Willie Robertson Vs. Don Draper, State of the Union Battle of the TV Symbols

Via: Tuned In

However the State of the Union is, the State of Washington, DC, is more or less static for now: we have the same President, the same Congress, the same apparent odds of major actions that can have the blessing of both. This left President Obama, Tuesday night, vowing to use executive action where possible to act on his own, and the Republicans, in a response from Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, seeking to strike a new tone in anticipation of a new election. But if the President and Congress have little hope of delivering major legislation, they showed America still has one tool available to it: the most powerful pop cultural references on Earth. The Republicans fired the first TV allusion, with Duck Dynasty cast member Willie Robertson attending–full beard flying and wearing an American flag bandana–as the guest of a Louisiana congressman. Since Willie’s father, Phil Robertson, was briefly suspended from the show in December for his remarks about homosexuality and race relations, the show has evolved from reality sitcom to cultural political totem–a symbol for cultural conservatives who believe their values are being squashed and marginalized in Obama’s America. Whatever Willie’s intentions in showing up, for Republicans he was like a human protest sign, the next best thing to waving a DON’T TREAD ON ME flag in a joint session of Congress. President Obama had no TV stars to point out, but he used another basic-cable touchstone to make a point of his own, about raising wages for women and providing family leave for parents. “It’s time,” he said, “to do away with workplace policies that belong in a Mad Men episode.” Mad Men creator Matt Weiner, not in attendance, later gave a statement to the New York Times: “I support the President, and I’m honored that our show is part of a much-needed national conversation.” OK, so two dueling cable-TV references does not a Lincoln-Douglas debate make. But the choice of symbols does neatly capture the two sides talking past each other right now, in a larger debate

Read full story at: Tuned In


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