Actual Politico Headline: President Obama's State of the Union: Aggressive.

Not bold. Not uncompromising. Not forward, which was his campaign slogan. Not audacious, which would have referenced his famous book.


On the basis that he's less inclined to try to build bipartisan bridges only to have the Republican Party set fire to them.

Which, you know, doesn't strike me so much as aggressive as reasonable.

And long overdue.

Now, partly this is problematic because it plays into narratives of the Angry Black President, which are gross because they are untrue and further because even if President Obama were a demonstrably angry guy, well, fucking right he's got a lot of shit about which to be angry, starting with the reflexively obstructionist roadblock to progress or even basic functional government that is the Republican Party, and anger is a human emotion to which our President is entitled, in spite of racist narratives that seek to deny African Americans access to the full spectrum of emotional expression in one of the most basic forms of rank dehumanization.

Righteous anger is not always aggressive anger.

Secondly, this is problematic because it is emblematic of the double-standard the media routinely employs in its treatment of Republican and Democratic Presidents. Former President George W. Bush, who belligerently disgorged objectively aggressive pronouncements centered around being "with us or against us" and other tribalistic, anti-diplomatic frames, was favorably described by the press (for most of his presidency) as a bold visionary or equivalent garbage, and almost never described as "aggressive," despite overseeing an aggressive foreign policy, an aggressive expansion of executive powers, an aggressive disregard for the rule of law, aggressive Congressional spending, and other assorted aggressive jackassery.

So maybe cool it with the "aggressive" about Obama's forthcoming State of the Union speech, Politico. Is what I'm saying.

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