SotU: A meaningless ritual

February 16, 2013
By

Mark Steyn makes comparisons:

When the Queen or her viceroy reads a Throne Speech in Westminster, Ottawa, or Canberra, it’s usually the work of a government with a Parliamentary majority: In other words, the stuff she’s announcing is actually going to happen. That’s why, lest any enthusiasm for this or that legislative proposal be detected, the apolitical monarch overcompensates by reading everything in as flat and unexpressive a monotone as possible. Underneath the ancient rituals — the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod getting the door of the House of Commons slammed in his face three times — it’s actually a very workmanlike affair.

The State of the Union is the opposite. The president gives a performance, extremely animatedly, head swiveling from left-side prompter to right-side prompter, continually urging action now: “Let’s start right away. We can get this done. . . . We can fix this. . . . Now is the time to do it. Now is the time to get it done.” And at the end of the speech, nothing gets done, and nothing gets fixed, and, after a few days’ shadowboxing between admirers and detractors willing to pretend it’s some sort of serious legislative agenda, every single word of it is forgotten until the next one.

In that sense, like Beyoncé lip-synching the National Anthem at the inauguration, the State of the Union embodies the decay of America’s political institutions into a simulacrum of responsible government rather than the real thing, and a simulacrum ever more divorced from the real issues facing the country. “Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion,” said the president. Really? Who knew? “Now we need to finish the job.” Just one more push is all it’ll take.

54 Responses to SotU: A meaningless ritual

  1. Valerie on February 17, 2013 at 7:46 am

    “the State of the Union embodies the decay of America’s political institutions into a simulacrum of responsible government rather than the real thing, and a simulacrum ever more divorced from the real issues facing the country. ”

    Nah. It just shows that the current President is a bleedin’, ignorant amateur that will not take advice and has no clue whatsoever how to govern. Unfortunately, the House Minority Leader and Senate Majority Leader are of similar caliber. They love having a weak President, because that means they can loot the Treasury.

    Take heart. Democratic voters know this. Keep talking about economics. Keep talking about how to deal with a recession, and how following the policies that prolonged a recession into the Great Depression are failing, again. Keep talking about lawlessness in high places, and carelessness in handling the responsibilities of official responsibilities. And do talk about equal protection under the laws.

    And, put those wonderful, articulate, Black spokespeople out in front of the American public. Point out the governors who are getting good effect, and mention how many of them are *gasp* Indian, Hispanic, etc. Ask the question, “How can you call our party racist and sexist, when it’s our party that actually elects women and minorities into high public office?

    Finally, reject the notion that the press can slander a politician and destroy his or her career. If Bill Clinton can get re-elected, and Barack Obama can get re-elected, and Ted Kennedy, and Jessie Jackson, Jr., there is no slander that should stop a Republican candidate from staying in the public eye. None. Let them say what they want, and call them liars, and roll on.

  2. Jim,MtnView,CA,USA on February 17, 2013 at 11:36 am
  3. The Ace on February 17, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    ^ODS.

    • Jim,MtnView,CA,USA on February 17, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      Lefty publication basically concedes conservatives were right about Ocare
      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324616604578306191810153854.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

      This is worth a gander too.
      http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/163580/

      • The Ace on February 18, 2013 at 3:53 am

        Well, you certainly wouldn’t read or link to anything otherwise, now would you?

        Nor would you concede the TRUTH that a majority of Americans desire health care reform, fought tooth and nail by conservatives.

        Nor would you oncede the TRUTH that a majority of Americans do not want to repeal Obamacare.

        Facts are pesky things.

        • ken_phd on February 18, 2013 at 6:20 am

          The Ace:

          “Facts are pesky things.”

          Indeed. Where’s your AGW screed these days?

          • The POTUS on February 18, 2013 at 7:43 am

            Most every sane person is at least starting to believe in the science of global warming. Most of that is due to what people are witness to via their eyes and experience. ken and other hardcore hold outs are proof of what the asshat community believes because they are impervious to fact, science and their own lying eyes.

          • Jim,MtnView,CA,USA on February 18, 2013 at 6:02 pm

            Actually the holes in AGW are multiplying, and ever more independent thinkers are joining the skeptics.

          • Rick M. on February 19, 2013 at 10:14 am

            Correct Jim. The faux science used to conjure up AGW myths are backfiring all over the place and more independent thinkers are joining the skeptics as a result. AGW zealots are looking more and more like cult members who do nothing but ignore those “pesky things” like facts and trends.

