There's an old joke: "Nobody said it was going to be easy. Nobody was right."* President Obama didn't use the joke as the theme of his State of the Union speech yesterday, but he could have. That seemed to be what the speech was all about.
"Reforming the schools," the President said, "changing the way we use energy, reducing our deficit, none of this will be easy. And it wll be harder because we will argue about everything. The cost. The details. The letter of every law." He got that about right.
And on the same theme, "New laws will pass only with support from Democrats and Republicans. We will move forward together or not at all." Yes, but the Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, said last year that his main goal in this new Congress would be to make Obama a one-term president. That doesn't sound like a promise of a bipartisan, does it?
Obama, for instance, wants to simplify the tax code for individuals. "Members of both parties have expressed interest in this," he said. Yes, but neither party likes the other's simplification plan.
Maybe it all comes back to the old saying--may you live in interesting times.
* George Herbert Walker Bush - 1980