The State of the Union
I didn’t watch the State of the Union. Never do. It was never intended to be a public soap box for the President. It was intended for the President to address Congress and appraise them of the State of the Union. Back then, that meant that status of the military, land acquisitions, and stuff like that. Now, well, it’s just fluff. Tonight apparently was no different. It seemed long to me, outlasting the ballgame I was watching. That wasn’t exactly the case, but it was close. From what I’m hearing, it came in at about 75 minutes. Now, in historical perspective, this is long. Not record setting, but close. State of the Union addresses are not mandatory to be public. So, until fairly recently, they were infrequent and sometimes written. Johnson got the ball rolling with public speaking. With the advent of television, it morphed into the Grammy Awards of politics. They just do whatever they want, it has nothing to do with reality. That, and starting in the 90′s, they got very windy. So, I quit watching them.
Some interesting notes. Here’s the top 10 windiest State of the Unions:
Notice a pattern?
According to written documents, the shortest would have been George Washington’s first. It clocked in at what probably would have been about f0ur to five minutes. However, it was written. So the official time is 0.
The two shortest in my lifetime were Nixon during the height of his impeachment investigation and Jimmy Carter on his way out.
Last year Joe Wilson was reprimanded by Congress for blurting out “You lie” during an Obama speech. The people who trumped up the charges cited protocol for State of the Union addresses, which Obama’s speech was not. The only known heckling ever done during a State of the Union was by Democrats in 2005. No one got censored over that. Those doing the censoring in 2009 remember that well I’m sure.
From what I have gleaned from tonight’s speech, I didn’t miss anything that I didn’t already know.
- Obama’s going to balance the budget by borrowing trillions of dollars and reducing spending by $250 billion over ten years with his three year budget.
- A year into his presidency, it’s still all Bush’s fault. Don’t ask what, it just is.
- In a feel-good gesture to Al Qaeda and other well-meaning terrorist organizations, we’re going to tell them when it’s safe to attack so that no one has to get hurt other than the occasional mother or child.
- He’s going to immediately “save” more jobs by only cutting NASA’s budget to the point only 7,000 people lose their jobs in Florida. Since he could have cut it so that 20,000 people lost their jobs, 13,000 jobs are saved.
- Finding 10% unemployment unacceptable, he’s shooting for 12% this year.
- In an effort to stimulate more loans, Obama is planning on busting up any bank that gets big enough to loan money. If they pay dividends or bonuses, they don’t deserve to call themselves a business.
- Any other industry that pays bonuses will be dissolved as well under the too big to fail policy.
- Has fixed GM all by himself by firing the CEO. The new CEO’s first action is to pay back the loan.
- Is addressing the lack of jobs by unionizing everything.
- Not sure if he mentioned health care or not.
- Congratulated Scott Brown, relishing his opportunity to be even more bipartisan.
- Promised to have even more transparent government by sending out tweets during closed door meetings.
- Recognized Václav Klaus, the President of Czechoslovakia.
- Since the Himalayan ice caps aren’t actually melting, is converting NASA to a climate change facility where carbon will converted to something more useful like aerosols, citing the hockey stick didn’t go up until after the aerosol ban of 1978.
- Is canceling President’s Day for Mao Day.
- Will be accepting large donations to not call the next #1 team in basketball.
Actually, none of that is probably true. But then again, neither is the speech. I like what a good friend mine suggested:
In other words, go back to the spirit of the State of the Union MESSAGE. Clever. Genius even. But, that would have deprived us of:
Now, I have to go back to work on my State of the Union speech. And I worked on it until pretty late last night. But I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people. Thank you.
That’s how important these State of the Union addresses are. Really. They are.