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The State Of The Union Is Pointless

Obama State Of The Union 2013

Later this evening, the President of the United States, the majority of both Houses Of Congress, several Supreme Court Justices and members of the military leadership, along with the diplomatic corps and other invited guests will gather in the House Chamber for the annual spectacle of the State of the Union Address. Notwithstanding the Constitutional requirement that the President keep Congress apprised of the state of the union “from time to time,” the address itself, and most especially the media extravaganza that it has now become, is of relatively recent vintage. Until Woodrow Wilson took office, every President from Thomas Jefferson forward merely sent a written memorandum to Congress, and it seemed to work out just fine. From Wilson forward, though, the nation has been subjected to a national address in which the President laid out a series of  policy goals that, depending on whether or not the President’s party controlled Congress,  consisted of either pie-in-the-sky dreams or a self-serving list of policy goals. With the rise of television, and especially the 365/24/7 news cycle, the address has become a rather absurd national spectacle complete with all three cable networks  running countdown clocks starting at six in the morning on the day of the speech as if the nation were waiting with bated breath for the utterances from the President in the same manner that Apple fanboys away the introduction of the newest iPhone.

In the end, though, as Gene Healy notes, most State of the Union addresses end up being forgotten almost as they have ended:

Quick: Give me a memorable line from any of President Obama’sprevious five SOTUs. That’s what I thought. I couldn’t give you one offhand — and it’s my job to watch these pompous, unedifying spectacles and write about them.

The few enduring lines from past SOTUs stick out for irony value (Bill Clinton in 1996: “the era of big government is over”); because they herald a looming policy disaster (George W. Bush in 2002: “Axis of Evil”) — or for the rare outbreak of candor (Gerald Ford in 1975: “the state of the union is not good”).

But most years, the speech gets submerged in the churn of the news cycle, little noted and not long remembered. It’s unlikely that 2014 will be any different. In its modern form, the SOTU is a meaningless ritual that rarely even does the president — let alone the public — any good.

(…)

“There is overwhelming evidence that presidents, even ‘great communicators,’ rarely move the public in their direction,” writes George C. Edwards III, a presidential scholar at Texas A&M University. “Going public does not work.” In a 2013 analysis of SOTU polling, Gallup found that“most presidents have shown an average decrease in approval of one or more points between the last poll conducted before the State of the Union and the first one conducted afterward.”

As the speech has become less important, presidents’ rhetoric has grown more frantically stentorian. Presidential scholar Elvin T. Lim notes “increasing rhetorical assertiveness” and “an increasing lack of humility” in the language of the SOTU over time. Modern presidents speak more often of “reform,” while “references to (and hence concern for) the Constitution and constitutional in the annual messages have declined.

National Journal’s George Condon makes a similar point, and Ed Kilgore is fed up with the whole spectacle:

Perhaps it’s just a sign of advancing age, but I’ve grown to dread these events. All these advance hype, whether or not the speech represents any notable departure in presidential intentions or even rhetoric. All the solemn advice offered after the text has surely been put to bed. All the almost-ironic rituals of insincere bipartisanship and phony bonhomie.

This year’s SOTU will likely represent an agenda of items the president thinks he can accomplish on his own, perhaps with a shout-out to an immigration reform contingency that Republican feel compelled to entertain as a possibility, perhaps a defiant defense of the Affordable Care Act, perhaps the long-awaited peroration on inequality (though the latest buzz is that Obama will return to the less threatening language of “opportunity,” which suggests some extensive focus-grouping). The president will be subject to vast exercises in armchair psychology as his mood, his energy-level, his “resolve,” are evaluated by way of how he delivers a rehearsed prepared text.

Personally, I have trouble engaging in such evaluations, being constantly distracted by the idiotic ritual of clapping and not clapping, standing and not standing, and the full range of mime-like facial contortions, to which we will be treated by the Vice President and the Speaker of the House sitting just behind the president.

Once the agony of the SOTU is over, of course, we get to watch the canned Response of the Republican Party, which is mostly remarkable when it’s so bad that it damages the lucky designee’s national reputation for years to come.

Veteran political analyst Charlie Cook, meanwhile, urges his readers not to watch the address at all:

Tuesday the nation will watch Washington’s annual State of the Union Kabuki dance.

