I thought President Obama’s State of the Union address was pretty predictable. In past years he has used the speech to lay out what amounts to a laundry list of his programs for Democrats to use in the upcoming congressional elections. And that’s exactly what he did. What was not predictable was Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ response for the GOP. She didn’t attack the president; about the most contentious thing she said was that her party believed in personal responsibility. I thought it provided a welcome respite from attack politics. It didn’t break any new ground, but it did have a soothing quality that Rodgers’ enhanced with her own life story. It was very effective.

It seemed to me that the unhappiest person in the House chamber was Speaker John Boehner. If he ever smiled, I didn’t see it. And I don’t blame him for being unhappy; he knew that the tomorrow would  bring a return to the infighting that has dogged Obama’s presidency. I doubt that anything will change until the United States elects a new president. These two parties are not going to be able to work together, exceprt perhaps immigration, where there’s a chance for movement.