For the love of God, can we just abolish the State of the Union Address already?

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Last week, if you tuned into the Grammys, you were treated to a gaudy spectacle of pretentious elitists, wealthy drug addicts and godless Satanists patting each other on the back and congratulating themselves for another year spent dumping toxic waste directly into America’s soul.

If you watched the State of the Union address tonight, you saw the exact same sort of thing all over again. Except with less dancing. And more clothing (thank God).

America, I know you are bored by the State of the Union Address. It’s long, pointless, bland, and utterly hollow. The rhetoric is stale and the pageantry overwrought. Yes, you ought to be bored. But do you realize how insulted you should be?

It wasn’t always this way. George Washington delivered the first SOTU Address, and it was all of about 1,000 words. He offered a basic outline of his administration’s plans for the year, and wrapped it up by pledging to maintain an “equal” and “efficient” government.

(Hint for current government officials: spending 3.5 trillion dollars a year does not qualify as “efficient.”)

It was purposeful and to the point. Of course, it wouldn’t have gone over well in modern America, especially with sentences like this:

“It would be superfluous to specify inducements to a measure in which the character and interests of the United States are so obviously so deeply concerned, and which has received so explicit a sanction from your declaration.”

Twitter analysis:

@NumbaOneHustla: wat is prez talkin bout?? loll use normal words bro #confusing #keepitsimplestupid

After Washington and Adams, Jefferson decided to deliver his address in written form to Congress. Jefferson thought an oral speech had “kingly” undertones, and too closely resembled a monarch dictating from his throne. For the next century, every other president followed suit.

It’s only in recent times that the State of the Union has become this sickening pageant of Washingtonian self-worship.

If you aren’t offended by it, you aren’t paying attention.

I’ve felt this way for a while, but never have my feelings been more pronounced than tonight. President Obama — after a year chock full o’ scandals, corruption, ineptitude, and failure — made his WWE-style entrance into the House chamber. He shook hands with the sycophants crowding the aisle, and soaked in the glow of a thunderous, fantastically undeserved applause.

Then he stood before them and lied, and they applauded. And he cited dozens of clichéd and fabricated anecdotes, and they applauded. And he repeated promises he’s already broken 5 times (example: “this needs to be the year we… close Guantanamo Bay!”), and they applauded. And he made plainly absurd statements about imaginary “gender wage gaps,” and they applauded. And he constructed fallacious straw men, and they applauded.

The State of the Union Address was indistinguishable from something you’d hear at a DNC convention. It was a political pep rally, which is all it’s been for many years. Only at this pep rally he has uniformed military on hand as stage props, and the entire body of Congress sitting by with their tongues wagging, ready to jump and bark like trained dogs.

It’s all really quite disgusting.

There’s nothing worthwhile  about any of it. At best, it’s an irrelevant and superficial exercise in talking point recitation. At worst, it’s a monarchical demonstration of arrogance and elitism.

Then, once the speech has mercifully come to a close, the Republicans trot out their consistently underwhelming “response,” and the talking heads from both parties take to the cable news circuit to regurgitate the “analysis” fed to them by their party bosses.

It’s the same story every year. Nothing is gained, nothing is learned, nothing is accomplished. It would be more edifying to spend that hour watching some TLC reality show about polygamist midgets, or whatever stellar programming they’re offering this evening.

The Constitution only stipulates that the president “from time to time” must offer to Congress “information about the State of the Union.”

He could fulfill that obligation with an occasional email.

Everything beyond that — the applause, the campaigning, the spectacle — is all done selfishly for the benefit of those in power.

But then, that describes pretty much everything else they do.

I’m done with the State of the Union. Aren’t we all?

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278 Responses to For the love of God, can we just abolish the State of the Union Address already?

  1. troy says:

    So if one who reads Matt and criticizes his rants is a troll, then does that mean Matt is a troll for watching the STU address when he criticizes them? Public ranting and raving is fair game, so get off your high soapboxes and accept critiques where it’s due. As for the Grammy rant; really? Satanists. FYI, if he’s talking about atheists, we don’t accept satan either.

    • Ryno says:

      I think you’d agree that there is a difference between the SOTU from the President of the United States, and a blog. Your argument is pretty empty if you’re comparing the two. The SOTU accomplishes nothing and Matt’s blog actually provides insight, values and principles. In short, there is not comparison.