The president’s speechwriters will have started out to craft an important and thoughtful speech, determined to avoid having their boss deliver another really boring monologue that is both a laundry list of what the president wants to do and what he would do if the opposition party and special-interest groups rolled over and played dead for the rest of the year. But by the end of the process, despite the best of intentions, it will very likely sound like all of the others. Journalists will solemnly pronounce that this speech is critical for President Obama because of blah, blah, and blah, proclaiming that this State of the Union address is everything but life or death. Then, as soon as the speech is finished, media sycophants, members of the president’s party, and ideological brethren will say that it was a momentous address, one that truly rivaled Lincoln’s at Gettysburg, while the opposition party and its toadies will declare it so wrongheaded and the delivery so bad that they wonder if something might be wrong with the president.

We will also witness several dozen members of Congress spending the better part of the day claiming and holding seats near the House chamber’s center aisle, in hopes of getting shown on national television, or perhaps even shaking hands or exchanging a few words with the president. One wonders how their constituents would feel if they knew that their representatives were little more than political groupies. Unsaid is that for many of these lawmakers, it is the only personal interaction with the president they will ever have.

This is the way it always goes, regardless of who the president is, whether he is a Democrat or a Republican, or whether Congress is of the same party, in opposition hands, or divided. It is inevitable. On my deathbed—hopefully many, many years from now—this will be on the long list of hours that I will wish I could retrieve and spend doing almost anything else, even watching old television reruns.

(…)

Coverage of the State of the Union address is one of the few times when the media is playing along with the politicians. Print journalists want their articles read, so they hype up the importance of the event. Television and radio producers, along with correspondents, want their broadcasts seen, so they play things up as well.

The president’s party will talk about how great the speech was, and the opposition party will counter with how bad it was. Most people will just yawn and wish they hadn’t wasted over an hour of their life watching something that they will remember little of a week later.

For many political pundits, social media networks such as blogs, Twitter, and Facebook have meant that the State of the Union, or SOTU as it has come to be called in the shorthand used online, have turned the address into an opportunity to snark at the speech and the various participants in the entire ridiculous spectacle. Additionally, we’ve seen the advent of various drinking games that have no doubt helped fill the coffers of the alcohol industry. Indeed, if you’re looking for a good night of political mocking online you’d be hard pressed to find anything better than a State Of The Union Address except perhaps the Presidential debates that will no doubt be starting in about 15 months from now.

Beyond the comedy, though, it’s really hard to see any point to the events that will take place in Congress in just a few hours from now. President Obama will lay out an agenda using mostly vague brushstrokes and generalities. Whatever specifics he mentions will be mostly dead on arrival just as they have been at least since the GOP took control of the House if not earlier than that. Democrats will applaud everything the President says and Republicans will mostly sit on their hands. Speaker John Boehner and Vice-President Biden will be sitting behind the President engaged in a competition to see which one looks least likely to fall asleep half way through a speech that, needlessly, will likely last more than a hour, and everyone else in the Chamber will sit there wondering why they didn’t just go out for drinks at the Old Ebbitt Grill or Off The Record instead of subjecting themselves to this nonsense. Then, when its all over, the cable networks will spend at least the next two days pontificating about the speech at the same time that it quickly fades from public memory just as every other State Of The Union address has done. Except perhaps for the enjoyment of staying up late and snarking online while enjoying adult beverages, the entire spectacle is really quite a waste of time.

So, you really have two options tonight. You can subject yourself to a speech that will end up being utterly meaningless, or you can find something else to do. If you choose the first option, though, I suggest you follow a viewing guide such as this so that the whole thing isn’t so utterly painful that it gives you nightmares tonight.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Pinky says:

    Kevin Williamson wrote a piece on the same topic at National Review.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  2. john personna says:

    If rumor is true, it is a time to raise the minimum wage by executive order, something not quite trivial.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  3. C. Clavin says:

    @john personna:
    Yeah…and it’s got the Republicans panties in a twist…because they insist on doing nothing at all about anything…and they’ll be damned if that uppity black fellow is going to stop them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

  4. @john personna:

    That EO will only apply to Federal Contractors, and only to future contracts not to any ongoing contracts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. john personna says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    “Some studies suggest” that “200,000 workers would benefit from the pay increase.”

    That’s a fair number.

