The Czar drank his way through a two-fer episode of Salvage 1 on channel 488 last night over at the Leaping Peacock, along with ‘Puter, GorT, and the Mandarin—while evidently the Volgi remained in charge at the Castle watching putt-putt golf videos. So, yeah, we totally missed the SOTU address (or the STFU address, as Mandarin put it yesterday afternoon).
And we dunno about you, but it is pretty tough to read the transcript of any SOTU address, and like hell we’re going to watch it later on YouTube. Not when we could be watching World’s Best Hockey Fights. So flipping around the Web, here seems to be the upshot of the State of the Union address based on the commentaries.
- If you were a Republican voter, you found it lame, unconvincing, and worrisome.
- If you were a Democratic voter, you found it pretty much on the mark.
- If you were a Republican congressperson, you found it routine, trite, and more of the same.
- If you were a Democratic congressperson, you thought it kinda interesting, but there was too much bowing to the GOP to really get behind it.
- If you were a Republican voter or congressperson, you found Ryan’s rebuttal to be simply awesome, and an on-the-money takedown of the President’s policies.
- If you were a Democratic voter or congressperson, you found Ryan’s rebuttal to be dreadful, dismal, and an overly dramatic (yet dry) delivery of horrors untold.
One thing the Czar anticipated, and one thing that seems to be the case, was that the speech was muted, constrained, and sorta somber. No surprise there—the Czar believes that the Democratic request to sit commingled as opposed to by political leanings was a big mistake. With an overall Democratic minority, all applause for the President’s liberal suggestions winds up being a diffuse smattering; all awkward moments or conservative suggestions is met with heavy silence. By sitting liberals together in the traditional fashion, the media cameras can focus in on clappers and cheerers, creating the audiovisual illusion that the whole place is supporting him. By spreading his fewer supporters so thinly, there is little for any liberal director to zoom in on except individuals. And that, apparently, is precisely what resulted.
Look, it is simple. The State of the Union address has rarely been a great opportunity for any President to shine. They usually are no more colorful than someone narrating a goddamned PowerPoint presentation. You wind up focusing on whether you are on slide 17 of 20, or slide 17 of 100. And the President, generally, wants to get through it as fast as you do.
Because the State of the Union address is really a non-binding review, like those report card experiments teachers did in the 1970s where the kid gives himself a grade with a brief list of areas for improvement, the President can easily say anything to either side—and usually, he does. Get a little applause here…a little applause there, and everyone feels better. But what does it mean?
Based on the commentaries we have been reading, not a whole lot.