          • STOP THE DERP on February 19, 2013 at 2:44 pm

            You need to get out of the bubble.

          • M. Forbisher on February 19, 2013 at 4:45 pm

            The beauty of it is that the bubble is a perfect, impenetrable sanctuary.

            People like ken_phd will carry AGW denial to their graves.

          • Edward on February 20, 2013 at 12:57 am

            …yet liberals will carry junk science and intolerant, narrow-minded thinking to theirs. Hypocrisy is their epitaph.

          • Kyle on February 20, 2013 at 4:33 am

            Armed with their meme “junk science”, the far right wing can deny anything.

          • STOP THE DERP on February 20, 2013 at 9:00 am

            Junk science A term created by people that believe a cloud fairy controls everything on earth and in their lives.

          • Rick M. on February 20, 2013 at 9:33 am

            Actually, ‘junk science’ was simply used to describe instances of intentional data corruption, such as those who’ve examined the historical facts of a known cooling trend, yet concluded the opposite. It’s also used to describe those who got CAUGHT doctoring data/emails (remember all the faux AGW emails? we do) in a silly attempt to report opposite/false global environmental trends and pressure their peers to do the same. In other words, it’s a term used to describe the blatant liars at the top tier of AGW and the gullible chumps at the bottom who believe just about anything without question (you know, those bottom dwellers who are so easily misled that they repeat political party talking-points instead of questioning the validity of the so called ‘data’). It appears that you’re one of the bottom dwellers. Tssk tssk tssk.

          • STOP THE DERP on February 20, 2013 at 1:05 pm

            You mean climate gate where Eight committees investigated the allegations and published reports, finding no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct. You remember the BS but not the facts or truth. Shocker. Or that almost every credible scientist comes to the same conclusion with GW.

            Back to your sky fairy.

          • Phineas Gage on February 20, 2013 at 3:57 pm

            Mention AGW and the far right wingers chitter chatter their limited vocabulary of memes like squirrel monkeys scurrying from limb to limb.

            They get excited, allright.

        • Jim,MtnView,CA,USA on February 18, 2013 at 8:47 am

          Most Americans are against Ocare, and more will hate it when it starts kicking in.

        • Earl on February 18, 2013 at 9:36 am

          There goes Ace with his false equivalancies again. If you don’t like Obamacare, that means you don’t want reform and you want to kick widows and orphans to the curb. Fact is R’s have advanced a number of reform proposals which include most of the elements that have wide acceptance. We just don’t want to launch yet another bloated government wlefare program that is rife with fraud and innefficiencies. Think healthcare run by the DMV! And BTW Ace, most Americans do want it’s repeal.

          • David Milstein on February 18, 2013 at 10:30 am

            Two words:

            Suplemental insurance

          • ip727 on February 18, 2013 at 10:43 am

            When the great unwashed start losing their employer provided insurance under the name of “reform”, there will be more demands for repeal.

          • M. Forbisher on February 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm

            Earl, you should do some research before you say things like, “…most Americans do want its repeal.”

            Because, your statement is incorrect.

          • Edward on February 20, 2013 at 1:04 am

            M.forsockpuppet, please post a link to YOUR “research”

          • Kyle on February 20, 2013 at 4:31 am

            Edward uses a sock puppet to say that! You can’t parody the far right wing.

            “Edward”, dear, google “polling Obamacare repeal”.

          • Edward on February 20, 2013 at 7:14 am

            M. Forbisher = Kyle = some moron cowering behind a sockpuppet while sniveling like a little girl about sockpuppets. Hypocrisy must be a favorite of yours since that’s all you’re capable of displaying here. No doubt, your parents wish they could go back and abort an idiot like you.

            Still no research of your own, eh dummy? Heh, you’re such a douche.

            LOL!!

          • Edward, blah, blah, blah on February 20, 2013 at 4:37 pm

            Edward goes blah, blah, blah.

            Again.

            And again.

          • Laughing at The Ace Sycophant on February 21, 2013 at 9:24 am

            ^ Oh look, “The Ace”, er “POTUS”, er, “M. Forbisher”, er “Kyle”, er “phineas” er, “blah blah” is still cowering behind dozens of sockpuppets while sniveling about sockpuppets. Do you have any answer that isn’t some non sequitur bravo sierra? Nah, of course you don’t; you’re obviously too stupid to answer any the questions that were put to you by others. Instead you just babble nonsense like The Ace sycophant that you truly are. Sicko.

