The first State of the Union address of President’s Obama’s second term is almost upon us. And while most conservatives aren’t exactly savoring another harangue from our scold-in-chief, we decided there must be some insight, and perhaps even some optimism, out there somewhere. So we roused several Spectator writers from various states of intoxication and took their temperature on tonight’s event. Are we doomed beyond all hope? Or just doomed beyond most hope? Here’s what we found (some of which is cross-posted on our blog):
The state of the union, unfortunately, is now completely different than the state of the D.C. elites of both parties. While the elites in D.C. prosper and play political theatre, the people of the country live in a reality that is the result of the long-term madness in D.C.
Much like the world painted by the recent literary and movie phenomenon, The Hunger Games, the Capitol City is doing fine. Out here in the provinces, things are not going so well.
I don’t want to write about the State of the Union address, because I don’t want to watch Barack Obama give a SOTU address and I don’t even want to think about Obama giving such a speech. He says the same things over and over, in the same hectoring, holier-than-thou tone of voice, creating and pretending to knock down the same old straw men, all while using first-person pronouns so often that not even a few dozen Scrabble sets could supply enough letters “I” to meet the demand. Obama’s self-regard is insufferable, his leftist bubble impenetrable, his magnaminity and graciousness entirely non-existent, and his mendacity unforgivable.
Other than that, it should be a pretty good speech.
In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama will likely use the bully pulpit to harangue recalcitrant congressional Republicans into supporting his agenda on spending, immigration, and guns.
Expect the president’s use of human props to be as liberal as his policies. Obama clearly believes he has the GOP on the ropes as he seeks to advance “wedge issues” that will separate his opponents from swing voters. But as past proponents of gun control and amnesty have learned, wedges sometimes cut both ways.
If President Obama plans to spend a better part of an hour heaping scorn towards the Republican side of the aisle, the GOP shouldn’t sit there and take it. Instead, they should stand up and walk out on President Obama. It would be a SOTU address no one would ever forget.
Of course, Republicans would be excoriated in all the usual circles. The GOP would be accused of being divisive, disrespectful, eroding civility, and, no doubt, racism. But Republicans are accused of these things every day of the week and twice on Sunday. How will it be any different if they don’t walk out on Obama?
“Elections Have Consequences” — Whenever Obama invokes the last election. E.g. “Republicans may not agree, but voters sided with me this past November.”
Weep sadly into a strong martini.
“The Embrace” — Whenever Obama shakes hands with or embraces Speaker John Boehner.
Have a black and tan, of course.
Matt Purple, American Spectator Assistant Managing Editor
Politico is reporting that President Obama intends to be aggressive in tonight’s speech. This is in tune with his curious belief that his reelection gave him a mandate not to govern, but to annihilate the Republican Party. At this point, it’s not an issue of if he’ll break off his TelePrompter screen and throw it at Kevin McCarthy like an Olympic discus, but when.
As for substance, he’ll ask me to pay for things I can’t afford. Beyond that, I lost interest two years ago. Perhaps the other Matt is more sanguine?
Sorry, Matt, but I am not. Tonight, if I even remember to turn on my television, my eyes will be on Samuel Alito, the most principled and civilized high court justice (see his dissenting opinions in United States v. Stevens and Snyder v. Phelps). Alito’s calmly uttered “That’s not true” proved a far more stinging rebuke to the president than any of Willard Romney’s managementese-ridden bloviations during last year’s debates. Of course, if Alito bothered to say “That’s not true” every time Obama pinocchioed, a transcript of the State of the Union would look something like this:
The Taliban’s momentum has been broken.
(That’s not true.)
Growing industries in science and technology have twice as many openings as we have workers who can do the job.
(That’s not true.)
Most teachers work tirelessly, with modest pay, sometimes digging into their own pocket for school supplies, just to make a difference.
(That’s not true.)
And so on and so on. Ad taedium.
If Alito doesn’t turn up, count me out.