State of the Union

This Is Not a Laundry List: The Last State of the Union Drinking Game Under President Obama

Here's when to take a drink and click a link during tonight's big presidential address.

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Whitehouse.gov

Most State of the Union addresses are laundry lists—dry run-throughs of proposals that a president would like to see enacted, or, at the very least, would like to be seen calling for.

Tonight's State of the Union will be President Obama's last, leading into a final presidential year that is unlikely to produce any major legislative action. And so, as multiple news outlets have reported, the speech won't be a laundry list. Instead it will be more of a description of the sorts of outfits that he would like to see America wear.

Tonight's speech is expected to be "non-traditional," CNN reported yesterday, noting that "Obama will be talking about himself, not asking Congress for a long list of items he knows he'll never get." According to The New York Times, which cites top presidential aides, the speech will "not be the usual litany of legislative priorities but would instead be a grander call to arms on the major challenges facing the nation."

This doesn't necessarily mean that tonight will be utterly free of policy discussion. Obama will almost certainly discuss some of the policies he's already put in place, and will likely nod to the sort of policies he'd like to see in the future, building off what he's already done.

But significant new legislative changes won't be on the agenda for tonight. As a report from RealClearPolitics describes it: "Gone in Obama's eighth year are sweeping legislative ambitions. In their place: political storytelling aimed at a hoped-for Democratic successor and a Democratic Senate in 2017; maneuvers to protect seven years of governance; and lofty rhetorical riffs for the history books."

Doesn't that sound exciting? Thrilling? Riveting? Yeah, okay, maybe not so much. Even the White House appears to be a little bit worried about whether anyone will actually pay attention. Lofty rhetoric in defense of a presidency in its home stretch is perhaps not the best formula for must-watch primetime television. 

But for those who do tune in, there's always a surefire way to make these things a little bit more exciting: alcohol!

Which brings us to the point of this post: Reason's 2016 State of the Union drinking game—the very last under SOTU drinking game under president Obama! It's the end of an era, folks. Drink up!

Specifically, take a drink, and click a link, any time Obama…

Finally, tonight's address will be streamed live over the Internet by Amazon.com, so be ready to consume your entire liquor cabinet and anything left at the local liquor store if Obama ends his speech by suggesting you buy something off of your wishlist. The Kindle edition of The Audacity of Hope is just $9.99!

Alternatively, you could just have a couple of glasses of wine during dinner and then gently pass out during the speech. That's what Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg apparently did last year.

The staff of Reason will live tweeting the address and following up with reaction tonight and throughout the day tomorrow, so make sure to check back in at 9 p.m. ET this evening, when this definitely-not-a-laundry-list event starts.

NEXT: David Brooks Is Right About Ted Cruz's 'Brutalism' & Negativity

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  1. I’m not going to watch the SOTU, because I hate listening to any politician speak. I’m just going to be drinking beer watching something else, taking a drink every minute assuming Obama said something that would make me want to drink.

    1. Pretty much this. I can drink and still do something enjoyable, like play Fallout, or watch Rick and Morty. Or do literally anything else that contains even a shred of enjoyment. It’d still be better than drinking and getting mad/bored.

  2. Alternatively, you could just have a couple of glasses of wine during dinner and then gently pass out during the speech.

    I WAS GONNA

  3. I never liked reality shows, so I’ll skip it.

  4. Season 10 of It’s Always Sunny came out a few days ago. We’re not wasting our drinking on some fucking politician as long as that’s available.

    1. VOTE DENNIS REYNOLDS…BECAUSE OF THE IMPLICATION

      1. What implication?

    2. First episode is the best, some episodes of the season would have been funnier if they were just closeups of Danny Devitos facial expressions.

      1. Gotta’ be honest… I found season 10 a little disappointing.

        1. I think I only laughed during the First episode, The gameshow one, and the one where Frank retires.

          1. but yeah I think the show is about finished.

            1. I remember an interview with Rob McElhenny from two years ago where he implied season 9, or season 10 would be the absolute last season. Looks like FXX made them an offer they couldn’t refuse.