    • Helen Hughes says:

      Ignorance is bliss. You must be quite happy.

    • Well, really, there is nothing similar between trolls and bloggers. Trolls criticize for the sake of agitation. They mean to offend and rarely make good points. Trolls stifle dialogue, bloggers promote it. One is noble, the other is reprehensible. Guess which is which.

      • Sure, we’ll guess – blogger if you agree with the point being made, troll if you disagree.

        • Paul Zummo says:

          I love people who complain about being labeled trolls. Notice that there are people who disagree with the blogger (in this case Matt, but it applies elsewhere), who are not so labeled? Why? Because they present compelling arguments on their behalf, even if a majority disagree with it. So if you’re being labeled a troll, it’s not simply because you disagree with the host, but because you’re simply a jerk.

      • Edik415 says:

        I get your point, Meggie, but the idea of bloggers as being “noble” made me spit the soda I was drinking through my nose. Noble? Really? The vast majority of bloggers out there spend most of their energy complaining about things they don’t like. Remember the writing Matt responded to the other day? The woman who wrote that she looks down on women with children, and she doesn’t feel bad about it? That’s a blogger. What’s she doing? Whining because she has a “job,” and she’s mad because there are women in the world who don’t have “a job” (stay at home moms). How is that noble? She’s a troll. She’s just a troll with a webpage.

        It also strikes me as a stretch to say that bloggers promote dialogue. You’ve read the vast majority of the comments on here, right? Does much of this seem like dialogue to you? (And, relevant to the actual topic?)

    • Well, really, there is nothing similar between trolls and bloggers. Trolls criticize for the sake of agitation. They mean to offend and rarely make good points. Trolls stifle dialogue, bloggers promote it. One is noble, the other is reprehensible. Guess which is which

  2. Irma Tolin says:

    Political BS. Can’t decide which is worse, the BS from the podium or the applause from the floor. What a waste of money in this or any economy. Does the president think we really believe the crap spouting from his head. Pathetic way to run a country (into the ground).

    • beccalouise says:

      I didn’t watch. I couldn’t watch! I didn’t want to have to replace my TV after throwing it out the window. Such lies! If you watch the media, you will believe that everyone adores him.

  3. Uriel says:

    Ah yes another tinkling cymbal, sounding brass of our time. Curse the darkness or light a candle. Its so easy to do one but so hard to do the other. Or rather so few are willing to light the candle of truth and to follow the one true light! I for one did not watch the state of the union. But will continue to seek to follow that “One true light which lights the whole world”.

  4. G Fox says:

    I just can’t watch it; I tried, but it is so phony. I am saddened that a man who elicited so much hope in the people of our country has turned into such a dictatorial leader, who cannot lead our legislators to a reasonable consensus on the important issues of the day. I am also angry that we have elected and are paying for representation in Washington and it is sadly lacking. Instead of “it’s the economy, stupid” being the battle cry, it’s “it’s the election, stupid.” It’s all about getting re-elected or getting someone from your party re-elected so your party can gain or retain enough power to gridlock government action or force your party’s agenda. While I am sure there are probably still a few good men and women in Congress who REALLY care about America and it’s long-term well being, they are not able to be effective because of party politics and electioneering. I am disgusted with the whole scenario.

    The SOTU address is being used as a campaign strategy. First, we have to hear the president give himself pats on the back for all the jobs created, all the new businesses formed, all the entitlements he has promoted (including Obamacare), all the soldiers he has brought home, etc. Not mentioned is the government shutdown, the soaring national debt, government intrusion in the lives of our people and the marketplace, spying on people via phone/Internet data, special interest pandering, etc. The SOTU address was also used to reprimand Congress for its lack of action on the president’s agenda. Well, maybe that’s the only way to stop the insurgence of government control over every measure of American life. As we look back on this administration years from now, I think we will be appalled at the freedoms we gave up and the way our country was sold out to those who do not have its best interests at heart.

    Every American needs to pray for our country and those we have elected to lead. Every American needs to be informed and vote for public servants, not self servants. Unfortunately, those are getting harder to find nowadays.

