Tonight’s State of the Union address was just an endless tirade of nonsensical gibberish, so I won’t even bother to address what Trump said. Suffice to say, it was littered with predictable fear-mongering and outright fabrications. The usual, so it doesn’t warrant discussion. What was more intriguing was the Democratic Party’s rebuttal, to hear what the so-called “Resistance” would have to say. This was their chance to make a live, nationwide case for the 2018 mid-terms, to define who they are, what they represent, and clarify a political platform.
Here is the entire transcript of the speech delivered by Joe Kennedy, along with my own commentary. Try not to bang your head too hard against the wall.
JOE KENNEDY: Good evening ladies and gentlemen.
USA REVOLT: Good evening, corporate puppet that doesn’t support single-payer and thinks marijuana should be illegal.
JOE KENNEDY: It is a privilege to join you tonight. We are here in Fall River, Massachusetts – a proud American city, built by immigrants. From textiles to robots, this is a place that knows how to make great things. The students with us this evening in the autoshop at Diman Regional Technical School carry on that rich legacy.
USA REVOLT: Great. Wonderful. A dumbass with access to the nuclear codes just gave a horrifying speech. Please get to the substantive rebuttal we’re all waiting for.
JOE KENNEDY: Like many American hometowns, Fall River has faced its share of storms. But people here are tough. They fight for each other. They pull for their city. It is a fitting place to gather as our nation reflects on the state of our union.
USA REVOLT: Tick tock. And wipe that drool off your face.
JOE KENNEDY: This is a difficult task. Many have spent the past year anxious, angry, afraid. We all feel the fault lines of a fractured country. We hear the voices of Americans who feel forgotten and forsaken.
JOE KENNEDY: Seriously, it’s glistening. Did you pick a fight with chapstick and lose? Get on with it, man.
JOE KENNEDY: We see an economy that makes stocks soar, investor portfolios bulge and corporate profits climb but fails to give workers their fair share of the reward.
USA REVOLT: No shit.
JOE KENNEDY: A government that struggles to keep itself open.
USA REVOLT: It’s intentional, not a struggle.
JOE KENNEDY: Russia knee-deep in our democracy.
USA REVOLT: 15 seconds into the speech and he’s already pushing the new Red Scare. Right off the bat he’s diving into Russia, lying to all of us.
JOE KENNEDY: An all-out war on environmental protection.
USA REVOLT: Like when Obama opened the Arctic for drilling TWICE and promoted “clean coal” while Hillary spread fracking across the globe…?
JOE KENNEDY: A Justice Department rolling back civil rights by the day.
USA REVOLT: You do remember that Obama removed the writ of habeas corpus when he signed the NDAA on New Year’s Eve of 2012, right? Now the government can arrest an American citizen without a warrant or trial and be detained indefinitely.
JOE KENNEDY: Hatred and supremacy proudly marching in our streets.
USA REVOLT: Yes, we all saw what happened in Charlottesville. Please get on with the rebuttal part of the rebuttal. Do you have any policies to discuss? Any ideas?
JOE KENNEDY: Bullets tearing through our classrooms, concerts, and congregations. Targeting our safest, sacred places. And that nagging, sinking feeling, no matter your political beliefs: this is not right. This is not who we are. It would be easy to dismiss the past year as chaos. Partisanship. Politics.
USA REVOLT: Yes, it would be easy. Kind of like how it’s easy for you and your fellow corporate Democrats to use a modern Red Scare as a scapegoat for the colossal failure of 2016.
JOE KENNEDY: But it’s far bigger than that. This administration isn’t just targeting the laws that protect us – they are targeting the very idea that we are all worthy of protection. For them, dignity isn’t something you’re born with but something you measure. By your net worth, your celebrity, your headlines, your crowd size. Not to mention, the gender of your spouse. The country of your birth. The color of your skin. The God of your prayers.
USA REVOLT: What. Are. Your. Policies.
JOE KENNEDY: Their record is a rebuke of our highest American ideal: the belief that we are all worthy, we are all equal and we all count. In the eyes of our law and our leaders, our God and our government. That is the American promise.
USA REVOLT: Since when? Last I checked, the criminal bankers on Wall Street who crashed the U.S. economy weren’t prosecuted, but were instead rewarded with trillions of taxpayer dollars. Every war-mongering sociopathic Administration for the last 40 years hasn’t been touched. If a regular citizen did even half the shit you assholes have done we’d be put on death row.
