The State of the Union? It Sucks

Tomorrow will make only the third time in my adult life that I have consciously skipped the State of the Union (SOTU) address. I don’t listen to the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) talk. As in, I don’t ever allow myself to hear his voice if I can help it. I talk about how I evolved this maintenance strategy here,

I did contemplate watching the first SOTU that the OHM stank up the House of Representatives with, but I decided that my mental state simply couldn’t cope with that much hatred and disinformation so shortly after I had to come to grips with the fact that no-one was going to do their job and keep the unstable piece of shit out of the office of the president. So many people not willing to do their jobs before it became my quandary whether I should do my job as an informed citizen and tough out the bullshit, or simply admit that there was no benefit to be had in listening to the speech at all.

That decision is what lead to my ultimate decision to block all the things the OHM said, and limit myself to just noting all the things that he and his administration did. A much less daunting task than sorting the bullshit into (yuge) piles.

We have now come full circle as a country. What was so evident for me in 2015 when I tripped over the obvious hatred of elected Republicans,

Is now apparent to the vast majority of Americans. The Republicans? They only care about power. They only care about holding power, and they think that is all anyone around them cares about. They are, to paraphrase one of my favorite political commentators, despicable people or to quote Hillary Clinton, They are a basket of deplorables. They are so proud of being deplorable people that they wear that label on their clothing.

“Yes” they say “I’m in it for the power alone. I have no morals, I have no standards. I just want my party to be the party in power. That’s all you want, so why not?”

This attitude was on display as far back as Bill Clinton’s SOTU when Newt Gingrich orchestrated the Republican dismissal of Democratic legislative proposals because they came from Democrats, even if those proposals originated in conservative think tanks. It reached it transparent heights during the Obama administration when the Republicans pissed on the Affordable Care Act and called it Obamacare even though it was a direct copy of the Massachusetts system proposed and signed into law by Governor Mitt Romney, now Senator Mitt Romney.

So no. I won’t even be watching tonight. I will not be the hypocrite who boos ideas that he approves of just because they come out of the OHM’s mouth. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and the OHM can mistakenly do right things or propose the right ideas for the wrong reasons. The problem is the man, not the office or the party, when it comes to the SOTU. The man is a charlatan, and I refuse to listen to his lies.


I have always hated the responses to the State of the Union address. I went so far as to write this article,

RAnt(hony)-ings

…after the Republicans in the legislature cluelessly continued to offer their unwanted #MeToos to Obama’s excellent speeches. But my loathing for them goes back to when the practice first caught my eye, back in the days of Newt Gingrich’s bad faith demonstrations against Bill Clinton. But even during the eight years of W.’s pathetic leadership I thought the Democratic responses were lukewarm at best. Mostly because the opposition never seems capable of capturing what it is that the the people opposed to the president really think about his speech and his policies.

This year was different. For the first time in my adult life, the response seems more like what the average citizen might be thinking right now. Not the official response which is still cringe-worthy. No. I mean the radio interview that she gave to NPR afterwards.

Morning Edition – Michigan Gov. Whitmer Gives Democrats’ Response To State Of The Union – February 5, 2020

Nancy Pelosi tearing up the Orange Hate-Monkey’s speech was the highlight of the evening. Why? Because it’s all the Stormtrumpers and the media want to talk about. They all look like fools. Did she do something illegal? Get a life, people.

The manifesto of mistruths presented in page after page of the address tonight should be a call to action for everyone who expects truth from the President and policies worthy of his office and the American people. The American people expect and deserve a President to have integrity and respect for the aspirations for their children.

Pelosi Statement on State of the Union Address

She gets it. She understands what Trump is. So does Veronica Escobar,

the greatest threat to our security is a president and a Republican-controlled Senate that act only in their own interest

NPR – KUT

I was raiding in World of Warcraft while all of this went on. I think I spent my hours more productively that way.

The State of My Union?

Trump speaks to Congress tonight. I’m being told I need to watch it. Telling Americans they need to watch this speech is like telling Romans they should listen carefully to the fiddling of Nero while Rome burns.

I have much, much better things to do; even if those things include having my toenails painted by my daughter.