  5. COncreteblue says:

    “Then he stood before them and lied, and they applauded. And he cited dozens of clichéd and fabricated anecdotes, and they applauded. And he repeated promises he’s already broken 5 times (example: “this needs to be the year we… close Guantanamo Bay!”), and they applauded. And he made plainly absurd statements about imaginary “gender wage gaps,” and they applauded. And he constructed fallacious straw men, and they applauded.

    The State of the Union Address was indistinguishable from something you’d hear at a DNC convention. It was a political pep rally, which is all it’s been for many years. Only at this pep rally he has uniformed military on hand as stage props, and the entire body of Congress sitting by with their tongues wagging, ready to jump and bark like trained dogs.”
    Mr Walsh says this like it is not SOP for the CONservative R’s. Give me a break. And “imaginary gender wage gaps”? Sourse, please? (Hint: Anything from Drudge, Flush, or Beck does not count)

    • Clayton says:

      I didn’t see him say Republicans are any better. I saw him say the SOTO address is and has been a sham for years. You’re obviously predisposed to an R vs D type mentality. What is the point in providing sources if they are still regarded as non-sources due to your personal bias? BTW, the claim of imaginary wage gaps doesn’t require a sorce, just a small amount of common sense and a drop of brain power.

    • Dawn says:

      Here is a simple little video that lays it out quite nicely.
      http://chicksontheright.com/posts/item/25282-straight-talk-on-the-wage-gap

      Essentially- the ‘wage gap’ is based on collective average yearly wages- doesn’t take into account the extra hours, more demanding careers/specialties that men gravitate to compared to women- who tend to take more time off and gravitate to more family friendly careers. ie- you can’t compare a heart surgeon who put in 00+ a week with a teacher who doesn’t and then average it to come up with a wage gap. As a women, I find the concept insulting, yes pay equally but stop making a myth as basis for policy that rewards women only because of their gender and not equal work.

      • AmandaM says:

        No, Dawn this is incorrect. Yes, studies have shown that the wage gap can be “explained” in part due to differences in career paths men and women take, hours worked, etc. But hundreds of studies have also consistently found additional “unexplained” pay differences which likely include discrimination.

        “As a women, I find the concept insulting, yes pay equally but stop making a myth as basis for policy that rewards women only because of their gender and not equal work.”

        The policy would be for equal pay for equal work. What is insulting about that? I find it insulting that I can walk into a workplace to do the identical job to the guy next to me, and yet I am compensated less from the outset.

        • We just have to get over the idea that government can make life fair. Every time it tries, it makes it more fair for only part of society. That is obviously not fairness at all. Obamacare is the poster child for what government can and cannot do. I also challenge the idea that women walk into a workplace to do the identical job and get compensated less. I would agree on likelihood of getting hired into higher paying jobs but not from the “its a guy, let’s pay him more” angle. I’d like to see the studies that validate that concept.

    • beccalouise says:

      I think Obama has the burden of proof for those wage gaps. Let’s see the proof.

  6. Rev Jim Jones says:

    I don’t believe the address was any longer nor more hollow than the Presidents 1st and 2nd term so far. In that regard I feel he was square on target.

    Here’s my take:
    No to earn – yes to take

  7. Danna says:

    There’s a Simpson episode (Season 7, Episode 6) – their yearly Treehouse of Horror – which best describes my attitude and behavior towards both Hollywood and Washington, D.C. In the Simpson episode, during a freak storm the giant advertising statues comes to life and start destroying Springfield. Everyone panics. There Is No Stopping Them. Until, Lisa. With a catchy tune, she gets the people of Springfield to stop looking at the advertising giants. And when no one pays any attention to them, they fall over – their power destroyed. I try to do my part to affect the same result on both the coasts.

    • Danna says:

      effect, not affect…

      • Kay T. says:

        ‘Affect,’ commonly a verb, is correct here. ‘Effect,’ a noun, would not have been used correctly.

        • Kelsey says:

          Actually, “effect” and “affect” do not always function the way you describe. They can each be a noun OR a verb. The verb “effect” means “to bring about,” which would actually be correct in the original comment. The verb “affect” means “to influence,” and it makes no sense to “do my part to influence the same result.”

          “Affect,” as a noun, is most commonly used in psychology to refer to the way one outwardly expresses emotions.