          • Mad dog on February 21, 2013 at 5:40 pm

            If you are going to be obsessed with the trolls, man up and don’t hide behind a fake name, OK?

          • Laughing at The Ace Sycophant on February 22, 2013 at 9:53 am

            Do you have ANY comments where you’re not Projecting like a fool?

            Nope, you sure don’t.

            Moron.

          • The Trolls on February 22, 2013 at 3:42 pm

            You have an army of new names, but you are still the same old blowhard.

            Good for you.

  4. Ripley on February 17, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    GOP’s got The House and the Senate filibuster. They could stop everything cold. Will they? No. Why not? Because they are pussies.

  5. allie on February 18, 2013 at 7:40 am

    STOTU speech-Obama said nothing new: blah, blah, blah. I,I,I, me, me, me, my, my, my.

    • No more FAKE Conservatives! on February 18, 2013 at 9:54 am

      OZero is a marxist pig who talks alot, but says nothing.

      Only blind and willfully ignorant fools admire that marxist dirtbag
      ..which is why mostly idiot kos-kiddies and cult-freak paulbots admire 0Zero so much

      Just proves how the young/stupid are the ones foolish enough to fall for the lies.

      • M. Forbisher on February 19, 2013 at 4:48 pm

        You blow off steam here, don’t you?

        Idealists such as yourself become bitter, and you seem to have arrived.

        • Edward on February 20, 2013 at 12:33 am

          Why do liberals like u hang out on a right wing blog again? Oh right, to spew your bitter hatred and propaganda. Funny how that works. Hypocrite.

          • Kyle on February 20, 2013 at 4:32 am

            “Edward”, aren’t you precious.

          • Laughing at The Ace Sycophant on February 21, 2013 at 9:25 am

            ^ More non sequitur from the idiot troll

          • Mad dog on February 21, 2013 at 5:43 pm

            Seriously, stop with your unrelenting troll obsession. Not to mention the army of fake names. Can’t you man up and use your old handle?

          • Laughing at The Ace Sycophant on February 22, 2013 at 9:52 am

            There you go projecting again.

            Dummy.

          • The Trolls on February 22, 2013 at 3:41 pm

            Yay! The conservative blowhard is back! Lash out! It is fun to watch.

  6. David Milstein on February 18, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Barack Obama to receive Israel’s presidential medal of distinction

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/18/barack-obama-israel-presidential-medal-distinction

    • ip727 on February 18, 2013 at 10:44 am

      A bribe???

      • David Milstein on February 18, 2013 at 2:29 pm

        They’d sell out their own mother for a few shekels.

  7. Jim,MtnView,Ca,USA on February 18, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Gun control proposal in WA state:
    “Forget police drones flying over your house. How about police coming inside, once a year, to have a look around? As Orwellian as that sounds, it isn’t hypothetical. The notion of police home inspections was introduced in a bill last week in Olympia.”
    From the Seattle Times

    • Rick M. on February 20, 2013 at 9:36 am

      Typical of the leftists who screeched 24/7 about the U.S. Constitution when GW was in office but now they view the same Constitution as being equivalent to toilet paper.

      The left is nothing but one giant double standard.

      • Phineas Gage on February 20, 2013 at 4:01 pm

        Have you ever looked into the double standards permeating the right wing?

        Oh, you haven’t….

        Wouldn’t that be a… double standard?

        It is no longer possible to parody the far right wingers.

        • Laughing at The Ace Sycophant on February 21, 2013 at 9:18 am

          ^ Don’t look now, but your non sequitur is showing, moron.

          And your still pretending to be The Ace, you sick little sycophant.

          We know you have some bizzare fetish for him, but get over it, sicko.

          • Mad Dog on February 21, 2013 at 5:48 pm

            My gosh, you attack every comment with your troll obsession. Don’t you realize that it is YOU that are the ACE sycophant? Why else the fake name from an old poster? You are an embarrassment to this fine blog.

          • Laughing at The Ace Sycophant on February 22, 2013 at 9:52 am

            LOL!! Project Much?

            retard.

          • The Trolls on February 22, 2013 at 3:40 pm

            You go girl!

            Nothing is more hilarious than a conceal carry conservative blowhard that tips at 7%.

            Such as yourself.

  8. Goonions on February 19, 2013 at 5:53 am

    The bright side is that this is Barack Obama’s last term. Only slightly less that four more years and when he gets finished more than enough who helped put him in office will be more than willing to help him move out of the oval office.

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