Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This is not a recap of the State of The Union

So, last night we went through the annual circus known as the State of the Union (SOTU) address. Meh. I readily admit that I am viewing these speeches through a very partisan lens, but wow, it was painful to sit through that.

I'm honestly not very interested in writing a play-by-play recap of the speech, so consider this your non-recap recap. Hey, if Sarah Palin can give a non-endorsement endorsement, then I can do a non-recap recap, right? We've got lots of links, some videos, a generous serving of Marco Rubio (I know what y'all like)...

Anyway, as I expected, the many, many jokes about SOTU drinking games and following the streaming snark on Twitter were the only things that made it endurable.

Dear Obama, it should tell you something that we're putting more thought into drinking game rules than taking action from your #SOTU tonightWed Jan 25 01:41:39 via Echofon

We *must* elect a Republican president this year. The livers of our fellow Americans are depending on us. #SOTU #tcotWed Jan 25 03:25:05 via Echofon

(On that note, if you're not following me on Twitter, then the terrorists have won.)

Yeah. Last night's SOTU was far more useful as a drinking game than anything else. All the tired old shopworn Obama tropes were present: stubborn insistence that the bad economy was still completely Bush's fault. Complaints about problems while ignoring his administration's role in making those problems worse. Sweeping promises to do the complete opposite of what we all know he actually doesThreats of new bureaucratic intrusions in our lives.

Daniel Horowitz at RedState perfectly characterized the SOTU as the "Audacity of Hypocrisy," noting that Obama "took credit for successful policies that he opposed, and ascribed blame on others for failed policies that he supported." Go read his post; it's an excellent list of the most egregious piles of crap that Obama handed out last night.

Many in the media were characterizing this as a campaign speech to kick off his 2012 reelection battle. This wasn't the sweeping rhetoric of the 2008 "Hope and Change and Maybe Also Unicorns!" campaign, this was a trite, hackneyed, uninspiring mess that sounded like we'd heard it all before...

On that note, check out this video that the clever little elves who work in the RNC's media department have put together for you to enjoy:

YouTube | RNC | Familiar Rhetoric, Failed Record

Dang it, Mr. President. It's one thing to feed us a pack of lies and empty promises, it's a different thing altogether to regift them to us.

Something Obama's speech forgot to mention: that the day was the 1,000th since the Senate last passed a budget. Yep. Obama made his usual demands that Congress send him more bills that do not yet exist, but never bothered to ask them to send him a budget. Michelle Malkin has an excellent post on this subject with lots of delightful links and snarky little videos from the RNC and Heritage, and don't miss the new song from Misfit Politics.

Misfit Politics- 1000 Days (Without Passing a Budget) by Just as Good as Ezra

Also fun: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's facial expressions during the speech. At times he seemed to be barely suppressing some kind of rage, leading me to quip that he looked like he was "about 14 seconds from turning into The Hulk." HuffPo noticed Cantor too, and has a fairly humorous blog post illustrated with animated GIFs of Cantor reacting (or not reacting, as seems to be the case below) to Obama.

I think he's still breathing. Probably. I hope so, anyway.
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels gave a solid and straightforward delivery of the Republican response to Obama's Hour O' Nonsense. I saw some commentators bemoaning Daniels' lack of flash, but I honestly disagreed.

All the talking heads on TV mention that it's a "thankless task" to have to speak to a camera in an empty room after the pomp and circumstance of the President of the United States delivering a speech before a joint session of Congress, but come on. A crap sandwich on a fancy stage is still a crap sandwich.

I personally thought Daniels benefited from the contrast. Daniels has a very solid record both during his time as Governor of Indiana and before, leading many conservatives to dream about him running for the White House. So, take Daniel's substantial accomplishments and weigh them against Obama's flashy but empty style, and I know whom I prefer.

Here's the full text of Daniel's remarks. I found this quote particularly interesting:
As Republicans our first concern is for those waiting tonight to begin or resume the climb up life’s ladder. We do not accept that ours will ever be a nation of haves and have nots; we must always be a nation of haves and soon to haves.
Senator Marco Rubio has been using a very similar line about Americans being "not haves and have nots, but haves and soon to haves" in his speeches recently, and I was glad to hear it repeated by Daniels tonight. This is an excellent message for Republican candidates, because it diffuses the Democrats' standard attack that Republicans don't care about the poor while emphasizing that the conservative philosophy is the one that truly creates an environment where everyone has an opportunity to succeed.

Of course, the highlight for this Floridian was watching my Senator on Hannity giving his thoughts on the evening:

YouTube | SenatorMarcoRubio | Rubio Responds to The President's State Of The Union Address on Hannity

Rubio also posted a short video response on his YouTube channel last night, saying that he was "very disturbed" by the speech and considered Obama to be "on the verge of committing economic malpractice." You tell him, Senator.

Want more Rubio? Of course you do. Here's a speech he gave on the Senate floor yesterday as a preview to the SOTU:

YouTube | SenatorMarcoRubio | Senator Rubio speaks before President Obama's 2012 State of Union

He makes me proud to be a Floridian and an American.

Further reading:

National Review has a detailed set of analyses from some of their experts, together in one  post. It's a good read, so check it out.

The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol agrees with me and had some serious love for Governor Daniels last night, and his colleague Fred Barnes characterized Obama's speech as "an effort to make a big deal out of not much."

Here's a deliciously cynical take on the SOTU, posted by @allahpundit at HotAir.

Erick Erickson's summary at RedState.

Legal Insurrection's Cover It Live post during the speech.

Best illustration ever of how ridiculous these speeches can be comes from Matt Welch at Reason, who takes a sentence from every SOTU since JFK's 1961 speech to make a Frankenstein monster of political pablum.

UPDATE: Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse on Twitter) had a little fun during Obama's spilled milk joke. The joke was honestly pretty lame, but then becomes Totally and Completely Awesome when paired with Chaffetz' reaction:

YouTube | HuffPostPolitics | Obama's Joke, Chaffetz's Rimshot


  1. Great post as usual. Although I had to look up what "pablum" means. Are you trying to teach us vocabulary like Bill O'Reilly does?? Ha ha

  2. I LOVED the comparison between the last two years!!!! that is AWESOME!! can't wait till that guy is replaced by.... MITT! People need to realize that a very successful, self-built, business man is exactly what this country needs to get on track.

  3. If only Cantor, Rubio or Daniels were running for president. The message is there, but sadly, the candidates aren't using it.

    By the way, Twitter (and Obama-induced depression) totally killed my political blogging over the last few years, so I may copy you a little and just take screen grabs of my better tweets and post them on my blog. ;-)


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