Open thread: Still three more of these to go, America, if you can believe it

posted at 8:01 pm on January 28, 2014 by Allahpundit

I really can’t believe it. Even Obama, I’ve always assumed, doesn’t want to do the SOTU but feels bound by a basic rule of politics in the age of mass media, that when television offers you a free platform to reach many millions of voters, you’ve got to take it. There’s no way to redeem a laborious 45-minute run-through of your party’s current policy wishlist, so don’t sweat it when it lands with a thud. Just show up, if only to show your party that you’re still trying.

And yet, here’s a line from his former speechwriter about the SOTU-writing process. What are we to make of this?

President Obama always wanted the speech to “sing,” as he put it

O does realize that not only have all five of his previous SOTUs been essentially the same, they’re also essentially the same as every SOTU delivered over the past 30 years, no? Watch the two clips below, or revisit Matt Welch’s guide on how to write an SOTU in 10 minutes using the same platitudinal flotsam that’s been salvaged and recycled by every president since JFK. Trying to make this speech sing is like trying to make a rendition of “Happy Birthday” sound transcendent. If you’re approaching it that way, you’re missing the point.

The long march begins at 9 p.m. ET but there’s usually some red-carpet-type stupidity happening half an hour or so before that on the cable news nets or C-SPAN. One of the “Duck Dynasty” guys will be there; so will pro basketball player/notable gay man Jason Collins; so will that kid who claimed to be one of the first people in America to sign up for ObamaCare before everyone realized that he hadn’t really signed up. In a few years, as the see-and-be-seen value of this spectacle completely overwhelms its news-making value, members of Congress will start inviting A-list celebrities for fun and the White House Correspondents Dinner-ization of the event will be complete. Which, actually, would be fitting: As Kevin Williamson writes, the SOTU long ago devolved into a dreary imitation of monarchy. Might as well have all the aristocrats there to watch.

The annual State of the Union pageant is a hideous, dispiriting, ugly, monotonous, un-American, un-republican, anti-democratic, dreary, backward, monarchical, retch-inducing, depressing, shameful, crypto-imperial display of official self-aggrandizement and piteous toadying, a black Mass during which every unholy order of teacup totalitarian and cringing courtier gathers under the towering dome of a faux-Roman temple to listen to a speech with no content given by a man with no content, to rise and to be seated as is called for by the order of worship — it is a wonder they have not started genuflecting — with one wretched representative of their number squirreled away in some well-upholstered Washington hidey-hole in order to preserve the illusion that those gathered constitute a special class of humanity without whom we could not live…

The State of the Union is only one example of the deepening, terrifying cult of the state that has taken root here. Many heads of state — and some royals, for that matter — fly on commercial aircraft. Presidents of the Swiss federation and members of the federal council receive . . . an unlimited train pass. They have occasional access to a Cessna maintained by the air force, but are known to use mass transit — just like the people they are elected to represent. An American president stages a Roman triumph every time he heads out for a round of golf. The president’s household costs well more than $1 billion annually to operate. The president’s visage is more ubiquitous than was Vladimir Lenin’s in his prime, his reach Alexandrian, his sense of immortality (they call it “legacy”) pharaonic. Washington has become a deeply weird and alien place, a Renaissance court with armored sedans and hundred-million-dollar paydays.

Excerpts from Obama’s speech have been released as I write this but I’m not going to go looking for them because who cares? You’ve heard all this before. The only somewhat new element, in perfect keeping with Williamson’s point, is that O will assert his royal prerogative to carry out his agenda via executive order if Congress refuses to comply. He’s semi-formally dispensing with the trappings of republican democracy at an event tailor-made for the occasion. Beyond that, the speech is Groundhog Day: It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be gray, and it’s gonna feel like it’ll last you for the rest of your life.

If you somehow make it all the way through, stay tuned for three — yes, really — GOP rebuttals. Cathy McMorris-Rogers will deliver the official one, doubtless featuring a specific appeal to women. Mike Lee will deliver a tea-party response blaming government for inequality and proposing new opportunities for the middle class. And Rand Paul, as is now tradition, will deliver a response of his own emphasizing Americans’ perennial top priority, jobs. Enjoy.



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First ?

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 8:03 PM

In one hour, Biden pulls the string in Obama`s back and off he goes!

