Down With the State of the Union Address
Will Barack Obama finally bring change to Washington?
The Weekly Standard http://assets.weeklystandard.com.s3.amazonaws.com/tws15/images/logo-large.pngThe Weekly Standard 2010 Washington, DC Politics 2010-01-27 http://www.weeklystandard.com/down-with-the-state-of-the-union-address/article/414987 2010-01-27T18:13 2010-01-27T17:15 Down With the State of the Union Address It is my private hope that this evening's speech to a joint session of Congress will be President Obama's final State of the Union address. This is not because of any animosity toward the president, but because I support abolition of the State of the Union address. Simply stated, it is an almost totally meaningless piece of political theatre which most presidents use to consume broadcast airtime and check all the boxes in their bag of tricks; and in recent years it has grown especially estranged from political reality. Almost as much time is spent on the president's entrance and exit from the House chamber, slapping backs, shaking hands, and exchanging bipartisan banalities with members. And Ronald Reagan, I regret to say, inaugurated the practice of recognizing heroes in the visitors' galleries, a ritual which has become almost as prolonged as it is patronizing. In the past half-century I can think of only two SOTU addresses that had a semblance of historic significance: Lyndon Johnson's 1965 address, in which he previewed the Great Society programs he expected the 89th Congress to enact; and Bill Clinton's 1995 address, in which his relevance as executive was at stake, since Republicans had gained control of Congress for the first time in a generation, and he took the occasion to announce that the era of big government is over. Philip Terzian http://cdn.weeklystandard.biz/cache/280x280-d16afe61b017cf9fc5f01a8dbf0cd00d.jpg