One only had to watch the contrast between Joe Biden and John Boehner during the State of the Union to know that any lessons learned from the November election have been forgotten.

There was a grinning Vice President Biden leaping to his feet time and again at President Barack Obama’s scripted applause lines. And then there was a morose and moribund House Speaker Boehner looking as if he would rather be having a root canal — with no anesthetic.

In other words, nothing has changed since Obama was re-elected and the House remained firmly in Republican hands. Any hope for compromise on much of anything has frittered away.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s Republican response to the president was so predictable it could have been written months ago.

Of course, we didn’t hear what we needed to hear from the president. There was no explanation of any plans for reducing the overwhelming federal debt that is dragging down this country and stalling economic recovery efforts.

Maybe he has none. If he does, we ask that he kindly share them with the rest of us.

Many serious issues face this nation — immigration reform, security, a return to economic prosperity, health care, gun control — and solving them will take a coordinated effort from Republicans and Democrats alike.

Sadly, with the Democrats the party of “been there, done that” and the Republicans the party of “not only no, but hell no,” that doesn’t appear likely.

As we have said many times in the past, this country runs best when governed from the middle.

We simply cannot continue along the same path that has led us to too many cliffs in recent years.

— The Eagle, Bryan-College Station, Texas, Feb. 16

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