As a rule, I generally watch the State of the Union speeches. I try to catch them every year. Until this year. This year I will not be listening, just as I have tried to never listen every time the Orange Hate-Monkey speaks. This is an attempt to conserve the brains cells that I have left. Listening to lies has been shown to make you less intelligent, and I know that Trump will be doing nothing but lying anytime he speaks.

I’ll pay attention to the president when (if) we get a different one.

Facebook status.

The State of the Union Requires No Response

As I have confessed previously, I watch the State of the Union (SOTU) address pretty much every year as a matter of course. Some years I grit my teeth and bear it, some years I have to watch it with an accompanying joke track (the only thing I tolerate an MST3K treatment for is politics) since Barack Obama has been President, I’ve pretty much sat down to watch with something akin to interest if not utter fascination.

The State of the Union address is provided for in the Constitution, Article 2, Section 3;

“He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient”

George Washington and John Adams delivered the address in person. Jefferson, who hated the pomp that surrounded much of the Presidency, declined to give the address in person and had it sent to Congress to be read by the clerk. Every President followed Jefferson’s example until the time of Woodrow Wilson. Carter was the most recent President to decline to address congress in person.

I’m not sure which is more disdainful of the legislature, to have the President speak to them directly or to have his message read to Congress by the clerk. But I can say with pretty firm conviction that the worst and most presumptuous idea ever hatched in American politics is the response to the State of the Union crafted by the opposition party and read by some sacrificial lamb that they’ve convinced to stand up and embarrass themselves before the nation.

The President speaks for the people when he delivers his message; that is the point of it. Here is this year’s State of the Union address;

It has been patently obvious to this concerned voter, pretty much since I started viewing and reading these speeches, that the majority of the content was pretty uncontroversial. At least, uncontroversial at the time. What history teaches is another thing entirely. And yet, every single time that a speech is delivered these days, someone is tapped from the opposition party to make pretense that the content of the President’s address is incorrect in some real fashion.

In the years since 2008, this tendency to pose in mock outrage before the camera has fractured, though.  Not content to offer just one critique, for the last few years the various factions of the opposition have felt that they needed to voice their particular flavor of outrage lest their self-importance be forgotten.

This year was no different. In fact, the clamor for attention after the SOTU was delivered has been comic in proportion. From what I can gather, virtually every Republican member of the House of Representatives felt they had to personally put the President in his place.  Here is the video posted by the bloviating windbag that pretends to represent my section of Austin;

I say bloviating because, like all of the statements in opposition, this one is made up largely of nothing but air. They could have showed up and simply yelled fear! fear! fear! repeatedly for all the facts contained in the (mercifully) short responses.

I am regularly spammed by this… person (and both the Senators for my state) Having unwittingly corresponded with his office, I am now permanently on his spam list, as if I have any interest in anything these Republicans might say.

Which leads me back to the adjective, pretends. Pretends to Represent. This is demonstrable. Austin is overwhelmingly liberal. Not going to change at any point that is discernible to residents within Austin.  They were dope smoking, nude sunbathing hippies long before I got here, and the weed has not gotten less potent with time.  Willie makes sure of that.

The leadership of this state is elected by the rest of Texas which is angry and conservative. (medical marijuana should help with that. Talk to your doctor!) They have taken it upon themselves to attempt to remove the only liberal Representative from Texas by breaking the only liberal areas IN Texas into as many districts as they can reasonably separate them into.  So Austin doesn’t have one or two districts, which would be liberal.  No, Austin is split into no less than 5 different districts, with my district being a narrow strip through the center of Austin that then spreads out to cover 9 additional COUNTIES in Texas so as to dilute the Democratic vote in central Austin and place it in the hands of this… person.

It is also worth noting that the Republicans who have controlled this state since the dear departed Ann Richards was unseated by the then owner of the Texas Rangers, George W. Bush (you’ve probably heard of him) have failed at their dream of removing all traces of the stain of liberalism from their great state because they not only have one liberal member to caucus with, they now have two.

Back to the subject at hand.  This pretender who poses as my Representative (not that I liked the Democrat he replaced. That is another story) helpfully emailed me the text of his response, a further mercy that saves me from having to endure the sound of his voice.  Here is a snippet;

It’s been seven years since President Barack Obama took office. In that time, the United States has accumulated the largest national debt in its history, the fewest number of adults are working since Jimmy Carter’s presidency and the executive branch has expanded its power immensely – the president has chosen which laws to enforce and created new ones without Congress’ approval.  