JOE KENNEDY: But today that promise is being broken.
USA REVOLT: It’s been broken for decades, dum-dum.
JOE KENNEDY: By an Administration that callously appraises our worthiness and decides who makes the cut and who can be bargained away. They are turning American life into a zero-sum game. Where, in order for one to win, another must lose.
USA REVOLT: Trump bad. Democrats good. Me name is Joe. Me have no ideas.
JOE KENNEDY: Where we can guarantee America’s safety if we slash our safety net. We can extend healthcare to Mississippi if we gut it in Massachusetts. We can cut taxes for corporations today if we raise them for families tomorrow.
USA REVOLT: Obama slashed hundreds of billions from the safety net. And Democrats voted for it. So… what the fuck are you talking about?
JOE KENNEDY: We can take care of sick kids if we sacrifice Dreamers.
USA REVOLT: The Senate Democrats already gave up on the Dreamers. Did you not get the memo? Also, your Party gave us a healthcare law based on a right-wing plan from 1989 that still left 30 million Americans uninsured, including kids, so stop pretending to give a damn. Based on actual legislative history, the Democratic Party couldn’t care any less about their own people.
JOE KENNEDY: We are bombarded with one false choice after another.
USA REVOLT: Like Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump? Good point.
JOE KENNEDY: Coal miners or single moms. Rural communities or inner cities. The coast or the heartland.
USA REVOLT: Bagels or donuts.
JOE KENNEDY: As if the mechanic in Pittsburgh and the teacher in Tulsa and the daycare worker in Birmingham are somehow bitter rivals, rather than mutual casualties of a system forcefully rigged for those at the top.
USA REVOLT: Rigged, you say? (COUGH 2016 primary COUGH)
JOE KENNEDY: As if the parent who lies awake terrified that their transgender son will be beaten and bullied at school is any more or less legitimate than the parent whose heart is shattered by a daughter in the grips of opioid addiction.
USA REVOLT: Do you have any policy ideas for reducing discrimination against the transgendered? Or how to fix the opioid crisis? Do you have any policy proposals about anything?
JOE KENNEDY: So here is the answer Democrats offer tonight: we choose both. We fight for both. Because the strongest, richest, greatest nation in the world shouldn’t leave any one behind.
USA REVOLT: So your rebuttal is that you’ll fight for the people… which you haven’t done in decades… AND continue to represent your corporate donors? That’s like saying you’ll represent rape victims AND their rapists. This isn’t an answer. It only raises more questions. For example: How fucking dumb do you think we are?
JOE KENNEDY: We choose a better deal for all who call this country home. We choose the living wage, paid leave and affordable child care your family needs to survive.
USA REVOLT: Note the very careful word choices at play here. A *better* deal isn’t the same as a *good* deal. No specific mention of *how much* a living wage would be and he uses the term “affordable”, meaning it would still be a private, for-profit driven industry rather than a socialized provision that nearly all developed nations already have. And no mention about quality of life, only support that we *survive*. Gee. Thanks.
JOE KENNEDY: We choose pensions that are solvent, trade pacts that are fair, roads and bridges that won’t rust away, and good education you can afford.
USA REVOLT: Fair trade pacts…? Bill Clinton signed the job-killing NAFTA and Obama pushed (thankfully failed) to sign the corporate TPP deal. Obama also left office with our infrastructure at a “D” rating and record-high college tuition rates and record-high student deb. What the fuck have you Democrats actually accomplished in the last 40 years?
JOE KENNEDY: We choose a health care system that offers mercy, whether you suffer from cancer or depression or addiction.
USA REVOLT: Then why don’t you support single-payer, Joey? Why did you accept campaign donations from Big Pharma? And why haven’t you wiped your mouth yet?
JOE KENNEDY: We choose an economy strong enough to boast record stock prices AND brave enough to admit that top CEOs making 300 times the average worker is not right.
USA REVOLT: Just choose the people. A thriving middle-class breeds a thriving economy. This isn’t complicated.
JOE KENNEDY: We choose Fall River.
USA REVOLT: To be a background prop.
JOE KENNEDY:We choose the thousands of American communities whose roads aren’t paved with power or privilege, but with honest effort, good faith, and the resolve to build something better for their kids.
USA REVOLT: More platitudes, zero substance. Still waiting on a policy idea, Joe. This is supposed to be a rebuttal to Captain Cheese Doodle’s ramblings.
JOE KENNEDY: That is our story. It began the day our Founding Fathers and Mothers set sail for a New World, fleeing oppression and intolerance.
