Sue me, I love the State of the Union. Always have. I enjoyed it even when George W. Bush was president, and the record shows how I felt about the Bush administration. (I particularly liked Bush’s State of the Union in 2006 when he warned against creating “human-animal hybrids,” obviously to prevent a pig-man dystopia.)
However, based on some remarks on Twitter and here at The Daily Banter, not everyone agrees, calling it a waste of time or political theater. Sure, for many of us who follow politics around-the-clock, our faces pressed up close to our computer screens and handheld devices, mainlining every headline, it can often be an anti-climactic and predictable event.
So, I can absolutely grasp the notion that it might appear boring or superficial but it’s not event designed for political junkies, nor should it be. A vast majority of viewers aren’t junkies, they’re casual observers of politics, perhaps hearing about many of the successes, proposals and reactions for the first time. Eliminating the event for all of its theatrics and pomp would only disengage more viewers from the process. Besides, it’ll never actually happen so suggesting it should is little more than shouting for the rain to stop.
Yes, politics includes a considerable helping of theater, tradition and forced collegiality which can admittedly grow exhausting, and Obama’s penultimate State of the Union has plenty of that. And, sure, a lot of us in the political press were well-versed on many of the areas Obama covered. But, dammit, it was fun — the Nerd Super Bowl — and the night began with this:
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 21, 2015
What’s not so fun is the one lagging economic indicator in an otherwise strong recovery. Flatlined middle class income growth and overall income inequality are hugely disappointing aspects of the recovery, and it’s obvious from his address that it’s one of the president’s nagging regrets going into his final two years — two years in which it’ll be nearly impossible to force his agenda through the Republican Congress.
In spite of the fact that each of these proposals is quite popular, here’s what probably won’t happen… CONTINUE READING