State of the Union

Get Ready for Tomorrow Night's State of the Union [Livetweeting]!

State rituals!


you can probably work out the year based on the color of the tie, and hair
White House

Are you excited about tomorrow night's State of the Union, for the Reason livetweeting of course? The address has something for everyone: ritual pomp and circumstance for worshippers of the state, cheer lines for the party in power, jeer lines for the party not, and a slew of promises and claims, old and new, mostly broken and untrue, to serve as a reminder of the base nature of political discourse and action. The Obama White House spent the last few weeks pushing tomorrow's State of the Union as the start of a "year of action." Like a summer of recovery (or a winter of discontent?). With midterm elections in November and both sides looking to exploit any opportunity for political posturing or self-aggrandizement, any "action" they can muster is almost certain to be cringeworthy.

For those who can't wait for Reason's livetweeting of the State of the Union address tomorrow, here are some readings on the ritual gabbing:

  • Matt Welch jerry rigged what could pass as 2012's, this, or any year's State of the Union address using one sentence from each of the annual addresses to joint sessions of Congress from 1961 to 2011. Twirl towards freedom!
  • Last year John Stossel explained what President Obama should have said. It still applies, and the president will still ignore it.
  • Scott Shackford's 2013 prediction on the big problems Obama was going to ignore in last year's state of the union will be correct again this year.
  • Matt Welch presents seven (only seven?) forgettable states of the union by second-term (lame-duckish) presidents.
  • Obama for America Organizing for Action wanted to know what you wanted the president to say tomorrow night. He will certainly miss the opportunity again to tell young people he's screwing them over big time.
  • Obama is expected to gin up income inequality as the greatest problem of our time despite the good news.
  • The president will be tempted to again insist America does big things. Peter Suderman explains why that's not true.
  • Last year saw two responses to the State of the Union: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for the GOP, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) bringing the libertarianism with the semi-official "Tea Party" response. This year will see a response from Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) for the GOP, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) for the Tea Party, and Rand Paul for himself, in true libertarian fashion.
  • Thomas Jefferson put a stop to delivering the state of the union in person because it was too reminiscent of the British monarch's "speech from the throne." Woodrow Wilson brought the practice back into fashion, and with it launched into full gear the project of the "imperial presidency."

And here's a Reason TV riff on President Obama's doubletalk from the 2010 address:

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  1. Gonna snark that bitch.

  2. I demand a seat at the livetweeting table.

    1. Yeah. The SOTU address is utterly pointless political theater, so let’s watch it anyway, so we can mock it like hyenas? Double pass.

      1. Hi Mary.

        1. Mary likes to bitch about people bitching. It’s meta-bitching.

          1. I used to work with a woman who, when there was nothing to bitch about, would bitch about not having anything to bitch about.

            1. I used to work with a woman who, when there was nothing to bitch about, would bitch about not having anything to bitch about.

              I respect that.

          2. “I’d probably break my TV if I forced myself to listen to his whining.”

            Sounds like bitching to me.

            1. Sounds like Mary to me.

              1. So…much…projection…can’t…breathe…

                1. So Epi is one of your socks Mary!?

                  I, uh, just don’t know what’s real anymore.

                  Am I real…..

                  1. In reality, I don’t think we have any reason to
                    believe the literal handfuls (I don’t have full math on this, but I
                    strongly suspect that 75 percent of H n R commentary is written by
                    fewer than 20 people) of people who dominate the threads are
                    representative of anything but the first poachers on a turf that we
                    supply them with, one that creates a general atmosphere that makes
                    others uncomfortable or uninterested in serious dialog of any sort.

                    -Senior Reason editor

                    1. That is about volume of commentary, not sockpuppeting Mary.

                      But it interesting that you both tacitly admit to sockpuppeting and that your commentary adds nothing to the dialog.

                    2. I am Fist. Fist is Epi. Epi is Sarcasmic. Sarcasmic is Rufus. Rufus is Canadian.

                      But I am Canadian…

                    3. When is the president going to address the tragic issue of HnR comment inequality? That’s what I want to know.

  3. The Independents is fun. This is not. Fuck Obama. I’d probably break my TV if I forced myself to listen to his whining.

