MK Hammer left no doubt as to where she stands on the question last night, offering to vote for anyone who promises to go back to just having the President send Congress a letter in lieu of a formal State of the Union address. The task of providing a response, as she views it, is even more dismal. Ed already weighed in on the subject and didn’t seem much more impressed. And having sat through last night’s Tour de Farce myself, I admit that I can sympathize with those who wanted to jam a pencil in their ears by the time it was all over. You have to be a fairly hard core political junkie to tune in to begin with, so you at least deserve to have the dogs and ponies well groomed and doing some applause worthy tricks.
As Ed referenced already, Matt Lewis seems to be thinking along the same lines, but goes further, noting that there might actually be a curse which strikes down anyone who is forced to trot out and answer the President’s big show.
Just as landing the cover of Sports Illustrated tends to be a curse for promising young athletes, the honor of delivering a SOTU response seems to be some sort of jinx. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s awkward “Kenneth the page” act in 2009 didn’t do him any favors, and possibly derailed a 2012 presidential bid. Sen. Marco Rubio’s otherwise fine 2013 speech was marred by his awkward reach for water (he would spend the next year or so embroiled in a damaging internecine fight over immigration reform).
The best response in recent memory probably came from then-Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell…who was recently sentenced to prison (the curse will get you one way or another!) I thought last year’s response by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers was quite strong, but in hindsight, it is essentially forgotten. (I’m picking on Republicans here, since they’ve delivered the last six responses; but this is a bipartisan phenomenon. Then-Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius delivered the 2008 Democratic response. She then went on to preside over the Obamacare rollout debacle.)
Matt goes on to air many of the same complaints as Ed and Mary Katharine in terms of not only the general uselessness of the President’s annual address, but the even more dismal prospects for delivering the response. But I’m not quite ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater here. First of all, we need to remember… nobody is making you watch it. (Okay, there are a few of us who have to watch it, but we get paid to so you won’t have to. And I’ve still had worse jobs.) For those of you with cable, there are hundreds of other channels with equally unwatchable dreck on them.
I would also ask a primarily conservative audience if maybe, just perhaps… our opinions of these pageants are being influenced by six straight years of it being the wrong guy giving the speech. I mean, the subject matter just might be a lot more appealing if there was someone up there speaking who you agreed with in terms of their visions and plans. Reagan gave a few jolly stemwinders which were actually a lot of fun, and there were even a couple of W’s with some memorable moments. It might help to just tell yourself that there’s only one more to go, and use this negative example as yet more incentive to help elect somebody who might do a better job next time.
But even when it’s Obama, let’s not pretend that there hasn’t been some level of amusement to draw on. Who could forget a Supreme Court justice mouthing the words, “not true” on camera? And the now infamous, “You lie!” moment. And I, for one, always enjoy seeing somebody passed out cold while the President is talking.
There are other things to focus on as well. At least one important demographic seems to still enjoy the Red Carpet aspect of it all. (Amiright, ladies!?)
— SalenaZito (@SalenaZitoTrib) January 21, 2015
If nothing else, January can be a slow news month in many years when terrorists aren’t blowing everything up. It gives us and the MSM something to keep us out of trouble for a day or two. Heck… we’ve probably had four posts on it here at Hot Air in less than 24 hours. So let’s embrace the awful, turn on the snark and keep the show going. And just think of the awful goodness if the 2017 SOTU features Chris Christie telling one of the liberal SCOTUS justices to sit down and shut up in the middle of the remarks.