ThePrez on January 28, 2014 at 8:04 PM

I’m not sure I’ll be watching it yet but if I do it will be on The Blaze because their coverage is going to include clowns and circus music.

FloatingRock on January 28, 2014 at 8:05 PM

Open thread: Still three more of these to go, America, if you can believe it

At first glance I thought this mean we still had more 2012 RNC debates…..

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 8:05 PM

In one hour, Biden pulls the string in Obama`s back and off he goes!

ThePrez on January 28, 2014 at 8:04 PM

.
Who’s gonna pull Biden’s string ?

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 8:05 PM

He’s going to sing?

SAZMD on January 28, 2014 at 8:05 PM

Here we go

wolly4321 on January 28, 2014 at 8:06 PM

FloatingRock on January 28, 2014 at 8:05 PM

Cartoon effects and a muted trumpet?

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Yes, we can!/52%

OldEnglish on January 28, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Which media outlet will be the first to release a poll that shows 90% of the people that watched the speech supported what Obama proposed? My guess is CBS.

midgeorgian on January 28, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Thanks for earning your paycheck AP and doing the heavy lifting for us. I’ll read the review after the speech. Maybe Biden will overdo a Botox injection and have a comical Bozo the clown expression to make things interesting. Anyway, I’m only looking forward to Mike Lee’s rebuttal.

Off to read and watch NCIS reruns.

conservative pilgrim on January 28, 2014 at 8:07 PM

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 8:05 PM

I don`t think they allow Old Uncle Joe to talk aymore. :)

ThePrez on January 28, 2014 at 8:07 PM

I’m not sure I’ll be watching it yet but if I do it will be on The Blaze because their coverage is going to include clowns and circus music.

FloatingRock on January 28, 2014 at 8:05 PM

.
You saw that already, huh ?

Well, me too ! … : )

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 8:07 PM

I DECLARE DIVINE RIGHT!

I AM THE SUN GOD!

or something like that…

budfox on January 28, 2014 at 8:08 PM

These SOTU’s aren’t the same without Nancy “Blinks” Pelosi in the Speaker’s Chair.

JetBoy on January 28, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Let me be clear…it’s BOOOSH’s fault…I thought Bobby Schieffer edited that out!…

Help me out here, Candy……

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Clink

cmsinaz on January 28, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Brought work home and am watching basketball. I would rather edit and scrub a 400 line spreadsheet than watch that SOB.

Our country is so screwed.

gophergirl on January 28, 2014 at 8:09 PM

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 8:05 PM

.
I don`t think they allow Old Uncle Joe to talk aymore. :)

ThePrez on January 28, 2014 at 8:07 PM

.
Damn ! . . . Would’ve been the best entertainment of the evening . . . . . . . son-of-a . . . . .

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 8:10 PM

Ooooh this speech is going to be totally different from the last 700,000!

Chuck Schick on January 28, 2014 at 8:10 PM

Three Moar!!!!????

Zombie Dick Nixon is unavailable for comment.

BigWyo on January 28, 2014 at 8:10 PM

St. Louis Blues on.

Obama can F off.

Rooting for Inglorius Basterds climax scene.

Murphy9 on January 28, 2014 at 8:10 PM

Any odds on how many times Obama mentions “Bush” or “The previous administration” or “inherited”?

JetBoy on January 28, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Would that be the same Jason Collins who is so washed up, Herb Kohl won’t make him a Buck?

Steve Eggleston on January 28, 2014 at 8:12 PM

I haven’t watched one of these stupid things since the one Bush gave just before the Iraq war.

Mark1971 on January 28, 2014 at 8:13 PM

Clink

cmsinaz on January 28, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Hey, I’ve just got my liver working again!

Oh, what the hell! *clink*

OldEnglish on January 28, 2014 at 8:13 PM

CMT:Dukes of Hazzard now. Smokey and the Bandit at 9:00.

I’m live tweeting it.

Them Duke Boys just jumped over a Cadillac full of big city mobsters.

forest on January 28, 2014 at 8:13 PM

The president’s household costs well more than $1 billion annually to operate.

My collie says:

Meanwhile, the Queen of England is being told to cut costs.

Which should surprise no one, since everyone knows that a god outranks a queen, collie.

CyberCipher on January 28, 2014 at 8:13 PM

JetBoy on January 28, 2014 at 8:11 PM

.
Or the word “I”.