    • Kay, sure hope you aren’t a proponent of “English only” laws. You would have to go back to school and learn the language. “Effect” is the correct word because it can also be used as a verb just as “affect” can be used as a noun.

  8. Tim Cullum says:

    Absolutely agree. Elitist is the key word. We are all on the plantation.

  9. jenniferthorne says:

    Matt, I find you so surprisingly refreshing and you are so young. It gives my heart hope. Thank you, your writing style is friendly, direct, well worded, and filled with visual beauty. You are a true artist of the written word.

  10. Miranda Pike says:

    Two things, 1. I totally agree regarding the State of the union.
    2. Saw where others said your words are beautiful and that they love everything you said, I disagree. You used the word midget…that is an ugly, unloving word and not funny! I was shocked and ashamed that you would use a hurtful word simply for a laugh. Using that one word makes me wonder what other disabilities or differences in people you make fun of. To use words like that is to show that you think yourself better and have never thought about how people with physical differences feel.
    I am not a little person, do not personally know anyone who is, but I know enough to know that using that word, as well as other slang words for other disabilities, is hurtful and only funny to the people who have no idea what’s it like to go through life being called names for things they can not help!!! Like I said, shocked and my opinion of you, your blog and opinions went down!

    • DJ says:

      Oh for the love of all that is holy, can we get over this touchy feely boo hoo let’s not offend ANYONE bullcrap once and for all!!! I’m blind in one eye (and it shows), so call me Patchy the Pirate if you like, I DO NOT CARE! I’m obese, so call me fattyMCfatterson if you like, I DO NOT CARE! I know who “I” am, and I respect and like who I am, and I don’t care who YOU think I am!!!! If people cannot “get” this concept, then they are doomed to a life of sorrow. Because there will ALWAYS be haters out there, you CANNOT change that fact! Shore up your esteem for who you are and move on with your life for heaven’s sake!

    • John says:

      Miranda Pike, you have no clue what you are talking about. I happen to be a “little person” as you put it – and THAT, by the way, DOES insult me. I may be short but there is nothing “little” about me! The word “midget” is not found to be hurtful nor insulting to those of us “afflicted” with dwarfism.

    • Joseph Duggan says:

      Miranda get a life!

    • OtterMatt says:

      “I am not a little person, do not personally know anyone who is,”
      Then you don’t have the right to determine if it’s offensive or not. Shut the heck up, you politically-correct wimp.

    • Matt says:

      You want to see something that could easily offend some people. Check this out! 🙂

      And yes, I’m in a wheelchair and have never laughed so hard in my life. Get over it, lady. If this is the one thing that has offended you, you haven’t been reading this blog for very long.

    • Christina says:

      “little person”?? How DARE you imply that people of shorter stature are somehow less worthy of respect – I bet you think they are “little” to be esteemed. (/sarcasm)

      Seriously – I can’t keep the PC lingo straight and hardly expect any one else to do so. What used to be a simple descriptive word began to be used by morally “little” people to belittle others, which then made it a “bad name”, which then got it banned from legit use. It gets to the point where you can only use some long stupid phrase in an attempt to classify things correctly.

      Negro (means black) => Colored (really?) => Black (now that’s mean because many are brown) => African American (nevermind that they are not) => People With Large Quantities of Melatonin in Their Skin Who May Be of African Descent (sigh)

      White (fine by me) => Caucasian (um…Caucus is just a section of Eastern Europe) => Person With Less Melatonin Who May Be of European Descent (sigh)

      Dwarf (are you comparing them to snow white’s dwarfs?) => Midgets (description of size – derogatory apparently) => Little People (Also a description of size – I’ve heard the complaint that it sounds like they are fairies/elves) => Persons Who Have One of the 200 Types of Dwarfism (sigh)

      • Christina says:

        Actually, I was thinking about this some more – it seems to be not even any particular descriptive word, but the idea that noticing the differences between people is bad. It’s a part of the idea that you can’t be equal in dignity without also being the same. To notice that someone is NOT the same as the average population is to say they are less deserving of dignity and respect. Thus we must pretend that there are no differences between people. It’s not a celebration of the differences (as found in the communion of the saints), but a deception to try to make you believe everyone is identical (the loss of identity in hell).