Just the first paragraph. I can’t stomach the rest of the twisted realities presented. The first paragraph is enough anyway, because it shows the agenda of the response, of all the responses. It is the same theme I pointed out last year, the Republicans are in it for the power alone. The welfare of the general populace be damned, we have a budget to manage! Never mind that the sitting President has presided over the least spending of any President since Eisenhower, or that he has been the deportation President and the anti-drug President and the terrorist-fighting President to a tune that dwarfs the last two holders of that office, that is not good enough. Truthfully nothing would be good enough.

Democrats Organizing for America

Obama came into office with an olive branch, and the Republicans batted it away.  He adopted their policies and positions, and they abandoned them for even more radical conservative positions, taking stances on subjects like healthcare that are frankly hard to fathom. So the poor should be left to die without care? Am I understanding you correctly? We should send the children who surrendered to our border guards voluntarily, back to the gang-run South American states they fled from, so that they can be forced to join gangs or become their sex slaves?  Seriously, what is it conservatives expect to be done about these very real problems that they simply try to wish away?

Last night, Obama once again offered an olive branch to the Republicans. He went so far as to praise the new Speaker of the House, even though his work has been limited to actually doing the job that the previous Speaker simply couldn’t cope with. The Republican response? To once again bat the offer of cooperation away.  Cooperation means progress, and progress means hope. Give the people hope and they might actually vote without fear in the next election. Republican victory is grounded on a fearful voting public.

The most promising part of the State of the Union address?  Obama’s statement that he intends to campaign to fix the gerrymandered districts that plague the House of Representatives in many other states aside from my own. I welcome his help in getting sensible, non-partisan rules for redistricting put into place.  It is about time someone took this issue seriously. maybe then Austin will have a real Representative in Washington. Hope springs eternal.

Featured image is from nbcnews.com

In It For the Power Alone

Confession time.

I enjoy the State of the Union address.  I watch it every year, without fail. Some years I can watch it straight; others I have to watch through a comedic lens. I genuinely appreciate a good speech. I enjoy the pageantry of the State of the Union, and unlike others who think it should be retired, I think this country would be less than it is without the President appearing to talk to us about his perceptions of the union, and his plans for the next year.

Youtube, President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address

The last six years have been enjoyable times.  Compared to the Presidents who preceded him, Barack Obama shines when he is speaking. Neither W nor Clinton could hold a candle to this man when he has a message and wants to talk to you about it.  Reagan is the only President in my living memory who comes anywhere close to being as magnetic a personality as our sitting President is.

Still, there is a part of the current State of the Union that I really disapprove of, and once I describe this to you, I’m betting you’ll agree with it.

I’m sitting there watching the speech, and I hear the President get to the subject of equal pay for women, and John Boehner doesn’t stand up for it. None of the Republicans stand up for it.  By their actions, they appear to be opposed to all of the policies which the President set forth, many of which deserved applause.  I was just rewatching the Nightly Show from the night of the speech; and during the “Keeping it 100” segment, Amy Holmes says she would not support the President’s call for equal pay by standing for it. She apparently thinks she should be paid less than a man for doing the same job.  Or is there another factor at play here?

THE NIGHTLY SHOW WITH LARRY WILMORE PANEL – THE STATE OF OBAMA – KEEP IT 100

There is an obvious conclusion which can be drawn from these displays of disdain for progressive causes.  They sit on their hands because they don’t want to give approval to the party in power, that much is clearly true.  They sit on their hands because they want to hold the power for themselves. That is also true.  It’s all about the power, wielding the power. It isn’t about what is good for the country, or what is good for the people in general, it is about the power and the power alone.

I can hear you now dear reader The Democrats Are No Different! and if they fail to stand and applaud for progressive causes, for things which will be for the good of the nation, then they are just as craven and should also face rejection at the polls. Having viewed the State of the Union as I have for decades, I haven’t noticed the Democratic party failing to applaud proposals they agree with.  Only the Republicans appear to feel the need to openly crave power in this fashion.

So it makes me wonder. Why exactly should we vote for these people who are in it for the power alone? Maybe we should elect people who go there to represent us?  Just a thought.