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.



Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4 5 11

2 drinks and I will be try to get a couple of smooches from somebody.

SparkPlug on January 28, 2014 at 9:05 PM

You was smoochin’ Wit’ my bruddah.

Lanceman on January 28, 2014 at 9:09 PM

*tips hat*

I see Obama is late to his own party again.

JetBoy on January 28, 2014 at 9:09 PM

JetBoy: I was just going to post that:)

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Did he resign yet?

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Rob Portman ‏@robportman 4m

As we await tonight’s #SOTU, it’s clear that implementation of #Obamacare isn’t working. RETWEET if you agree! pic.twitter.com/atrTBPbABN

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:10 PM

If you were a cheese what kind of cheese would you be.

Bishop on January 28, 2014 at 9:07 PM

Our current leader would be cheese whiz :)

uncommon sense on January 28, 2014 at 9:09 PM

I’m thinking more like Swiss cheese, lots of holes.

JetBoy on January 28, 2014 at 9:10 PM

he walked in like a pimp.

gird your loins.

renalin on January 28, 2014 at 9:11 PM

OMG, the sycophant ass-kickers are out in force tonight…

OmahaConservative on January 28, 2014 at 9:11 PM

Oh the speech will sing alright, it will sing like someone kicked Rob Pilatus’s nads into his larynx and then held his head underwater.

“Wait…what the hell is he sayin’?

Bishop on January 28, 2014 at 9:11 PM

I bet the GOP mainly sits!!

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:11 PM

I see Obama is late to his own party again.

JetBoy on January 28, 2014 at 9:09 PM

JetBoy: I was just going to post that:)

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:09 PM

He is on Choom time, so cut him some slack :)

uncommon sense on January 28, 2014 at 9:11 PM

What are they all so happy about.

Alana on January 28, 2014 at 9:11 PM

Reruns of Big Bang Theory instead.

22044 on January 28, 2014 at 9:11 PM

Red, white & blue bandana and a beard.

wolly4321 on January 28, 2014 at 9:12 PM

Did he resign yet?

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 9:10 PM

No need. Republican party leaders to perform live “acts” on him in 3 2 1…

Martians to arrive and explain everything in mere minutes…

oldroy on January 28, 2014 at 9:12 PM

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

So:

Is it auto-tuned or lip-synched?

arik1969 on January 28, 2014 at 9:08 PM

Milli Benghazi ?

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 9:12 PM

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:09 PM

He is on Choom time, so cut him some slack :)

uncommon sense on January 28, 2014 at 9:11 PM

uncommon sense: Dang,..thats why he’s staggering through the crowd, haha:)

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:13 PM

JetBoy: I was just going to post that:)

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Ya know what they say, great minds think alike ;)

JetBoy on January 28, 2014 at 9:13 PM

I’m thinking more like Swiss cheese, lots of holes.

JetBoy on January 28, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Excuse the vulgarity, but I would like to change my answer to fromunder cheese

uncommon sense on January 28, 2014 at 9:13 PM

If you were a cheese what kind of cheese would you be.

Bishop on January 28, 2014 at 9:07 PM

American.

davidk on January 28, 2014 at 9:13 PM

This walk in makes me puke.

BuckeyeSam on January 28, 2014 at 9:13 PM

Tabitha Hale ‏@TabithaHale 1m

10 minutes late. He’s basically 15 minutes early if we’re running on Obama time. #sotu

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:13 PM

First gay prezzie ever…

OmahaConservative on January 28, 2014 at 9:13 PM

How long can these (expletive)s keep clapping their hands?

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 9:13 PM

I’m just watching to see him simultaneously marry all those dancing gay folks.

rogerb on January 28, 2014 at 9:14 PM

I wish one conservative would have the nerve to check his bags.

BuckeyeSam on January 28, 2014 at 9:14 PM

Here comes the flaming train-wreck!!

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:14 PM

STFU Boehner…

OmahaConservative on January 28, 2014 at 9:14 PM

“My fellow Americans . . . . . . . . . .”

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 9:15 PM

Libdie? Verbie? You gonna show up?

Lanceman on January 28, 2014 at 9:15 PM

Barky is a true third-world retard who has no connections to America, whatsoever.
ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 28, 2014 at 9:00 PM

Slightly wrong, he has the Chicago American connection down pat. His every move is The Chicago Way ™.

The litmus-test of our survival as a Nation will revolve around his eventual outing as NOT A CITIZEN; if it happens, we may survive, if not we’re done.

Who is John Galt on January 28, 2014 at 9:15 PM

he walked in like a pimp.

renalin on January 28, 2014 at 9:11 PM

Glide ! Barky Glide!

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 9:15 PM

The Violins Begin:

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:15 PM

This group is like watching a bunch of clapping seals. No offense to seals.

MustLoveBlogs on January 28, 2014 at 9:15 PM

(EXPLETIVE), right out of the box, too.