      • Kristin says:

        Oh, you all have me rolling! This is the best thread of responses to absurd political correctness I’ve read in a while, thank you all! Ha!

      • melleemak says:

        Hahahaha. Thanks for that. It was very well put! That is exactly how I feel about Political correctness!

    • You said, “I am not a little person”……

      Oh yes you are.

      Give. Me. Strength.

    • anneemag23 says:

      You said, “I am not a little person”.

      Oh yes you are.

      Give. Me. Strength.

    • melleemak says:

      Political correctness is decisive. It has no foundation and it is constantly changing. I used the word “retarded” in reference to myself once and got slammed by someone at work for simply using the word. It didn’t matter the context I used it in, just that someone once used to describe someone who has down syndrome and that hurt someone else’s feelings. Under the definition of the word and the circumstances in which I was using it I had used it absolutely appropriately and yet I was all the sudden insensitive for calling MYSELF retarded. Words have definitions. It is perfectly acceptable to choose what word one wants to us to even if it may “hurt someone’s feelings.” I’m with Patchy the Pirate.

  11. ZZpop59 says:

    What did that pageant cost us? (security, over-time, energy…)

  12. Michelle says:

    “…a gaudy spectacle of pretentious elitists, wealthy drug addicts and godless Satanists…” Jesus says that everything rests on LOVING our neighbor, not judging them. If people just did this ONE thing, the rest would all fall into place beautifully.

  13. prairiesbluecottage says:

    I am done with the State of the Union address, yes. I haven’t watched it or listen to it and at least dozen years. I’m done with politics. I’m done with Republicans, Democrats and anybody else they can come up with. I’m done with idiots who have no idea what the Constitution says and have no interest in making sure that it stands strong. I’m done with talking heads on the news who just say what they’re told to say and have forgotten what investigative journalism actually is. I’m done with the the president who thinks he is our king and acts like our dictator. All you people who want to know exactly what he’s done, why don’t you head on over to danfromsquirrelhill and check out his blog where he posts an exhaustive list of over 540 specific promises and laws that your dear savior-dictator president has broken. The really sad thing is that the president is not the only one; I daresay there’s hardly a person in Washington DC with clean hands on either side of the political aisle. Barf. Yes definitely, Matt, I’m done.

  14. Heathen says:

    I doubt this would have been written had one of your evangelicals been the one giving the speech.

  15. Edik415 says:

    My political beliefs lie at least a little further left of center than Matt’s do, so it’s rare that I agree completely with any of his political comments.

    This one? 100% correct. And the reason is this: regardless of the President’s party affiliation, the SOTU address, for my entire adult life (I’m 37) has been exactly as Matt described. AT BEST, it’s a pep rally. At worst, it’s a public shaming of the opposing party. In all cases, it is pointless, and we learn nothing new.

    I have tried to watch every SOTU address for as long as I can remember, and I always turn it off part way through for this very reason. Nothing happens. Last night’s was the first night I decided not to even try to watch it. I felt that I made much better use of my time.

    All that said…Matt makes a good point about the SOTU *not* being required by any formal declaration. But can you imagine the response if a President (regardless of his/her tie color) opted NOT to give one? If Obama had said, “You know, I think I’m gonna dispense with this formality and send out a Presidential Email instead of giving a formal address,” what would the response have been from the Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs of the country? (Flip the scenario, too — insert a hypothetical future Republican President and any left-leaning TV/radio personality — the response will likely be the same.) I’m glad to see that Matt realizes this, too.

    Other events that could be eliminated for their pointlessness? Presidential (and Vice-Presidential) debates; Inaugural balls; and yes, the Grammys, Oscars, Tonys, Golden Globes, Emmys, etc. Let’s get rid of all of them so that I can watch my usual Tuesday evening show (Person of Interest) undisturbed.

  16. Beth Hess says:

    amen. and amen.

    Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2014 04:26:40 +0000 To: e_beths@hotmail.com

  17. Daxon says:

    Who are you calling a “midget”? http://www.salon.com/2009/07/16/m_word/

  18. Noesis says:

    INFORMATION! To congress. . . Not what I got from his speech.
    Lot’s of gonna, YOU gotta, small business should (like he’s ever had a successful one) do this and that, diversion, self praise and props and selected and scripted stories

  19. Annette Overstreet says:

    Gee, I felt the same way about W’s the two times he gave his. And I was sort of seeing this person’s point until they made the asinine statement concerning……. “plainly absurd statements about imaginary “gender wage gaps,” That’s when they lost my interest in their point of view.

