January 28, 2014 Leave a comment
Social media is amazing.
We can use it to show people what we are currently eating , who we are with and what we plan to do next. We update our families and friends on our vacations, sporting events or just lounging at home. Businesses hope to get free marketing from it while consumers can spread the word on deals (or bad service) almost instantly.
Part of social media is the use of the hashtag…the pound sign…the tic-tac-toe board…the #!
Any particular subject can be made searchable by adding that simple character in front. Discussions online can be categorized and followed using these hashtags. And, thanks to these user-created categories, I bring you today’s blog post.
The State of the Union tradition arises from the following line in Article II, Section 3 of the US Constitution, “He shall, from time-to-time, give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” While not required to deliver a formal speech, every president since Woodrow Wilson has made at least one State of the Union report as a speech delivered before a joint session of Congress. Before that time, most presidents delivered the State of the Union as a written report. Since the advent of radio, and then television, the speech has been broadcast live on most networks.
George Washington delivered the first regular annual message before a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1790. However, in 1801, Thomas Jefferson discontinued the practice of delivering the address in person, regarding it as too monarchical. Instead, the address was written and then sent to Congress to be read by a clerk and this practice was followed until the early 20th century.
How I wish that were still the case. Even better, in our age of technology, just post the text version of the #SOTU online so we can read it in our Facebook news feeds or from a link on Twitter. Instead, we are going to be made to sit through a cacophony of over-the-top applause from the sycophants, arms-folded scowls from the obstinate and circus-like chicanery from the leads of both the House and Senate. We might as well queue up our favorite calliope music to play in the background the entire time the speech is going.
We are going to be treated to well over an hour of promises, edicts, vehement calls for change and a showcase of biological props in the gallery to illustrate all of the points being sold by the President of the United States of America. We then have to sit through the minority response, the alternative response, the off-the-beaten path response and the ever elusive who-gives-a-damn response. THEN we get to sit through hour after hour of political analysis. We’ll have the propagandist wing of the Democrat party, aka the Mainstream Media, telling us how brilliant and amazing the speech was. Many will even dare to predict that the current falling poll numbers will get a much needed bounce. Turn a channel or two either way and you’ll have the opposite view doing their best to convince the audience that the president has sealed his fate as a lame-duck and a pariah for any Democrats running in the 2014 midterm.
Which brings me around to the point of today’s blog. If we must be forced to deal with this travesty of what our Founding Father’s envisioned, many have devised coping mechanisms to get us through tonight’s ridiculous display. Let’s all play the #SOTUdrinkinggame! Take a moment before tonight’s speech and come up with a list of terms/phrases/words that you believe will be used over and over again. Anytime you hear the #POTUS (President of the United States) utter anything on your list, take a drink. Here’s a partial list of what I plan to use tonight:
Items that result in taking a shot
- Fair, fair share (or any variant of the words equal, equality or same playing field)
- Government is a good thing
- Global warming
- Increasing the minimum wage
- Economy growing (or any positive spin) based on my policies
- Unemployment dropping (or any positive spin) based on my policies
- It’s the right thing to do
- Wage gap
- Gender gap
- War on women
- Affordable Care Act is working (or any positive spin)
- Healthcare.gov is working (or any positive spin)
- Any stats that are used to backup any of the above
- And for each guest invited by the administration who is called out in the gallery
Items that require only a sip (or you’ll be passed out before it ends)
Another game that will be fun to play started this morning on Twitter by fellow blogger, Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) called, #SOTUinthreewords or State of the Union in three words. See if you can come up with a list of themes that will define tonight’s #SOTU in three words. Here is my current list:
- Who needs Congress?
- Why Socialism works
- Redistribution is good
- Still Bush’s economy
- Not my fault
- I didn’t know
- Ready to rule
- Executive orders ready
- Shredding the Constitution
- Spreading wealth around
There was a time when the State of the Union had it’s purpose, but that has long since been forgotten under the heavily crafted showmanship it has become. And, under our current administration, it might as well be named the State of the Coup, since this president has no problem enforcing parts of laws he likes, changing parts he doesn’t, and ignoring others as he deigns unnecessary. It’s like the worries of Thomas Jefferson have come to life with this Administration when they made it clear they came to rule and not to govern.
Some final thoughts before tonight. One subject the President will definitely not touch will be the success of Governor Scott Walker’s conservative policies in Wisconsin. I’d be shocked. He cannot afford to shed any light on policies that succeeded to which he is diametrically opposed. He will not waste a single breath on reducing the size of government. He may say he has a plan to reduce the debt, but when you go through the litany of new programs he plans to offer, it won’t take a mathematician to realize it’s just another lie meant to placate the low-information voter. He will play to emotions, but will not once employ logic. He will pull at the heartstrings, but he will not apply reason. In short, he will pander to his followers like the Pied Piper, playing a mesmerizing message to those who want nothing more than to be lied to and told everything will be all right.
And for that reason, I’ll be playing the #SOTUdrinkinggame with much gusto. It’s about the only way I’ll be able to make it to the end.