    1. I heard a rumor that one of his Supreme Court appointees let Obama’s people know after he called out the Supreme Court on Citizen’s United, that if he ever did that shit again during a SotU again, she would walk out in the middle of it. If that were to happen, that would be most excellent.

      1. I’d love to see Sotomayor and Scalia walk out together if Obama presumes to lecture them on Citizens United or the pending birth control mandate case.

        That would make liberal heads explode.

        1. That would be fucking gold. Please, please, please let it happen.

          1. If there was even a 1% chance, that might get me to watch.

      2. I hope it’s true. And that incident is yet another for the “Things Democrats and the Media Would Go Nuts About if the Parties Were Reversed” list.

        I was actually somewhat shocked when it happened, and I am not easily shocked. Just hugely awful manners, and not the way presidential politics should be done. Rude and classless.

        1. “Rude and classless.”

          A.k.a. Politics.

          1. No, politics isn’t necessarily classless, but Obama can be an especially annoying combination of snob and slob.

  4. Obama is expected to gin up income inequality as the greatest problem of our time despite the good news.

    “Let me be clear: America was built on the promise that if you worked hard and tried hard you could build a better life for yourself. Today we see that that promise has been broken by decades of economic mismanagement and a commitment to a trickle-down theory of economics that just doesn’t work for everyone.

    That is why I am proposing we restore the promise of America by increasing support for the unemployed, increasing funding for our schools, by creating programs designed to give our unemployed college graduates a chance to use their skills to help America. And most of all, we need to invest in a strong middle class by increasing our minimum wage so that no one who has a job will be forced to struggle to afford basic necessities like food and shelter.”

  5. Gore would have been worse.

  6. oh no

  7. He will certainly miss the opportunity again to tell young people he’s screwing them over big time.

    But… like Gay Marriage, Marijuana is kind of ok now. Biden 2016!

  8. OT: just installed a black market 100 watt incandescent light bulb.

    Feels good, man.

    1. I got a 20 pack last week. Man, my living room looks good!

      1. I’m so glad I’m color blind and don’t give a rat’s ass about the color of light bulbs. Of course, the incandescent ban is still bullshit, but easy to ignore bullshit.

        Also, playa, I have completely failed to get any Hairy Eyeball. The beer dork at Metropolitan said he only got three cases and they disappeared immediately. It’s now been like three years since I’ve been able to get any.

        1. What about Whole Foods? They had cases on the floor last week at my local branch.

          The stuff is so good that I had to give up beer for a week. I had the 20 pack of 24oz bottles, and went through it pretty quickly.

          Well, that week is up. Off to the store!

          1. No dice there either. I’ve checked Whole Foods, Metropolitan, QFC, and Trader Joe’s, and none have it.

            I think I’m fucked unless I go to California. Maybe it’s about time to visit my sister…

            1. Never seen it at Trader Joes.

              BevMo? They had plenty of Brown Sugga last month.

              1. There’s a BevMo in Ballard. I thought BevMo was only on the east side. Maybe I should check that. But isn’t BevMo for poor people? I can’t be seen at a poor person store.

                1. IDK about poor people, but there are usually a few hardcore winos in the store when I go there.

                  If you don’t leave the store with Lagunitas, I’m sure you can find a comparably good beer at BevMo. Also, they have good craft sodas, salamis, and cheeses. I can go through an entire pound of their sopresatta in 1 night.

                  1. I’ll have to check it out. The one in Ballard should be pretty devoid of poors.

                    A pound of sopresat? Shit, dude.

                    1. The aftermath isn’t pretty, but totally worth it.

        2. Sucks to be you, bought a bomber of it this weekend and enjoyed it.

      2. Ain’t no light bulb like a black market light bulb!

        Christ. Most free people in the world celebrating light bulbs. Freaking light bulbs. We’re hosed.

    2. Blackmarket bulbs actually suck up darkness instead of emitting light. RIGHT BY YOUR CHILDREN!

      This has been a pubic service announcement from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

    3. You got the hookup?

  9. Interesting. Evangeline parish just declared a curfew because there is going to be snow tonight.
    I was unaware that a parish wide order of house arrest could be declared over weather.