  5. noting that “Obama will be talking about himself

    IOW it will be like every speech Obama reads.

    1. It’s his favorite activity.

      1. Well, he’s the only thing he knows anything about, so . . . .

  6. I guarantee Obama doesn’t mention Kim Davis. He’ll probably completely ignore that issue.

    I think you should add “in some neighborhoods it’s easier to buy a gun than a book/vegetable.”

    1. Second the latter. I think he’s guaranteed to double-down on something to that effect… although i’d bet he changes the wording to force the very-forgiving fact-checkers something to do tomorrow.

    2. Has he considered that it might be easier because the illegal market is answering local demand, and local demand for handguns exceeds local demand for good books and turnips?

      1. No because it’s not easier to buy a handgun than a vegetable or a book anywhere on Earth. Even if there aren’t many places selling vegetables in your area, you can find a way to get some and they’re very cheap. The cost of a gun alone is prohibitive to most people.

        1. Okay, maybe in some parts of Syria it’s easier to get a gun than a vegetable. Other than that…

          1. Ever been to Detroit?

  7. Doesn’t that sound exciting? Thrilling? Riveting? Yeah, okay, maybe not so much. Even the White House appears to be a little bit worried about whether anyone will actually pay attention.

    NPR started its pre-game show this morning by interviewing the Big Players.

    1. Sometimes I torture myself listening to some Diane Riemes on NPR for a few minutes, hoping next wheeze might be her last. How awkward for the attendant lefties Skyping in figuring out Diane just shuffled her mortal coil. Would make for an awesome radio morning. Its that or Glenn Beck crying – just morning talk radio misery.

      1. It’s pretty remarkable that NPR no longer tries to even disguise their blatant partisanship. Most of my morning commutes consist of yelling “Fuck you Dianne, you’re out of your element” at the radio and judiciously oveying all traffic regulations.

  8. I’m not wasting good whiskey on that sorry wanker.

    1. Go with cheap whiskey, then?

  9. The DOW is only off 15 so far this morning. Looks like we’re in full-blown recovery!

    1. Down 23.32!

  10. I’ll bet he’ll also not talk about Iran deals.

    1. We might get a brief nod to its historical-ness, but no mention of its content, or the fact that Iran is attempting to unilaterally change the text when it isn’t just completely ignoring it, or that Iran continues to call for death to America, or that tensions between the Iranians and the Saudis are escalating as we speak.

      But it’s super-duper historical

  11. Does this mean Suderman is responsible for keeping score/playing along?
    And should that really be the same person? There should probably be a backup referee to declare the DRINKs

    1. Sudetman is the tripper skipper.

    2. The last time there was one of these events (not SOTU I think), ENB was at Suderman’s place. So maybe she can be the backup.

      1. during one of the prior primary debates, one of the Reason Foundation orphan-intern-monkeys posted their own drinking game at some style-biting millenial-journalism aggregator-sewer, and it was obvious from its very design that there was absolutely no intention to actually follow through and impose these rules on fellow Reason-staff, much less his portrait-of-a-lightweight self.

        Let us not dilute a noble tradition by reducing these contests to a conceptual charade. I want these rules vigorously enforced on at least one member of the staff, and photographic evidence provided of their status on completion.

  12. Uses any variation on “fair shot” or “fair share” or everyone “playing by the same set of rules

    And we all know that he’s referring to the coming prosecution of Hillary Clinton, right?

    1. Uh no.

      “Everyone” only means the little people.

  13. Is Reason assuming all liability for alcohol poisoning incidents as a result of this “game”?

  14. “Tonight’s speech is expected to be “non-traditional,” CNN reported yesterday, noting that “Obama will be talking about himself…”

    If Obama talking about himself counts as “non-traditional”, then every speech he’s ever given is “non-traditional”.

    1. After this many years, I think we can call it a tradition.

  15. I wonder if he will talk about the great success his mideast interventions have had in elevating ISIS and making the area even worse then when Dubya left office.

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  17. WTF?!?! I Ctrl-Fed for ‘health’ and ‘care’ neither produced a single hit.

