The State of the Union address is one of the President's constitutional duties. In 1966, the State of the Union speech was followed on television by a response (or rebuttal) from Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois and Representative Gerald Ford of Michigan. Over the next 15 years, the opposition party provide a response only four other times. Starting in 1982, however, it has become an annual affair.
It is time for the "rebuttal" to end. We are no longer locked into network TV time. The opposition has many means of communication. The State of the Union should become more solemn and thoughtful. Should we offer rebuttals to other constitutional events? It should not be a time for debate or electioneering. Even as I child I thought the rebuttal was churlish. (OK, at the time, I thought the opposition sounded like cry babies, but I've learned better ways to express myself. Besides, to paraphrase a girl's baseball movie, "there's no crying in politics.")
Let's become the party that elevates the discussion and discourse. Let's leave the President to his constitutional duty, and not insert our comments into the night (However, we can tear it apart the next day). Let's see if the Democrats have enough class to follow suit the next time there is a Republican in the Oval Office.