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 8:13 PM

Given Barky’s dysfunctional lineage he probably should avoid the word “inherited.”

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 8:14 PM

Ok, who’s doing the play by play and who is doing the commentary?

Barred on January 28, 2014 at 8:15 PM

Or the word “I”.

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 8:13 PM

♫ Allllll of the time

I, me, mine,.. I, me mine,… I,me, mine….♫

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 8:16 PM

Cartoon effects and a muted trumpet?

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Good idea! We’ll see.

FloatingRock on January 28, 2014 at 8:16 PM

“You lie!”…”to yourself!” ain’t nobody listening to your crap anymore. period.

DanMan on January 28, 2014 at 8:18 PM

President Barack Obama plans to make 2014 a year of action

Thank God he was inactive in the last 5 years.

The 2-year-old mind is waaaaaaay over his ‘development’.

Schadenfreude on January 28, 2014 at 8:18 PM

I AM THE SUN GOD!

or something like that…

budfox on January 28, 2014 at 8:08 PM

Nope, like this

This version fits the “won” better than others.

cozmo on January 28, 2014 at 8:18 PM

So glad that my order for Pinky and the Brain came in today.

nobar on January 28, 2014 at 8:19 PM

What’s with all his mad ranting in German about the Treaty of Versailles?

Ooops. My mistake…. wrong channel.

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 8:19 PM

I will not watch the State of the Coup speech.
I went to redbox and the people have spoken!
Most of the dvd’s are gone for tonight.
Looks like any channel but O-tyrannt.

athenadelphi on January 28, 2014 at 8:19 PM

The president’s household costs well more than $1 billion annually to operate.

Wow. I knew the spending was out of control, but that is just insane.

AZCoyote on January 28, 2014 at 8:20 PM

I like to quote Rush … “state of the coup address”.

You all can let me know what happens, blow by blow … I won’t be watching or listening to this bunch of BS.

I will listen to the repubs response … especially Mike Lee.

ORrighty on January 28, 2014 at 8:21 PM

There is no WE in unilateral.

athenadelphi on January 28, 2014 at 8:21 PM

Will that possessed kid from Gary, IN be there? Because that would be awesome.

rbj on January 28, 2014 at 8:21 PM

“Next year you will all be forced to watch my SOTU, or I will send my pen after you” — pajama-obama

Meanwhile I’ll go for a very long tough walk.

Schadenfreude on January 28, 2014 at 8:22 PM

You know, it’s kind of like the Grammys and the Oscars and the yada yada yada let’s celebrate ourselves shows…they never change, different faces, but always the same old glitzy I’m adorable garbage. This is no different except that it give the president yet another opportunity to say “if it weren’t for those GOP obstructionists…”

Yawn. I’ll find something else to entertain myself that won’t insult me.

scalleywag on January 28, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Presenting President Pinocchio, petulantly pathologically prevaricating perpetually.

VorDaj on January 28, 2014 at 8:22 PM

It you like your Constitution, you can keep your constitution……
oh snap!

athenadelphi on January 28, 2014 at 8:23 PM

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 8:05 PM

.
I don`t think they allow Old Uncle Joe to talk aymore. :)

ThePrez on January 28, 2014 at 8:07 PM

.
Damn ! . . . Would’ve been the best entertainment of the evening . . . . . . . son-of-a . . . . .

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 8:10 PM

David Burge ‏@iowahawkblog 2h

Q: What did Joe Biden get on his SATs?
A: Drool.

davidk on January 28, 2014 at 8:23 PM

The president’s household costs well more than $1 billion annually to operate.

Wow. I knew the spending was out of control, but that is just insane.

AZCoyote on January 28, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Lobsters don’t come cheap.

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 8:24 PM

athenadelphi on January 28, 2014 at 8:19 PM

You said it!

ORrighty on January 28, 2014 at 8:24 PM

An insufferable ass is an insufferable ass, of course, of course
And no one can talk sense to an insufferable ass, of course
And especially, of course, if the insufferable ass is the famous Barack Obama
Go right to the source and ask the insufferable ass
He’ll give you the answer that deceivers will endorse
He’s always on a dissemblers course
Talk to Barack Obama

Barack Obama just yakkity yaks a streak and wastes your time of day
Does any sane person even believe anymore a single thing he has to say?
An insufferable ass is an insufferable ass, of course, of course
And this one’ll talk in prevaricating circles til his voice is hoarse
You never heard of a talking insufferable ass?
Well, listen to this
He is Barack Obama!