    I guess if it is much smaller then it would be more sound than fury.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  6. Vast Variety says:

    The State of the Union has one purpose… Drinking games.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. gVOR08 says:

    @john personna: @C. Clavin: No at all trivial. Rep Steve King (R-IA) was on Morning Joe saying it’s an abuse of the Constitution and Obama should be impeached. Not that I think Rep King will call his own bluff by filing Articles.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  8. Ron Beasley says:

    I have my book for during the State of the Union and a basketball game after so I can avoid the talking head bloviating.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  9. john personna says:

    @gVOR08:

    The “executive raise” is not a process I am totally comfortable with.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  10. JKB says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    And unless the agencies receive a funding increase in the 2015 budget, the funds will have to be taken from some other governmental function and added to contracts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  11. JKB says:

    Oh, and the food service workers? Those are franchise operations. So if the higher wage is mandated, it will mean higher prices for employees.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  12. grumpy realist says:

    If I ever managed by some Act of God to become POTUS, I would be strongly tempted to give the State of the Union speech in Latin. With no warning.

    If we’re going to have talking heads and “Responses to the State of the Union”, let’s at least get it from well-educated people. Plus, the indignant squawks from everyone would be sublime.

    (Massachusetts allows kids to substitute some ridiculously long period of Latin and Greek study for American history, with the comment that even if they don’t know the Founding Fathers’ thoughts, they can re-derive them from reading The Great Minds from the Ancient World. Which always seemed a little hilarious to me. The most I learned from reading Caesar’s Gallic Wars was the terminology for a lot of Roman weaponry.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  13. rudderpedals says:

    One purpose of the SOTU is for the President to address problems. This literally happens as the greatest problems will be in the audience seated on the benches in front of the President.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  14. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    Oh, and the food service workers? Those are franchise operations. So if the higher wage is mandated, it will mean higher prices for employees.

    Do food service workers normally purchase food where they work? I have no objection to increased wages for food service workers – and yes, I do know that the cost is passed along to consumers, what else is new?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  15. JKB says:

    @rudderpedals: One purpose of the SOTU is for the President to address problems.

    So the state of the Union is, “we got problems”?

    seated on the benches in front of the President.

    To bad Obama doesn’t have the chops to do the politics necessary to get things done in a way in which the Constitution constituted the government. Maybe if he’d spent less time campaigning and more time legislating when he was coming up in the system?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 15

  16. John425 says:

    Let’s see…reduce military pensions but civilian workers get raises? Nice work, Mr. President. NOT!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 13

  17. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Of course, this being in a government building and there being no other choices in many of those buildings, the vendor can actually just reduce staff and let quality decline.

    Or they will higher workers with more skills leaving the least skilled then the ones with the most to gain from that starter job out of luck.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  18. Pinky says:

    @grumpy realist: You’re assuming that any of the responses to the speech, including the official response from the opposition party, are based on the original speech. My bet is, even the Sunday shows’ commentary has already been written.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  19. al-Ameda says:

    @John425:
    I believe Congress passed legislation to cut annual cost-of living adjustments to pensions for most military retirees, not to cut the calculation for basic retirement income.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  20. HiPlanesDrifter says:

    Take a drink every time he says ‘We need to make shu-oure [insert liberal dream here] . . . .’ You’ll be inebriated very quickly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  21. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    To bad Obama doesn’t have the chops to do the politics necessary to get things done

    Your dishonesty is genuinely breathtaking.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 2

  22. Dividist says:

    “Additionally, we’ve seen the advent of various drinking games that have no doubt helped fill the coffers of the alcohol industry. Indeed, if you’re looking for a good night of political mocking online you’d be hard pressed to find anything better than a State Of The Union Address…” – DM

    You say that like it’s a bad thing. Revel in the snark.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. superdestroyer says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    As if any governmnet contractors are actually paid minimum wage. My guess is that it will also exempt subcontractors

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. An Interested Party says:

    Maybe if he’d spent less time campaigning and more time legislating when he was coming up in the system?

    Oh please…maybe if Congress, particularly the House, spent less time obstructing and blowing hot air and more time legislating, the President could get things done in a way in which the Constitution constituted the government…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  25. JKB says:

    @An Interested Party: maybe if Congress, particularly the House, spent less time obstructing and blowing hot air and more time legislating,

    Well, getting around such things, that is how you get things done. That’s legislating. Whining about the other side being mean and not letting you have your way is for 3 yr olds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  26. An Interested Party says:

    Whining about the other side being mean and not letting you have your way is for 3 yr olds.

