claimed. Majority leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) giggled. [...] Presidential addresses to Congress are often dramatic moments. This one felt like a sideshow. Usually, the press gallery is standing room only; this time only 26 of 90 seats were claimed by the deadline. Usually, some members arrive in the chamber hours early to score a center-aisle seat; 90 minutes before Thursday's speech, only one Democrat was so situated. Republican leaders, having forced Obama to postpone the speech because of the GOP debate, decided they...(Read Full Post)