Anyone these days can have their official response to the SOTU speech. This isn’t so much a response as what I wish Obama would have said.
SCENE: Obama comes out and shakes hands with the Notorious Aisle Whores. He waves to the C-SPAN camera because it is the only love C-SPAN will get until the call-in show. He goes up to the podium and scans the crowd and tries to look Presidential.
“My fellow Americans, I will make this brief because we’re all busy and, besides, House is on at 10.” Obama turns around and looks right at John Boehner who, in a strange way, matches his chair. “John, can I borrow your iPhone?”
Boehner, confused, hands it over. Obama holds it up to the crowd.
“We all know what this is. You, there, Congressman Fiddlepot, I can see you tweeting your constituents from here. If you don’t have one yet you will. You will have one in a month when Verizon rolls them out. I want to talk about this little device for a moment.
“This device was conceived, designed, built, and tested by a publicly traded American company staffed with American engineers and scientists. Many of these smart engineers and scientists were educated here, in America, in our land grant public universities. Many attended our public school systems. The core research for the microprocessors, the materials, the batteries, and the screen were made possible by federal research grants to our schools. Every day, they work together on the Internet, invented by the Department of Defense. It uses GPS, also invented by our Department of Defense, bounced off satellites — satellites whose launch mechanisms were invented by Government programs, put in place by Government programs, and then opened to commercial enterprise. Verizon’s new network is subsidized by the Government so they have the money to build infrastructure. Apple is now even opening new markets with their apps and app stores, which is generating new business — built, running and developed by Americans who learned how to build it with the help of Pell Grants to pay for school. When you go to buy your new device from the store, you drive on taxpayer-invested roads. All this to bring Angry Birds and Twitter to you on the floor of Congress.
“And not only that. Surely you have seen the news about Iran and Tunisia. This device is bringing more freedom, faster, with less bloodshed then all the bombs we dropped in our two ongoing wars. This is a tool for global communication, for spreading ideas, and for bringing together peaceful protest. And it comes from here, America. This is how we should approach allocating taxpayer money — not as a burden of taxation but as an investment in our future. /This/ is the future. Our grand technological future.
“I agree the tax code is an absolute mess. I agree we can make budget cuts — and not just in discretionary spending. The Federal Government is a sprawling nightmare. We can work together to get worked out. But every time you pass around another tweet, I want you, the lawmaker, to think about where the money goes. Only American innovation makes us great and we only get there from paying for the infrastructure, research, technology, student loans, research grants and schools to make that happen.
“We can beat the Chinese. We can beat India. We just need to say, we want to be great scientists and engineers again and make it happen.
“It’s not an iPhone. It’s a FreedomPhone. Make your calls and your tweets, but remember that it took us to get there.
“Barry, out, yo.”
Obama gives the iPhone back to Boehner and saunters on out of the gallery. He stops and gives C-SPAN a thumb’s up.
Okay, it’s full of hyperbole, but I don’t have a staff of professional speechwriters!