Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Should Trump Take the SOTU Out to Fifth Avenue and Shoot It?

 

If Washington DC really is, as Paul Begala said, “Hollywood for ugly people,” then the State of the Union address is its Nerd Prom. So why do so many DC nerds want to kill it?

From the Left:

“It makes me ill just imagining President Donald Trump at the upcoming State of the Union speech, preening, bloviating and bashing his enemies from the well of the U.S. House of Representatives,” writes progressive columnist Eric Zorn in the Chicago Tribune.

“For all of its pomp and ceremony — two raucous standing ovations for the president before he even speaks a word? — the State of the Union lacks dignity as much as it lacks purpose.” And so, Zorn says, it’s time to go back to the pre-Woodrow-Wilson policy of presidents sending a written report on the “State of the Union” to Congress instead of delivering a speech.

From the Right:

You’ve all endured this miserable spectacle at some point in your lives. You know firsthand how insufferable it is. Instead of me having to convince you, the burden should be on you to convince me: Why wouldn’t America be better off with the president submitting a written statement to Congress in lieu of a speech, as presidents did for nearly the entire 19th century? It was Thomas Jefferson, a man remembered for his many great ideas, who ended the practice of SOTU oratory. It was Woodrow Wilson, a man remembered for his many terrible ones, who brought it back. Presidents change but the speech is invariably boring, too long, and irrelevant politically despite the massive audience and even more massive hype for it year after year.

Finally — bipartisanship!

OK, sort of. Conservatives like Kevin Williamson have long complained about “the annual State of the Union pageant: a hideous, dispiriting, ugly, monotonous, un-American, un-republican, anti-democratic, dreary, backward, monarchical, retch-inducing, depressing, shameful, crypto-imperial display of official self-aggrandizement and piteous toadying.”

Liberals, however, had no complaints during any of Barack Obama’s or Bill “OMG Is He Ever Going To Shut Up?” Clinton’s awful speeches. The Left just hates Trump. If Donald Trump came out as gay tomorrow, liberals would be rushing to join Westboro Baptist Church before Sunday.

The only upside I can see from tonight’s SOTU is that is giving Democrats deluded by their Trump hatred the chance to beclown themselves yet again.

So you tell me: Is the State of the Union worth it? And before you say “Just don’t watch,” some of us have jobs that require us to sit through these ghastly wastes of time every year … for what?

Do you enjoy it? Is it important? As I pointed out in Monday’s podcast, there are very few memorable moments from the speeches–which have no impact whatsoever on policy.

If there’s a case for (or against) the SOTU address, please make it below!

There are 14 comments.

  1. Shawn Buell (Majestyk) Contributor

    We’d be better off without it, but no President is going to turn down the opportunity for a free, hour long campaign speech given to the whole world.

    • #1
    • January 30, 2018, at 9:19 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  2. Stad Thatcher

    Michael Graham: If there’s a case for (or against) the SOTU address, please make it below!

    It’s my understanding that Constitutionally, the State of the Union does not have to be an oral presentation made before Congress. If I were President, I’d scrap it altogether and submit a written version. There’s no point giving dirtbags like Joe Kennedy et al. air time for a rebuttal, or for either party to use the SOTU address as a protest platform.

    • #2
    • January 30, 2018, at 9:22 AM PST
    • Like
  3. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Does anyone pay attention to State of the Union speeches? I can’t recall the last one I heard.

    • #3
    • January 30, 2018, at 9:25 AM PST
    • Like
  4. Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. Coolidge

    The Constitution only requires that the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union.” So it doesn’t have to be annual, nor does it have to be a speech. In modern times, I would think that requirement would be quite well fulfilled by the ordinary course of business; it’s not like Congress and the White House aren’t already in constant communication.

    I’d love to see this tweet:

    I’m far too busy to take time out for this spectacle, and I daresay Congress has better things to do too. #considerthatyourSOTU

    • #4
    • January 30, 2018, at 9:48 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  5. OldPhil Coolidge

    I haven’t watched one since 1996 or so. Bill Clinton’s unending monologues turned me off for good, even if the ridiculous jumping up and down for applause didn’t do it before that. Then, when Obama used the Supreme Court as a whipping boy, I knew I’d never watch another one.

    • #5
    • January 30, 2018, at 9:49 AM PST
    • 1 like
  6. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Let’s see if our President can keep from slurring his words and picking up his water glass with two hands. I don’t trust the media taking snippets and carrying on for hours. That’s the giant waste of time. I’ll judge for myself.

    Seriously, in the case of Trump with all the propaganda, Americans need to see and hear him talk. I predict lots of people will encounter cognitive dissonance.

    • #6
    • January 30, 2018, at 10:44 AM PST
    • 1 like
  7. Annefy Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Does anyone pay attention to State of the Union speeches? I can’t recall the last one I heard.

    I don’t think I’ve missed one. Which is noteworthy as I’ve never had a TV. Looking forward to tonight’s SOTO; just trying to decide on the cocktails and the takeout (takeout on debates and SOTO is a tradition)

    • #7
    • January 30, 2018, at 10:45 AM PST
    • Like
  8. Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. Coolidge

    Annefy (View Comment):
    Looking forward to tonight’s SOTO;

    State Of The Onion? That might actually be worth tuning in for.

    • #8
    • January 30, 2018, at 11:01 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  9. Annefy Member

    Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):
    Looking forward to tonight’s SOTO;

    State Of The Onion? That might actually be worth tuning in for.

    Awesome. And I’d tune into that, too!

    • #9
    • January 30, 2018, at 11:05 AM PST
    • Like
  10. TES Inactive
    TES

    It reeks of monarchy, and should be a written report.

    I blame Congress. They have to invite the president. Just ask for a submitted report and it would do a lot to restore “republican” government.

    • #10
    • January 30, 2018, at 11:16 AM PST
    • Like
  11. Joshua Bissey Coolidge

    Michael Graham: If Donald Trump came out as gay tomorrow, liberals would be rushing to join Westboro Baptist Church before Sunday.

    So true.

    • #11
    • January 30, 2018, at 1:32 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  12. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Fifth Avenue?

    Edit: OK., got it.

    • #12
    • January 30, 2018, at 1:39 PM PST
    • Like
  13. aardo vozz Member

    Michael Graham:So you tell me: Is the State of the Union worth it? And before you say “Just don’t watch,” some of us have jobs that require us to sit through these ghastly wastes of time every year … for what?

    Well, if it’s part of your job, the answer is obviously “for money”. At least you’re getting paid for the “privilege “. Think of the millions of people across the country who will be subjecting themselves to this for free?

    <sarcasm off>

    <cynicism always on>

    • #13
    • January 30, 2018, at 3:35 PM PST
    • 1 like
  14. Randal H Member

    I don’t watch them. I don’t have a problem with presidents giving speeches, but the spectacle of the executive branch lecturing the legislative branch inside its own house has always rankled me.

    • #14
    • January 31, 2018, at 8:50 AM PST
    • 1 like