    • Tami Nantz says:

      Have you ever looked at the stats on what this President pays women in his own White House?? There are gender gaps, alright, and the guy who continues to lecture us on getting rid of them is one of the leading offenders.

      Oh, and W gave more than 2 SOTU addresses. Just thought you might like to know that. A President gives one each January that he’s in office.

    • Holly Smith says:

      “W’s” two times? SOTU addresses are given every year. President Bush was in office for eight years. So, apparently, you are also very politically astute.

  20. Good post Matt! I concur fully. And this time he made no attempt to hide not only his past circumvention of Congress and the Constitution but also that he plans to do it even more frequently now. You know with his…pen and phone!
    Sad….

  21. Heidi Geib says:

    I agree whole heartedly. It is nothing but a bad circus side show. They spew out the same lies year after year, and yet some are so ignorant to believe them. I watched a documentary on the Amish instead.

  22. julie hesseltine says:

    I found, upon watching the Kelly Files thé fact he had plagiarism George Bush in several areas of his speech….to be just more lies for Obama. Why can’t he just fall off the face of the planet.

    I am sure if he started telling the American people the earth was no longer round, but instead a cube….many would follow him around the corners!

  23. Stacia says:

    Great article except they prefer to be called little people, not midgits.

  24. effulgentbeliever says:

    This is so perfect.

  25. Liz says:

    Fight all error, but do it with good humor, patience, kindness, and love. Harshness will damage your own soul and spoil the best cause.
    St. John Kanty

  26. Amy says:

    Matt I love your writing and pov. I agree with almost everything you say. Two things bothered me about this post. 1) there is a wage disparity between males and females. It cannot be denied. I say this as a person who has knowledge of a company’s payroll. Men hired to do the exact same job make about 20% more than women. I doubt this is the only company in America who does this. 2) The term “midget” is offensive. I know now a days libs want us to use just the right word so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. I get it. It’s too much sometimes. But if you had a child who was born a dwarf or little person if you will, the term “midget” would be a knife straight into your heart.

    • Sarah says:

      And those people would probably eventually get over it, as I do when everyone and their mother makes jokes about diabetes. It’s a way of life. Everyone’s so ridiculously PC these days, it’s enough to make you vomit.

    • Michael Cook says:

      1. Since when is there a wage gap between men and women. It’s a myth and I will challenge you to provide documented proof that it actually exist. I on the other hand can site studies done by credible sources that prove it’s a myth.. Economist Thomas Sowell does an excellent job on this subject. You can see his article written in TownHall.com from June 6, 2012. He states in the article, “Since women average fewer hours of work per year, and fewer years of consecutive full-time employment than men, among other differences, comparisons of male and female annual earnings are comparisons of apples and oranges, as various female economists have pointed out. Read Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Hudson Institute or Professor Claudia Goldin of Harvard, for example.
      When you compare women and men in the same occupations with the same skills, education, hours of work, and many other factors that go into determining pay, the differences in incomes shrink to the vanishing point — and, in some cases, the women earn more than comparable men.” I won’t continue to belabor the point. I will just say, try to do some credible research and stop accepting leftist talking points.

      2. Since when did the word midget become offensive? Look the word up in any dictionary. It is a noun meaning “an extremely small person having normal physical proportions.” How is that a demeaning term? It is simply a descriptive term for someone or something that is smaller than normal size. So using the descriptive noun to describe a person who has dwarfism is now considered offensive? How can that be a “knife through the heart?”