USA REVOLT: Followed by the genocide of Native Americans and the enslavement of Africans. But sure, let’s conveniently and ironically forget our history of oppression and intolerance from day one.
JOE KENNEDY: It continued with every word of our Independence – the audacity to declare that all men are created equal. An imperfect promise for a nation struggling to become a more perfect union.
USA REVOLT: All men are created equal… said the slave owners. Which admittedly was pretty audacious.
JOE KENNEDY: It grew with every suffragette’s step, every Freedom Riders voice, every weary soul we welcomed to our shores. And to all the Dreamers watching tonight, let me be clear: Ustedes son parte de nuestra historia. Vamos a luchar por ustedes y no nos vamos alejar. You are a part of our story. We will fight for you. We will not walk away.
USA REVOLT: Senate Democrats JUST agreed to drop the renewal of DACA as part of the budget negotiations a few days ago, numb nuts. You assholes literally just walked away from 800,000 Dreamer kids. But hey, you learned two whole sentences of Spanish. Muy bien. Also, HOW will you fight? What are your fucking policies? What do you stand for? You haven’t told us anything yet. You’ve said nothing!
JOE KENNEDY: America, we carry that story on our shoulders. You swarmed Washington last year to ensure no parent has to worry if they can afford to save their child’s life. You proudly marched together last weekend – thousands deep — in the streets of Las Vegas and Philadelphia and Nashville.
USA REVOLT: That’s what WE did. We want to know what YOU are going to do.
JOE KENNEDY: You sat high atop your mom’s shoulders and held a sign that read: “Build a wall and my generation will tear it down.”
USA REVOLT: This is a joke, right? Democrats in both the House and the Senate recently agreed to fully fund Trump’s border wall. That was less than a month ago. Did you forget? Did you think we forgot?
JOE KENNEDY: You bravely say, me too. You steadfastly say, black lives matter. You wade through flood waters, battle hurricanes, and brave wildfires and mudslides to save a stranger. You fight your own, quiet battles every single day.
USA REVOLT: No thanks to corporate Democrats or Republicans. Again, this is what WE have done. What are YOU doing?
JOE KENNEDY: You drag your weary bodies to that extra shift so your families won’t feel the sting of scarcity.
USA REVOLT: Scarcity is required to maintain a capitalist society. As Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has proudly said, “We’re capitalists.” So which is it? Are you going to support socialism to balance out the flaws of capitalism or will your Party continue to embrace the grim prospects of unfettered capitalism?
JOE KENNEDY: You leave loved ones at home to defend our country overseas, or patrol our neighborhoods overnight.
USA REVOLT: Defend? Invading and bombing other countries that haven’t done a damn thing to us isn’t defense. It’s OFFENSE. Also offensive. And if by patrol you mean police officers, Americans are statistically more likely to be shot and killed by a cop than by a terrorist. Cops kill 1000+ American citizens on a yearly basis. ISIS has killed a total of 4 American citizens in it’s entire existence.
JOE KENNEDY: You serve. You rescue. You help. You heal. That – more than any law or leader, any debate or disagreement – that is what drives us toward progress.
USA REVOLT: That’s a good segue to dive into a policy discussion. Let’s hear it, Joe! C’mon!!
JOE KENNEDY: Bullies may land a punch. They might leave a mark. But they have never, not once, in the history of our United States, managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defense of their future.
USA REVOLT: HOW are you going to defend our future? Can you drop the platitudes, identity politics, and tell us ANYTHING of genuine substance? Please??
JOE KENNEDY: Politicians can be cheered for the promises they make. Our country will be judged by the promises we keep. THAT is the measure of our character. That’s who we are. Out of many. One.
USA REVOLT: Oookay, so… what are you promising us, again?
JOE KENNEDY: Ladies and gentlemen, have faith: The state of our union is hopeful, resilient, enduring.
USA REVOLT: No. No way. You can’t seriously be wrapping this up already. You haven’t mentioned a single specific policy the Democratic Party intends to fight for. You haven’t said a word about foreign policy or climate change. You cannot seriously be about to—
JOE KENNEDY: Thank you, God Bless you and your families, and God Bless the United States of America.
USA REVOLT: Wow.
What a disgrace. As horrible as the Republicans are, I’d take those assholes over those pretending not to be assholes while still totally being assholes any day of the week. That being said, neither Party deserves your vote.
This is political theater, not resistance.