Is David Firestone Playing Dim Bulb?

David Firestone, editorial board member and former Washington correspondent for the paper, on Thursday filed a signed editorial pointing to the Republican Party's apparently bitter response to President Obama's "surprisingly sunny" State of the Union address: "Realism Without the Bitterness."

Last December, Firestone found Sarah Palin's reality show on TLC "disturbing," writing it showed "extremist politics mixed in with the supposed nostalgia."

Here's Firestone on the doom-saying Republicans versus the sunny Obama.

With his lips pursed, body tense and applause sparing, John Boehner was restless in the speaker's chair during President Obama's State of the Union address. A few minutes after it was over, Mr. Boehner made his impatience explicit with a statement accusing Mr. Obama of having "accelerated the job-destroying spending spree in Washington."

Representative Paul Ryan, in a dour Republican response to the speech, warned of a nation at a "tipping point" and the prospect of becoming Greece and Ireland "just around the corner." And, in case the Republican disapproval wasn't clear enough, Representative Michele Bachmann unleashed her own Tea Party response, accusing the president of exploding spending and debt unlike anything in American history. To enhance the sense of persecution, she stood in front of the photograph of Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima and said that if they could "beat back a totalitarian aggressor," then present-day Americans too could "proclaim liberty."

After arguing for the relative modesty of Obama's SOTU proposals, Firestone asserted Obama's speech was distinguished by "the cheerful assertion that if the United States is to regain its footing in the world, it will be government that stands it upright," an argument Obama laid out "In surprisingly sunny terms."

The three Republicans portrayed government as a grim juggernaut that kills jobs and dreams and even, in Ms. Bachmann's nightmarish vision, enforces light-bulb standards. The only dream they presented was to cut and cut again. Mr. Obama cannot avoid the path toward eventual deficit reduction, but he is more likely than the doomsayers to persuade the nation to join him on the journey.

One hopes Firestone knows that the federal government does enforce light-bulb standards and is phasing out regular electric light bulbs and replacing them with (mercury-filled) Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs in the name of energy efficiency. If so, why does he write as if it's just a "nightmarish vision."