    The stomping of feet, holding of the breath until blue in the face, and multiple cries of “No, no, no!” is for petulant 2 year olds…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  27. Andre Kenji says:

    I know how to solve the SOTU: allow people in the audience to make questions, like Question Time in the UK., I think that Doug wrote a similar post last year, and I think that I wrote the same comment last year.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. Tillman says:

    So the climate change debate is over now? Damn. I know some crazy people who are going to be upset about that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  29. michael reynolds says:

    It was actually a good speech. Not a great speech, but a good one.

    No, it was not just a laundry list. And no, the SOTU is not pointless. Governing is not just about policy and positions. It’s also about the poetry. It is a signaling mechanism, and tonight the signals sent were, 1) I’m not down, I’m excited, and I intend to prevail 2) I won’t hide from Obamacare, I’ll tout it, and 3) I’m working while you people in Congress are holding meaningless symbolic votes.

    He rallied the troops and gave the GOP no easy way to return fire.

    It was an A minus.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

  30. C. Clavin says:

    The SOTU is worth it just to hear idiotic a Republican reactions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  31. michael reynolds says:

    Oh, plus millions of American women got to watch Boehner look sour and sit on his hands while Obama reached out to them. Yeah, that was some good optics there, GOP.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

  32. Todd says:

    The funniest thing about the SOTU in recent years is seeing my Conservative friends on Facebook complain about how awful the speech was … then brag two comments later that they didn’t even watch it. :-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  33. bill says:

    the headline was apropos.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  34. dazedandconfused says:

    There’s a small way it might be useful, as a sort of political-landscape benchmark .

    Here’s George Bush’s 2004 SOTU, within a couple days of exactly 10 years ago. He starts talking at about 0:26:00. Watch 10 minutes or so. Kind of staggering.

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/StateoftheUnionAddress6

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  35. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    I was in the restaurant business for a long time. Every time an increase to the minimum wage was proposed, idiots like you came out of the woodwork to predict doom and the collapse of the industry. Many years and many increases later, the restaurant business is managing to survive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  36. anjin-san says:

    Pretty good speech.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  37. Tyrell says:

    @Tillman: We are down here in the coldest winter on record, after being spoiled with mild winters mother nature plays a big joke. Spent the evening huddled around the gas logs and used the tv to keep our hands warm, tuned to “Gunsmoke” and Johnny Carson reruns. One inch of snow “dusting” caused very icy streets. Our neighbor spent two hours to slip and slide home on a normal 10 minute drive. Everything is shut down. We could use a little bit of that “global warming” right now. Temperatures are running thirty degrees below normal. 40 degees used to be cold, now it is a heat wave after days of lows in the teens. It just isn’t right that I can’t wear sandals and shorts in January.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  38. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:
    Why is it that you deniers insist on conflating weather with climate???
    Do you have some sort of innate need to show your ignorance?
    Try learning something about the topic…then form an opinion.
    Don’t just listen to other ignorant people and parrot their opinions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  39. Tillman says:

    @Tyrell: Yup.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  40. Rob in CT says:

    Maybe all speeches are “pointless” Doug. I dunno.

    I think it is of limited value, sure.

    The clownshow GOP responses have been worthwhile. :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. Rob in CT says:

    Re: Tyrell and the other deniers:

    Meanwhile, Cali has no snowpack left, Australia is burning, and other large areas of the planet are consistently warmer than usual. And of course we had a wacky mild winter last year. All of which, in any given moment, doesn’t really mean anything. In the aggregate, over time, the pattern emerges, and it’s a scary pattern. I wish it wasn’t so, but it is. So, what shall we do about it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  42. wr says:

    @C. Clavin: “Do you have some sort of innate need to show your ignorance?”

    Tyrrell lives in a world where the only things on TV are Gunsmoke and Johnny Carson.

    I don’t think he’s denying climate change so much as the entire last fifty years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  43. al-Ameda says:

    @Tyrell:

    We could use a little bit of that “global warming” right now.