  27. cara says:

    Wow! Again, just could not bring myself to watch it without getting sick. It is sad that this has become our “state of the union”…

  28. john norvell says:

    he is right on. those grammys are straight from satan,,its were the focus is,a selfish persons focus is all about themselves ,same as obama,isn’t that like satan always focusing on me ,me,standing in the presence of God ,and still wanted the glory for himself,no different than a pop star or a wanta be basketball player president,never satisfied always spouting some stupidity,there mindless self serving foolish people, Obama and justin bieber are not much different in attitude toward people,both are cocky,both are self serving,the world revolves around bieber and people are there to serve him ,same as obama we are his subjects and are to bow in his presence.the only difference in the two is bieber to my knowledge doesn’t use a teleprompter

  29. Sophia says:

    you are an eloquent orator, I completely agree with your rhetoric, it is time to abolish the sycophants that perpetuate this sad state of affairs. abolish big government!!

  30. i am sufficiently insulted by the speech… i could not watch it.. but i did so enjoy your comments on the blog.. they were priceless… i am so sorry to ssy that i have gotten to the point where i believe ABSOLUTELY NOTHING they say… any of them.. and my blood pressure is the better for my negativity…. i opted out for watching “justified” and am sure, i felt much better for it… thank you , matt… for your courage and your wit…please don’t stop spouting out the truth for us…
    .. jean

  31. I was not insulted, because it is his job to deliver a SOTU address. For the record you will see that he also delivered a hard copy of the address to members of Congress.
    You also left out the constitutional requirement that the President recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.
    Which makes his suggestion to close Guantanamo Bay perfectly apt. At this point only Congress has that authority, which is why he said it.
    In all honesty I was more entertained than anything else.

    And let’s forget about the fact that you used a strawman fallacy yourself in this post…I leave it as a mental exercise for you to discover it.

  32. LilyL2182 says:

    ‘Imaginary’ gender wage gaps??????? Are you effing kidding me? It’s like Matt has to include some ridiculous stab at feminism in every blog even if the subject has nothing to do with women’s issues.

  33. 6trude says:

    Ya know Matt, I like most of your posts. This is not one of them. With our leadership, whether you like them or not comes pomp and circumstance, and tradition, and a certain hugeness. a Republican or Democrat or another off the wall political party. We are a big country that was and still should be filled with big dreams. We have huge expenses, some good some bad. However, as bad as you might find this country and last nights SOTU address I hope you can see that we are still the greatest country on earth.

    • john norvell says:

      we are also the most in debt Country in the world thanks to the last 4 presidents and an out of control congress,what kind of Country goes and blows our enemies up and all there stuff , then goes and gives them billions upon billions of dollars to rebuild,don’t get me wrong i love our Country and our great fighting men and women they are awesome,but for the love of God why are we sending money to foreign Countries that want us all dead!! its madness these people! politicians that is, have simply dropped there minds somewhere in Washington D.C.

  34. TheApostlePaul says:

    *It was a political pep rally, which is all it’s been for many years.*

    Well, yes. This same pep rally was also held from 1981-1992, and then from 2001-2008, but there seems to be a dearth of this kind of criticism when it’s a Republican at the center of it.

    Sometimes you NEED pep rallies: when your country is desperately trying to maintain the fiction that it’s The Greatest Country On Earth despite dismal stats on unemployment, food insecurity, life expectancy, prison population, and student performance, you need to try to rally the troops.

    In regard to “broken promises,” well, the only promises House Republicans are interested in are criminalizing abortion, deregulating industry (how’s the water in West Virginia these days?) and forcing everyone (well, white Christians, anyway) to carry guns. One minute, Teapublicans are calling Barack Obama a “dictator,” and then the next, they’re criticizing him for being “weak” and ineffectual…which is it? Pick a narrative and stick to it, guys.

    Oh, and Matt…calling everybody you don’t like a “Satanist” makes you look INCREDIBLY STUPID.
    But, then again, hey, we’re dealing with someone who’s PROUD of not going to college.

    • KnitWit says:

      “Well, yes. This same pep rally was also held from 1981-1992, and then from 2001-2008, but there seems to be a dearth of this kind of criticism when it’s a Republican at the center of it.” Assumptive Fallacy, Red Herring, Non-sequitur

      “Sometimes you NEED pep rallies: when your country is desperately trying to maintain the fiction that it’s The Greatest Country On Earth despite dismal stats on unemployment, food insecurity, life expectancy, prison population, and student performance, you need to try to rally the troops.” Red Herring, Non-sequitur, Equivocation, Appeal to Emotion, Moving the Goalposts

