Can he can get through a list of successes that long in the span of just an hour? We’ll find out at 9 p.m. ET in the annual ceremonial torching o’ the strawmen. Kevin Williamson’s take on the SOTU isn’t new, but it’ll never be old either:
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.
It’s the most nauseating display in American public life — and I write that as someone who has just returned from a pornographers’ convention.
What it also is is a form of entertainment for the political class, replete with “celebrity guests” and smug empty gestures, stripped of anything that might plausibly be considered genuinely entertaining. OFA, Obama’s propaganda arm, has been touting it with promos that make Obama look like Sinatra backstage before a concert, putting the finishing touches on his tux before he goes out and knocks ’em dead with “Luck Be a Lady.”
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 28, 2015
Imagine what sort of Hopenchange groupie you need to be to feel anticipation for a Year 8 SOTU. As for the meat of tonight’s remarks, you can already guess most of it. Gun owners will be scolded for their indifference to human life. People worried about terrorism will be scolded for their callousness towards Syrian refugees. Iran skeptics will be scolded for their warmongering and fanaticism. (Ten U.S. sailors are still in Iranian custody as I write this at 6 p.m. ET.) It’ll be typical Obama. The one note that’ll be a bit different this year is the stress he’ll put on carrying the “progress” he’s made forward into the future. We all know who he’d like to see tasked with that job. How explicit will he be about it?
Two clips for you while we wait. One is Obama answering criticism that his presidency has been an era of deep division by noting that, hey, it’s not the very worst America has ever seen. Which is true. Consider the promise of Hopenchange fulfilled. The other, in case you’ve got Obama/SOTU fatigue, is Ann Coulter and Liz Mair battling it out last night over whether you can be a conservative and a Trump fan. Consider that clip your QOTD. The thread is open.
Update: Almost forgot that Nikki Haley will be delivering the GOP rebuttal tonight. But a rebuttal to whom? To Obama, or to someone else?