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 9:16 PM

If Hitlary gets in next time, it’s Ukraine-on-the-Potomac time. Plan accordingly, friends. It’s the way to bet.

Who is John Galt on January 28, 2014 at 9:16 PM

Barry pees like a girl.

SparkPlug on January 28, 2014 at 9:16 PM

So at what time does Queen latifah and Madona make their appearance?

uncommon sense on January 28, 2014 at 9:16 PM

I’m quickly loosing respect for Cantor. He’s just too chummy with the first impostor.

rodguy911 on January 28, 2014 at 9:16 PM

“…8 million jobs…”

Applause: muted.

GGMac on January 28, 2014 at 9:16 PM

I’m trying this with the mute button, but looking at his face is really too much.

MustLoveBlogs on January 28, 2014 at 9:16 PM

Smug arrogant gay b@stard…

OmahaConservative on January 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Obama isn’t getting the claps that he likes,…when he pauses……..

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

” . . . . . . things couldn’t be better . . . . . .”

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

No clap for “…wean ourselves of foreign oil”

eeyore on January 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Why could Boehner not wear a red tie? What’s up with the spring green?

MustLoveBlogs on January 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

UPDATE: Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas Are Not Attending the State of the Union Address

Their absence is their verdict on Obama’s trampling of the Constitution.

INC on January 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Has it begun?

tommy71 on January 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

All the people Obama just mentioned, who are doing their part, are on acid.

Curtiss on January 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

This walk in makes me puke.

BuckeyeSam on January 28, 2014 at 9:13 PM

I feel the same way.

Heh, just once I’d like to a president and his entourage walk in like O-Ren going into the House of Blue Leaves.

JetBoy on January 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Obama announces his approach in the next three years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2O8gTIr4lys

BuckeyeSam on January 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Blech…

lynncgb on January 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

MORE OIL PRODUCED in America!!!

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

It’s also our citizens who are pissed off, too.

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

If you were a cheese what kind of cheese would you be.

Bishop on January 28, 2014 at 9:07 PM

Not cho cheese.

cozmo on January 28, 2014 at 9:18 PM

Fcuking LIAR…

OmahaConservative on January 28, 2014 at 9:18 PM

I call BS Barbra Streisand.

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 9:18 PM

Here comes the flaming train-wreck!!

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:14 PM

Hey!

He’s not gay…

JetBoy on January 28, 2014 at 9:18 PM

Has Chris Matthews reached orgasm yet?

Mark1971 on January 28, 2014 at 9:18 PM

A Break-Through,………………..after five years!!

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:18 PM

zzzzz….zzzzz…..zzzzz

CyberCipher on January 28, 2014 at 9:19 PM

Why could Boehner not wear a red tie? What’s up with the spring green?

MustLoveBlogs on January 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

He doesn’t want anyone to mistake him for a conservative.

Wasn’t the guy who wrote Dress For Success a long time ago really down on green for business suits?

INC on January 28, 2014 at 9:19 PM

8 billion jobs but 11 million invaders….

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 9:19 PM

MY Congresscritter had a Teleconference Townhall tonight for an hour before the SOTU …

…so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

;)

PolAgnostic on January 28, 2014 at 9:19 PM

Hey!

He’s not gay…

JetBoy on January 28, 2014 at 9:18 PM

Yes he is…

OmahaConservative on January 28, 2014 at 9:19 PM

Here we go:

CONGRESS IS THE PROBLEM,

always putting a DOOR STOP,..to Hopeys
Grand Schemes!!!!

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:19 PM

Wasn’t the guy who wrote Dress For Success a long time ago really down on green for business suits?

INC on January 28, 2014 at 9:19 PM

Molloy… and IIRC he wasn’t much for brown business suits even then.

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 9:19 PM

This walk in makes me puke.

BuckeyeSam on January 28, 2014 at 9:13 PM

I feel the same way.

Heh, just once I’d like to a president and his entourage walk in like O-Ren going into the House of Blue Leaves.

JetBoy on January 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Disclaimer-I’m not watching, so can only reflect on past SOTU walk-ins.

Didn’t matter which Party the President was, they were nothing but glad-handling. Didn’t these addresses to Congress used to have at least a little more decorum?

Del Dolemonte on January 28, 2014 at 9:19 PM

Heh, just once I’d like to a president and his entourage walk in like O-Ren going into the House of Blue Leaves.

JetBoy on January 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

ROFL

Bishop on January 28, 2014 at 9:20 PM

RebuildingTRUST? Mr. You can keep your doctor really said that?

Alana on January 28, 2014 at 9:20 PM

I see Obama is late to his own party again.

JetBoy on January 28, 2014 at 9:09 PM

I Like this quote I dislike this quote
“Punctuality is the politeness of kings”Louis XVIII
“Punctuality is the stern virtue of men of business, and the graceful courtesy of princes”Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

katy the mean old lady on January 28, 2014 at 9:20 PM

Hey!