Cheshire Cat on January 28, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Given Barky’s dysfunctional lineage he probably should avoid the word “inherited.”

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 8:14 PM

That word has been very good to him.

Did you know his “typical white woman” granny left him Bank of Hawaii stock worth $500,000?

Poor, mistreated, underprivileged fella.

AZCoyote on January 28, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Would that be the same Jason Collins who is so washed up, Herb Kohl won’t make him a Buck?

Steve Eggleston on January 28, 2014 at 8:12 PM

I’m sure hardwood Herb has much more fabulous plans for Jason.

M240H on January 28, 2014 at 8:24 PM

There is NO “we” in “my pen”, you oafish punk.

Schadenfreude on January 28, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Preznitial prick ponders pedantically prosperity’s precipitous plummet.

(don’t get me started)

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 8:25 PM

davidk on January 28, 2014 at 8:23 PM

.
Imagine if you had to ‘grade’ his test.

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 8:25 PM

I really can’t believe it. Even Obama, I’ve always assumed, doesn’t want to do the SOTU but feels bound by a basic rule of politics in the age of mass media, that when television offers you a free platform to reach many millions of voters, you’ve got to take it.

Well, again, you’re underestimating the president. Bold prediction: this will be one of the most interesting, passionate and debated state of the union addresses in history.

People mistake Obama’s coolness for apathy. And they’re always wrong.

Tom_Shipley on January 28, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Or the word “I”.

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 8:13 PM

Gonna need another case of brews for that one.

JetBoy on January 28, 2014 at 8:26 PM

.
Imagine if you had to ‘grade’ his test.

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 8:25 PM

With a squeegee a pail of red ink and Harvard would make it an A anyway…..

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 8:26 PM

Well, again, you’re underestimating the president. Bold prediction: this will be one of the most interesting, passionate and debated state of the union addresses in history.

People mistake Obama’s coolness for apathy. And they’re always wrong.

Tom_Shipley on January 28, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Some people mistake you for a true liberal, alas.

Schadenfreude on January 28, 2014 at 8:27 PM

Tom_Shipley on January 28, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Barred on January 28, 2014 at 8:27 PM

You would think a constitutional lawyer would know better than this…..

athenadelphi on January 28, 2014 at 8:27 PM

Refuse to watch the disgusting display this year. I’m going to turn my TV off, and unplug it.

TarheelBen on January 28, 2014 at 8:27 PM

My hat is off to those who can actually watch/listen to this. I cannot even look at a still picture of the “man.”

4Grace on January 28, 2014 at 8:28 PM

People mistake Obama’s coolness for apathy. And they’re always wrong.

Tom_Shipley on January 28, 2014 at 8:25 PM

You stink over the net. Get out of his azz. It’s not Beluga caviar, fool.

Schadenfreude on January 28, 2014 at 8:28 PM

People mistake Obama’s coolness for apathy. And they’re always wrong.

Tom_Shipley on January 28, 2014 at 8:25 PM

LOL.

I don’t care who you are, that’s funny!

AZCoyote on January 28, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Shipley … I know your relatives here in OR. They too are a bunch of stupid idiots … the apple that don’t fall to far from the tree and all that stuff. You and your name sakes prove it.

ORrighty on January 28, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Dear Obama in heaven……

The divine super god that The Lord Barack is can revel in the generous massaging he is getting from the elite class in the media and the other whores in DC.

Watching this speech is like being in the Oval Office when Bill was getting serviced by the knee pad Monica Lewinsky.

And just as nasty the republicans look in their blue dress as she did that time Bill missed.

PappyD61 on January 28, 2014 at 8:29 PM

People mistake Obama’s coolness for apathy. And they’re always wrong.

Tom_Shipley on January 28, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Cool? Man, you must be desperate for a hero…

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 8:29 PM

If you like your Bill of Rights, you can keep your Bill of Rights.

Just don’t expect me to pay the least bit of mind to it.

VorDaj on January 28, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Your azzhole in chief

Schadenfreude on January 28, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Cool? Man, you must be desperate for a hero…

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Don’t insult T_S – he’s in that 40% minority and will accuse you of rubesism.

