Produced by HuffPost's Eyes & Ears Citizen Journalism Unit
The Republican Party is a lot like the Sex Pistols, according to Andy Borowtiz.
No, the comedian and Borowitz Report founder was not calling the GOP the anti-Christ. But at a panel he was hosting on Wednesday night, Borowitz described the Republicans' obstructionist stances over the past year as "very punk rock."
"They're sort of like the Sex Pistols except -- well no, they're just like the Sex Pistols," joked Borowitz.
His comments came in response to fellow panelist and New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin, who denounced the GOP as having become, "a nihilist party that is simply against everything except tax cuts." Anarchy in the US perhaps?
Taking place the same night that President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address, "The Andy Borowitz Report: Obama's First Year" at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan, reviewed the high and low points of the president's freshman year. Shifting between quips and serious discussion, the panel came to a slightly disappointed but hopeful verdict.
While the panelists touched on the major setbacks for health care reform and last week's Supreme Court vote, which gave corporations greater freedom in funding political campaigns, they also commended a number of Obama's positive accomplishments.
Toobin applauded the stimulus plan and predicted its impact would become more clear to voters in the near future. Newsweek editor Jonathan Alter (and author of a soon-to-be released book on Obama's first year) emphasized the change in the perception of America that the president inspired throughout the world.
"Here we have a president who has only escalated one war and he gets a Nobel Peace Prize -- it makes you think about how low the bar is that George Bush set," added Toobin.
Under the list of high points, Borowitz included another foreign policy win.
"As a new father, I do not want my child growing up in a world where she is threatened by the high seas, and Obama has so far killed three Somali pirates," said Borowitz. "Everything else that we've talked about here is kind of a quibble if we rid the high seas of these motherfuckers."
Comedian Janeane Garofalo seemed to be the most disappointed in the president. She felt let down from the moment Rick Warren was asked to say the invocation at the inauguration, calling it "a harbinger of appeasement."
Borowitz expressed his own frustration that while the president is painted as a "socialist" by the right and too close with corporate interests by the left, he hasn't reaped significant benefits by playing nice with either side.
"It's the same thing people have said about the Jews," joked writer and poet Calvin Trillin. "They control the banks yet they're Communists -- maybe Obama's Jewish."
But Trillin was bullish about the president and suggested this first year might parallel the first quarter of Obama's run for the presidency. He pointed out that when Obama announced that he would run, there was a burst of excitement that quickly faded until he won in Iowa.
Obama was not the only object of ire for the panel. There were also plenty of barbs for the GOP. "They're not populist," said Alter. "They're Fox-ulist."
Borowitz added his own dig, pointing to the inroads the US was able to make with its onetime enemies during the "Sunni Awakening" in Iraq. "We've been more successful at convincing Sunni warlords [to cooperate] than Republican senators."
Toobin concluded that while all of these issues will shade the public opinion of the president, when election time comes only one number matters.
"If unemployment stays at ten percent, he is a failed president, period," said Toobin. "That is the number that is going to determine November elections and his own reelection. There will be other relevant issues, but that's the number that's going to determine whether he and his fellow Democrats remain in charge."