    1. They’re just looking for an excuse to shoot you.

    2. Are people going to steal the snow?


      -Though, it is more dangerous than snow when it comes to driving.

      1. We had a real snow Thursday, around three inches of nice powdery stuff that lasted until Sunday.
        The roads were a mess. I had to drive 25 miles to town and counted 19 spin-outs, one of which hit an embankment and flipped over. Dumbasses.

        I expect the stuff tonight to be more of an ice storm and the wife is ordered to work. I will be driving her in during the worst of it. Probably 10 mph in 4wd all the way

        1. I’m looking forward to a high of 3 tomorrow. Cold enough the salt is useless. Expecting at least one lane of the freeway to still be ice.

    4. You know who else declared curfew due to the weather ?

      1. Chris Christy?

  10. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) for the GOP, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) for the Tea Party

    So the Republicans and the Tea Party are like two separate things now?

    1. That does seem kind of awesome. I don’t pay attention to the SOTU so I didn’t know this was a thing.

        1. We exist in a world
          where the fear of illusion is real,
          And we cling to the past
          to deny and confuse the ideal.

      1. It started last year when everyone’s favorite neocon and amnestitastic Marco Rubio (remember him?) gave the official “response” and the TP bolted for Rand Paul.

    2. Apparently, although I’m not sure if any news network other than Fox will show the Tea Party response.

    1. What is that language? Hurts my ears just to read it.

      1. Mancunian

      2. That’s what invisible furry hand speaks, right? New Zealander or something?

  11. Get Ready for Tomorrow Night’s State of the Union

    Yeah, cause I can’t think of anything less painful to do, like sticking white hot forks into my eyeballs, or pulling out my own toenails with some plyers, one by one, slowly.

    I cannot stand the sound of the guys voice, it makes me want to vomit, and even the sight of him is repulsive. Lying, lying, lying, right into oblivion.

    There’s a local Baltimore political talk radio broadcast, and I can’t think of this guys name, damnit. I’m always listening to it because the callers are such total idiots that it’s entertaining in a twisted sort of way.

    Anyway, tonight I was driving back from BWI and I was listening to this shit in a 695 traffic clusterfuck, and the topic was 2016 presidential candidates. I swear, there was a very small percentage of the calls that were not trashing both Obama and Hillary, and even speculating that the Republicans might offer someone better. I almost fainted at the wheel. When the inner city Baltimore crowd starts criticizing the one, it’s pretty much over for his great reign.

    1. “I cannot stand the sound of the guys voice, it makes me want to vomit, and even the sight of him is repulsive. Lying, lying, lying, right into oblivion.”

      That is a pretty accurate description of my feeling as well. I actively avoid his voice and image, restricting myself to his words in print, and even that gives me a rash.

  12. So, I was called a Liberal tonight.

    I was at a bar in my Jersey City neighborhood and hit on a woman.

    Long story short, she’s a defense attorney for cops.

    Even longer story… I bring up Kelly Thomas. She never heard of the case. I ask her to look it up on her phone. Minutes pass and she says he must have been on drugs, procedures were followed, etc.
    I ask her if she saw the pic of Thomas. She continues defense of cops.

    Longest story short, I didn’t get laid because of Kelly Thomas, and I know no other place to vent me frustrations and disgust with humanity than here. Man, people are horrible.

    1. No offense, but you didn’t get laid because you don’t seem to know how to pick up women. Not that I am any sort of an expert, but picking fights about politics, showing pictures of beat-up guys, and generally challenging the validity of her work seems like a non-optimum approach.

      1. He was going for a hate fuck?

    2. You’re the one who brought it up. Self-cock-block.

      1. Agree with both of you.

    3. If that’s the way she is, you’re better off not fucking her.

  13. The bottom line is that out of our entire adult population in the United States, only a minority are really interested in what any President has to say. Most people do not care much about anyone connected with government at any level, county, state or federal. Americans traditionally don’t trust politicians. Not just now, but even 200 years ago.

    I was talking to someone yesterday who teaches a REQUIRED U.S. Government course at the college level. The assignment was to watch the State of The Union address and discuss it in class. Most of the students complained and complained. Not because it was Obama but because they just were not interested in politicians or politics.

  14. That’s fun, but it won’t happen

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