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.