THE DETERIORATING "STATE OF THE UNION" PARODY
By Christopher G. Adamo
In contrast to the present day orgy of posturing and self-aggrandizement, the applicable constitutional text merely states that the President “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.” In short, the framers of the U.S. Constitution wanted to ensure that the President maintained an open line of communication with the Congress, in order to best enable the legislative and executive branches to operate in concert, and not inadvertently engage in activities that might ultimately conflict with one another.
In earnest conformity to this premise, President George Washington fulfilled his constitutional duty in eleven hundred words, hand written. In his brief dissertation, he addressed such topics as the rising status of the United States of America on the world stage, the necessity to improve and standardize the military, and difficulties faced by Americans on the frontier.
Since that time, the event has mushroomed into an enormous exercise in raw politics, completely subordinating the real need to assess the condition of the country to the desire of party hacks to extol themselves in shameless terms. As if Americans did not already suffer sufficient dosages of high level narcissism on a regular basis, a coast-to-coast spectacle conducted in front of a joint session of Congress is shamelessly foisted upon them under the guise of being a solemn “constitutional” obligation.
Never missing an opportunity to serve themselves, the “ruling class” has over the years attached a host of grotesque and parasitic appendages to the event, each time seeking to garner some specific benefit to one faction or another in the process. Opposition party “rebuttals” became standard fare in the middle of the last century, and congressional Democrats further cheapened the affair by occasionally presenting their responses in the form of extended infomercials, complete with mood music and cheesy special effects.
Of course, the current administration could be counted upon to reach new extremes in the exploitation of such an opportunity. Barack Obama’s latest iteration lasted for more than an hour, and could more precisely be characterized as the “state of Obama’s ego.” Rather than dealing forthrightly with the problems facing the nation, which would require a blanket repudiation of his own governing philosophy, he engaged in predictable pettiness and “spin,” insisting that the circumstances he faced were inherently difficult (It is all Bush’s fault…) and made more so by the current “obstruction” of Republicans.
He also could not resist engaging in a transparent campaign attack against his presumed general election rival Mitt Romney, asserting that millionaires “should not pay less than 30 percent” of their earnings in taxes. So, as the nation’s highest governing authority, he asserts that he would establish income tax standards based neither on the true need for revenue nor the ability of the economy to sustain the burden, but on an obsession to get “one up” on Mitt Romney. In short, abdicating his responsibilities to the people, and playing such games, he demeaned his office and the Congress, and insulted the intelligence of the American people.
Unfortunately, this appalling degree of silliness and petulance is not confined to the Executive Branch. Truly juvenile banalities also permeated the combined membership of the Congress assembled for the spectacle. In the wake of the landslide 2010 elections, in which Democrats decisively lost their House majority, a desperate ploy was concocted by which they sought to conceal the extent of their losses from the public eye. Under the phony premise of advancing “civility” as a repudiation of the Tucson massacre, they challenged Republicans to engage in the childish exercise of sitting with opposing party members during Obama’s speech.
Displaying all of the wisdom and survival skills of lemmings, Republicans complied. Somehow, this folly had little effect on the “civility” of Democrats in the ensuing months, as they regularly engaged in despicable fear mongering, leveling the same overused and hysterical accusations of oppressing minorities and otherwise fostering suffering and death among needy and helpless Americans.
Not surprisingly, they were confident that the people would remain totally ignorant of their duplicity and hypocrisy. Despite an entire year of reprehensible slanders that are totally contradictory to the sanctimony they spewed in the aftermath of Tucson, the bipartisan “sit with me” invitations went out once again this year. Regrettably, a sizeable number of Republicans took the bait. If Tea Party activists want to know which GOP members will most quickly and stupidly sell them out in upcoming legislative battles, they need merely to review the list of Republican Representatives and Senators who accepted the ludicrous invites. Such individuals were willing to ignore reality in order to create the impression of consensus with a partisan and Hard-Left Democratic Party, whose members are devoted to advancing the Liberal agenda at any cost.
In like manner, Barack Obama was not motivated by any sincere interest in fulfilling the “constitutional” responsibilities of his position or the obligation to inform the Congress of the actual condition of the nation. Rather, he outwardly embraces such notions when they provide a convenient means to advance his agenda. For someone so completely lacking in character or principle, a joint session of Congress and a nationwide audience might be a good springboard from which to put his reelection campaign into high gear.
American Government & the U.S. Presidency:
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American Government & the U.S. Congress:
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The American Political & Cultural Left:
Liberals, Statists, Socialists, Marxists, & Other Leftists:
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Christopher G. Adamo is a resident of southeastern Wyoming. He has been involved in politics at the local and state level for many years. His contact
information and article archives can be found at www.chrisadamo.com
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