He’s not gay…

JetBoy on January 28, 2014 at 9:18 PM

Dude. My gaydar went off in ’07.

Lanceman on January 28, 2014 at 9:20 PM

Has Chris Matthews reached orgasm yet?

Mark1971 on January 28, 2014 at 9:18 PM

Mark1971:

Chrissy is having Tingles Build-Up OverLoad!!

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:20 PM

Is it over yet?

Maddie on January 28, 2014 at 9:21 PM

Biden looks drunk. Obozo is mailing it in.

Southernblogger on January 28, 2014 at 9:21 PM

Our current leader would be cheese whiz :)

uncommon sense on January 28, 2014 at 9:09 PM

I’m thinking more like Swiss cheese, lots of holes.

JetBoy on January 28, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Rancid limburger.

lynncgb on January 28, 2014 at 9:21 PM

Read that prompter, you lying thug.

MustLoveBlogs on January 28, 2014 at 9:21 PM

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 2m

Pres Obama cites evidence of economic recovery and says “that’s why I believe this can be a breakthrough year for America.”
Expand

Reply
Retweet
Favorite

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 3m

“…it is you, our citizens, who make the state of our union strong,” says Pres Obama early in his speech.

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:21 PM

Greedy eeeeevil rich people.

Philly on January 28, 2014 at 9:21 PM

Why could Boehner not wear a red tie? What’s up with the spring green?

MustLoveBlogs on January 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM


“It’s St. Patricks Day!”
– the favorite excuse of lushes everywhere.

PolAgnostic on January 28, 2014 at 9:22 PM

I have it on mute.

And I’m turning to Justified at 10, though I recently learned that the actor playing Raylan Givens is a putz. Now, I’ll watch only for Nick Searcy.

And what a shame that the guy who played Hank on Breaking Bad is a total shitehead.

BuckeyeSam on January 28, 2014 at 9:22 PM

Good for the con scotus to stay away

cmsinaz on January 28, 2014 at 9:22 PM

I NEED MORE OPPORTUNITY…

TAKE MY MONEY… PREVENT ME FROM INVESTING IN MY OPPORTUNITY…

THEN TAKE MY MONEY AGAIN.

Washington Fancy on January 28, 2014 at 9:22 PM

That hag of his looks pissed…

OmahaConservative on January 28, 2014 at 9:22 PM

Like usual, Obama fiddles around like Nero, while his opposition burns in frustration that it can’t touch him.

technopeasant on January 28, 2014 at 9:22 PM

Your policies keep people unemployed, Barky. That was the plan – permanent welfare state.

Philly on January 28, 2014 at 9:22 PM

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 55s

“Let’s make this a year of action,” the President tells Congress announcing the theme of his 2014 agenda.
Expand

Reply
Retweet
Favorite

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 1m

Citing last month’s budget deal, Pres Obama says “let’s see where else we can make progress together.”
Expand

Reply
Retweet
Favorite

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 2m

Pres Obama offers scold saying when political differences shut down the Govt: “we are not doing right by the American people.”

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Michelle looks a bit angry…

Fallon on January 28, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 31s

Pres Obama says some of his agenda will require Congressional action and “I’m eager to work with all of you.”

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:23 PM

And too many Americans aren’t working at all.

Applause.

This will be remembered as my favorite Obama speech moment ever.

talkingpoints on January 28, 2014 at 9:24 PM

” . . . . . even though things are better than they have ever been, . . . too many Americans are suffering . . . . . . . .”

listens2glenn on January 28, 2014 at 9:24 PM

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:21 PM

Hasn’t he used break through year in the last 4 SOTU’s… when does he get the speaker to play some Jay-Z and Beyonce’ and break out the bong?

uncommon sense on January 28, 2014 at 9:24 PM

Oh, vomit. She makes me want to.

MustLoveBlogs on January 28, 2014 at 9:24 PM

I should skip this and go straight for the Advil PM right now.

Philly on January 28, 2014 at 9:24 PM

OMG, he is already praising his big assed sea hag..

OmahaConservative on January 28, 2014 at 9:24 PM

InEquality!!!!

canopfor on January 28, 2014 at 9:24 PM

FLOTUS sets a good example?!?!?

Maddie on January 28, 2014 at 9:24 PM

If you were a cheese what kind of cheese would you be.

Bishop on January 28, 2014 at 9:07 PM

Since Barky’s election, I’ve been Blue Cheese …

ShainS on January 28, 2014 at 9:24 PM

katy the mean old lady on January 28, 2014 at 9:20 PM

What dis punk-cho-alllity of which you speak?

— Revrum Al $harpton

viking01 on January 28, 2014 at 9:24 PM

one glass of wine down…i’m gonna get sick – wine wasn’t meant to be shot at this rate!

FinallyRight on January 28, 2014 at 9:24 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4 5 11