Schadenfreude on January 28, 2014 at 8:30 PM

Here–Ronald Reagan’s SOTU speech from 1984:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdMTTlpfNP4

You will all find more meat, more substance, more hope, more goodness in those 45 minutes or so than anything that stupid, self-absorbed self-appointed Lil’ Emperor of the Left will ever say tonight or in his entire lifetime.

You’re welcome.

theotherone on January 28, 2014 at 8:30 PM

Pretty soon people will be able to walk to the moon on Obama’s nose.

VorDaj on January 28, 2014 at 8:31 PM

Refuse to watch the disgusting display this year. I’m going to turn my TV off, and unplug it.

TarheelBen on January 28, 2014 at 8:27 PM

.
Awwwwww … no you don’t !

Get back here, and suffer with the rest of us.

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 8:31 PM

I’d rather watch pigs fornicating

Dingbat63 on January 28, 2014 at 8:32 PM

Remember, President Obama loves us, and has a wonderful plan for our lives.

/don’t think bad thoughts about him. I can sense you’re doing that. Stop. It’s so WRONG

Paul-Cincy on January 28, 2014 at 8:32 PM

Shipley … I know your relatives here in OR.

Well, that makes one of us, I guess.

You stink over the net.

You know me any other way?

Cool? Man, you must be desperate for a hero…

dictionary.com: cool: free from excitement or anxiety:

Tom_Shipley on January 28, 2014 at 8:32 PM

That he always misspells his last name with a p instead of a t is annoying.

You remind me of a kid I knew in 6th grade.

Tom_Shipley on January 28, 2014 at 8:33 PM

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Don’t insult T_S – he’s in that 40% minority and will accuse you of rubesism.

Schadenfreude on January 28, 2014 at 8:30 PM

That he always misspells his last name with a p instead of a t is annoying.

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Real men

Schadenfreude on January 28, 2014 at 8:33 PM

H/A Crew Start your Wordy Engines………………………..

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Evening.
Bought some Smirnoff Vanilla vodka for the occasion. It tastes lie rubbing alcohol.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 28, 2014 at 8:33 PM

dictionary.com: cool: free from excitement or anxiety:

Tom_Shipley on January 28, 2014 at 8:32 PM

Nonsense. It’s the cocaine.

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Is everyone drinking and catching a buzz for this?

OmahaConservative on January 28, 2014 at 8:34 PM

I’d rather watch pigs fornicating

Dingbat63 on January 28, 2014 at 8:32 PM

Be careful what you wish for. That’s how Obama got here in the first place.

VorDaj on January 28, 2014 at 8:34 PM

I’d rather watch pigs fornicating

Dingbat63 on January 28, 2014 at 8:32 PM

.
Me too ….. but it’s our duty, DAMN IT … our DUTY !

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Shipley … are you sure that your 1st name isn’t really Carl? You might be the same idiot that I know. You sure sound like him.

ORrighty on January 28, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Not gonna watch. They should call it the STFU, instead of the SOTU.

predator on January 28, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Spurs – Rockets
Grizz – Blazers

kcewa on January 28, 2014 at 8:35 PM

Is everyone drinking and catching a buzz for this?

OmahaConservative on January 28, 2014 at 8:34 PM

I’m afraid that even way too much to drink won’t be nearly enough.

VorDaj on January 28, 2014 at 8:35 PM

It’s kind of sad not to have any confidence in your president and not want to listen to him anymore. But to be honest, he isn’t the first president to repeat a speech over and over again for five years that got tuned out.

scalleywag on January 28, 2014 at 8:35 PM

I’d rather watch pigs fornicating

Dingbat63 on January 28, 2014 at 8:32 PM

Be careful what you wish for. That’s how Obama got here in the first place.

VorDaj on January 28, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Apparently that’s also what it said on the real birth certificate.

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Is time traveling a ban-able offense?

nobar on January 28, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Killary looks like she was rode hard and put away wet…

OmahaConservative on January 28, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Is everyone drinking and catching a buzz for this?

OmahaConservative on January 28, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Already started…

Electrongod on January 28, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Is time traveling a ban-able offense?

nobar on January 28, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Only of when you come back to the present Obama is still in the oval office.

VorDaj on January 28, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Is everyone drinking and catching a buzz for this?

Yes.

Tom_Shipley on January 28, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Oh goody…

Re-run of Mr. Ed on TV in 25 minutes….

Electrongod on January 28, 2014 at 8:37 PM

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