    If you think demonizing rethuglikkkans for tarnishing his legacy isn’t on the docket, you’re NVTS!

    Personally, I’m hoping for some discussion about bringing universal healthcare to Mars.

    1. You raise a good point. Will obama say absolutely nothing about the ACA? If not…. its something of a tacit admission that he himself considers it a failure, or at the least acknowledges that the general public won’t swallow any self-congratulation for foisting it on people.

    2. By the time a NASA mission gets to Mars, they’ll find thriving colonies with healthcare robots engineered and built by one of Elon Musk’s companies. With luck they’ll have bypass code to circumvent Asimov’s Laws of Robotics and a subroutine which applies immediate assisted suicide dosing when taxpayer funded smugness is detected.

  18. My wife will be watching, I’m sure, and since I want to remain happily married I’ll be in my office drinking martinis, cleaning guns, watching the homebrew ferment, and playing Fallout 4.

    OT: I saw a meme an old high school classmate posted on Facebook to the effect of Reagan saying nobody needs an AK-47. She dropped it with this, “Ah HA! Now what, gun nuts!?” vibe. I didn’t respond because there’s really no point, but it solidified just how much the Progs don’t get it. As if i hold my beliefs so shallowly that they change based on someone else’s opinion. This also explains how they can just flip positions based on who’s in the White House.

    1. ” I saw a meme an old high school classmate posted on Facebook to the effect of Reagan saying nobody needs an AK-47.”

      All actual AK-47s are fully automatic by design, and have no semi function at all.

      If a AK-patterned rifle is semi-auto, its not an AK. Its whatever the builder markets it as.

      And yes, technically-correct is the best kind of correct when dealing with these stupid cunts.

      1. They’re feelbots, you’re not going to convince them. They will feign knowledge, counter with self-righteousness, and cry/scream if you keep pushing. Just have some fun instead. “Actually, this here isn’t an AK-47. This is actually a KKK-649, also known as a ‘Toddler Blaster’. It was built by Montana militiamen specifically to engage small nonmoving targets at point blank range.”

    2. I don’t remember seeing any AK-47s in Taxi Driver. Maybe if we had more common sense reform…

    3. Naturally, the first question should be: “Did Reagan actually say that?”

      1. Word.

    4. I love that Ronald F. Reagan is supposed to be anyone’s ideal president. He presided over the fall of communism and managed to thread the needle with Gorbachev; I will give him that, which is nothing to sneeze at.

      But dig up that NYT editorial he wrote praising Feinstein’s assault weapon ban or point out that he pushed for then signed California’s first serious gun control bill in the late 60s and remind people of how shit he really was on civil liberties.

  19. Suderman must want a new commentariat, because this game will kill any who participate.

    1. Not really. Its 13 ‘instances’ of DRINK, of which some could be repeated 2-3 times at best.

      If he’d thrown in any of the rhetorical gimmicks Obama is well known for…

      …like, “there are those who say” . or references, “Voices”
      … describes things he does as “collective efforts”. ‘“We” strove for Common Sense gun laws!’ (and he unilaterally executive-ordered some)
      …anytime he engages in classical repetition… “Together, we can ___X__… Together, We can __Y___, ” or repeats a single word multiple times in successive sentences.
      …conflates idealistic aspirations with actual ‘laws’, as though passage of the ACA has anything to do with actually addressing a “fundamental right to heathcare”.
      …Sells his own policy failures as an example of how, “The effort must never cease”…
      etc

      A few of those, and you’d be in trouble. The list Peter has will clean up a 6-pak at best.

  20. Much quicker way to get drunk when listening to Barry. Every time he says I, me, or my take a drink. You should go from zero to drunk in less than five minutes.

    1. Alcohol poisoning is a real danger there

  21. CNN reported yesterday, noting that “Obama will be talking about himself, not asking Congress for a long list of items he knows he’ll never get.” He ALWAYS TALKS ABOUT HIMSELF!

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  24. Good list, but too hard to remember.
    “It’s the right thing to do” would have been the drink under the table line for last night.

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