Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The State of the Union is unwatchable

Sigh. Each year (this is the eleventh friggin year!), I have whined about how much I hate the SOTU speech. And yet, they still have them! How can that be?!?!

Worse, the  recent tradition of making the event even stupider by allowing the opposition party give a response keeps growing. This year, there will be the official GOP response, the Tea Party response (never mind that officially "the tea party" isn't a single centralized political entity, but rather just a faction of the GOP), the Rand Paul Response (because Rand Paul is his own opposition party). [Added: wait there were four. See below update]  I bet all three will be televised. And I bet the plethora of responses is a tradition that will die as soon as the Republicans recapture the White House. At that point, we will go back to just one idiotic Democratic response. Maybe the networks should let anyone who has strong feelings about anything get a nationally televised speech right after the President goes his thing. Kind of like our own version of Speaker's Corner. Let randomly chosen lunatics rant and rave about masons or Jews or fluoridated water as soon as the President walks out of the halls of Congress.

Sounds terrible right? I submit it is just as meaningful as what we have now. I mean, how is that permanent moon base coming? What ever happened with that human-animal hybrid ban? What about universal pre-school? The SOTU speech has become a way for Presidents to spitball ideas for the public, followed by 1-3 responses in which the President's critics get to whine and complain about how badly the President sucks. And then nothing happens, and we do it all again the next year, ignoring pretty much everything the president said the year before. Seriously, the only memorable thing about the 2013 SOTU is the fact that Marco Rubio drank a glass of water. And even that has largely faded from our collective consciousness. Why do people keep treating this as an actual event, where something substantive might occur?

Even my annual response to the SOTU is meaningless. I say the same shit every freaking year. I guess I just do this out of a sense of tradition. Just like the SOTU itself.

The whine cellar: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 2012 2013

UPDATE (1/29/14): Oops, I only counted three responses when I wrote the above yesterday. In fact there were four. The one I missed was the response delivered in Spanish by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. But that doesn't change any of my above points. Rather, it just is more of what I said. Another response just means another helping of ridiculousness.