    Continue to watch Fox News, they generate a lot of hot air.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. anjin-san says:

    Rob in CT

    No snow on Shasta or Lassen. Freaky and scary.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. al-Ameda says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Meanwhile, Cali has no snowpack left, Australia is burning, and other large areas of the planet are consistently warmer than usual

    San Francisco had 5 inches of rain this year, and about 60 miles up the coast where I live, where 30 to 40 inches is normal, we had 9 inches. This January? So far only traces, heavy mist – maybe a 1/4 inch. Folsom Lake near Sacramento is below 30% capacity, and we’re well on our way to another no rain no snowpack Winter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  46. rudderpedals says:

    @Tyrell: Pick up your flip flops and head up to someplace warm and cozy. Someplace like Alaska:

    Nome, Alaska recorded a high of 51°F on Monday. This was 38° above average, and the warmest temperature ever observed in any November through March in Nome since record keeping began in 1907. Ironically, exactly 25 years ago, Nome recorded its lowest temperature on record–a bone-chilling -54° on January 27, 1989. Nome is located about 160 miles south of the Arctic Circle, and has just 6 1/2 hours of daylight this time of year.

    According to Wunderground’s weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, in his latest post, Record Warmth in Alaska Contrasts Cold Wave in Eastern U.S., all-time January heat records have been set over the past three days in Nome, Denali Park, Palmer, Homer (twice), Alyseka, Seward, and Talkeetna. Bolio Lake Range Complex in Fort Greely, Alaska, located about 100 miles southeast of Fairbanks, hit 60° on Sunday. This is only 2° short of the all-time state January heat record of 62° set at Petersburg in Jan 1981, according to NCDC records.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2621

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  47. Rob in CT says:

    Dear Idiot Downvoter:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  48. Rob in CT says:

    And:

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20140121/

    I really, really wish this wasn’t so. But it is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  49. Moosebreath says:

    Not disagreeing with Doug’s main point about the SOTU, but exactly why did the Republicans get 4 speeches broadcast as responses to it? I don’t think multiple responses were broadcast prior to the emergence of the Tea Party, and since it has been repeatedly shown that the Tea Party is comprised of those Republicans who think their party’s leadership is too willing to compromise with Obama, why do they get their own speech (much less extra ones by Rand Paul and the Miami congresswoman)?

    Does this mean in 2017, President Ted Cruz’s SOTU will be followed by separately broadcast responses from the Democratic Party’s choice of responder, followed by Bernie Sanders (as the Socialist Party response), Martin O’Malley (as the person running for President response) and Xavier Becerra (as the designated response for Hispanics)?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  50. john personna says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Hottest Alaska January on record.

    And they are again telling us that California drought is the new normal.

    Regional variations in the new normal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  51. bandit says:

    @Pinky: Williamson had the perfect quote

    a speech with no content given by a man with no content

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  52. bandit says:

    @anjin-san:

    a speech with no content given by a man with no content

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  53. bandit says:

    @michael reynolds: Stop gargling Obama’s balls –

    a speech with no content given by a man with no content

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  54. C. Clavin says:

    @bandit:
    Yet again Bandit demonstrates why huskies are used for working dogs…being of less-than-average intelligence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  55. C. Clavin says:

    @Moosebreath:

    why did the Republicans get 4 speeches broadcast as responses to it

    Because they are a fractured party…so bereft of viable ideas that even they can’t agree on them themselves.
    This guy has gotten more attention than any of the responses:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/30/nyregion/rep-michael-grimm-threat-ny1-reporter.html?_r=0

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  56. Moosebreath says:

    @C. Clavin:

    “Because they are a fractured party.”

    Historically, that’s the Democrats role, going at least as far back as Will Rogers’ line, “I don’t belong to any organized party, I’m a Democrat”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  57. C. Clavin says:

    @Moosebreath:
    Sure…but look around you… Democrats have become the party of grown – ups…the conservatives.
    Republicans…not an adult among them.
    They even have their own Cartoon Network.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  58. Rob in CT says:

    a speech with no content given by a man with no content

    Projection, all the way down.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  59. Moosebreath says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I think you are misunderstanding my point. The so-called Liberal Media thinks nothing of treating the Republicans as hopelessly divided and thus entitled to multiple responses to the SOTU, even though the Republican caucus votes in near lockstep and the differences between the Republican establishment and the Tea Party are ones of tone and willingness to compromise rather than substance, but would never consider giving the Democrats multiple responses.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  60. anjin-san says:

    @ bandit

    You’re once,
    Twice,
    Three times a parrot…

    And you could not even glom onto a clever quote. Or does that pass as clever in your world?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  61. anjin-san says:

    @ Tyrell

    And it’s never crossed you mind that record lows could be a sign of something amiss?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0