Tuesday, January 25, 2011

State of the Union

Well, well, well...The time is upon us.  Tonight, we are treated to the first of at least two of the standoffs I wrote about way back in November!  Further, Congress will not be partitioned by party this year, so instead of the floor being a giant game of group"Standing/Sitting/Bending," it should look a little more like the Super Bowl with the cheers and the lack of exuberance intermingled.

There are a multitude of possible effects that could arise, and I'll run them down for you now:

1.  It will look like the chamber is doing the wave.
2.  People will be able to throw elbows at their opponents undetected, and a rumble will ensue.
3.  At least one old guy will stand when he "shouldn't" because the act of the people around him rising will wake him up, and he'll act reactively.  This one, I really hope is caught on camera!
4.  Pelosi may, while standing, in a moment of spontaneity, run up to her old spot behind the podium and devour Boehner's soul.

On a more serious note, does anyone else find this speech to be hideously formulaic and disingenuous year in and year out?  Every year, the President stands up there and tells us how great things are, but also that there are many challenges that lie ahead.  These challenges are always roughly the same, and the solutions are always similar (begging the question, what are our lawmakers doing?).  They always tout their prior year's "accomplishments" even though most of the voters don't see them as good.

After the speech, we're treated to a canned rebuttal that often just talks past the President's talking points.  It assumes what will be said in the address, and it goes from there.  If there is anything unexpected in the speech, the rebuttal does not react to this, so the deliverer looks foolish.

Now, for the kicker:  After the address and the rebuttal, both parties claim that they "won."  Pardon me if I find this ludicrous.  Who wins?  I can stand up and spout things I want to be true too!!!  When I do, am I to proclaim myself the "winner?"  I wish that just once, the parties would say, "We don't win while unemployment is near 10%, we're creating money like Frank Abignale, and our money is about to be more inflated than our egos."

I guess what I'm really trying to say here is that I just want for this venue to be used to have a real, tough, frank discussion about the State of the Union.  Until we can acknowledge the true situation, we will never be able to concoct solutions.



  1. I thought Ryan's rebuttal was frank and direct - and without too much "the Dems suck" in it. I thought he did a good job.

    As for the Pres himself - I thought it was a lot of talk, and would be nearly impossible to fully implement. Cut government spending, yet increase spending on teachers and infrastructure... Can't both cut and spend at the same time.

    I'd like to see something actually happen. I think one thing the President, and the Republican rebuttal, and the Tea Party Rebuttal, and even state governments are all agreeing on is this: We are at the crossroads NOW. Things could go well or badly depending on which direction we take, but the time to act is now.

  2. The time to act may be now, but not till after we think long and hard about the consequences of our actions (something government is pretty terrible at doing).