      “In regard to “broken promises,” well, the only promises House Republicans are interested in are criminalizing abortion, deregulating industry (how’s the water in West Virginia these days?) and forcing everyone (well, white Christians, anyway) to carry guns. One minute, Teapublicans are calling Barack Obama a “dictator,” and then the next, they’re criticizing him for being “weak” and ineffectual…which is it? Pick a narrative and stick to it, guys.” Ad Hominem, Proof by Verbosity, Appeal to Emotion, If-by-Whiskey, Incomplete Comparison, Red Herring, Non-Sequitur, Cherry Picking

      “Oh, and Matt…calling everybody you don’t like a “Satanist” makes you look INCREDIBLY STUPID.” Ad Hominem

      “But, then again, hey, we’re dealing with someone who’s PROUD of not going to college.” Ad Hominem

      And I know that your first argument will probably be to point out all of the fallacies in Matt’s article. I don’t deny their existence. But I will point out that the best way to overcome a fallacious argument is not with more fallacies.

    • Sarah says:

      Pep rallies aren’t any different as adults than they are as teenagers: A big show that a few popular people get really into while everyone else sits there, bored.

      While I agree with your thoughts about Matt’s use of Satanist, who cares that he’s proud of not going to college? I wish I hadn’t. Waste of time, waste of money I’m going to be paying off for years and years to come.

    • AmandaM says:

      Holy cow, thanks for this it is exactly what I was thinking!

  35. Tami Nantz says:

    I never find myself disagreeing with you, Matt, and I don’t on this one either except for one thing. I DO think it’s important that we watch events like the SOTU, because we need to be informed. Not that we’re being informed by this President about anything that’s truthful, but because we can see and hear first hand the lies he’s spewing and watch those we THOUGHT disagreed with him clap enthusiastically like they agree wholeheartedly. If I don’t watch, then I get to hear news pundits spew their spin on the “facts”, and often, I’m not getting the real story. SO, I agree that we’d be better off going back to the days when a written speech was presented, but as long as Presidents want to get up in the chamber and continue with this tradition, then I’ll be watching. Because I’m not going to depend on news networks like CNN, MSNBC, NBC and others to actually tell me the truth about what he said. I want to hear it for myself.

  36. steve crespo says:

    Matt…

    The description “polygamist midgets” is derrogatory, and hateful. (Probably why I laughed.) I believe the description you were looking for was “people of diminutive but no less equal stature who prefer multiple partnered marriages”.

    Just saying.

    (Love your style, bro. God bless!)

    …Steve.

  37. Pingback: An Imperial Presidency Threatens the Liberty of Every Citizen. | Talk Wisdom

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  39. nancym says:

    You forgot to mention the gratuitous use of human props. Where he finds people to be publicly humiliated like that, I don’t know.

  40. Madeline Morrill says:

    The “stage prop” deployed 10 times until he was gravely injured. Maybe you all should know more about him. His name is Cory Remsburg. I believe he felt honored and proud to be there and I feel honored to know more about him. http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/articles/20140128wounded-gilbert-soldier-guest-speech-meets-obama-th-time.html

  41. Esti Himelstein says:

    So done with it. I used to be politically motivated, but now I’m just over it all. Year after year, the country votes in liars, cheats, and thieves and nothing changes. So, I didn’t tune into the SOTU address, because I already knew what Obama was going to say. Just waiting for the rest of the country to wake up and fight back!! TAKE BACK THE VOTE!!!

  42. The phrase “godless Satanists” makes no sense. For this ludicrous Wizard of Oz versus Darth Vader dynamic—excuse me, I meant to write “God” versus “Satan”—to make any sense, one has to be a believer of some stripe in order to be a Satanist. In other words, a Satanist is a person who DOES believe in the existence of a god, but sides with God’s enemy and “fallen angel”: Satan. Anyway, I just wanted clarify this bit of religious nonsense to make more “sense” (that is, within the nutty, circumscribed confines of religious belief).

    • JeyRome says:

      Of course it makes sense Barry-satanists that have godless actions.
      They know about God & his teachings but have rejected all of it & choose instead to do the opposite & follow evil.
      Not to be confused with an agnostic or atheist who can still be moral (godlike)

  43. Laura says:

    Haven’t watched one in years. Last night we watched a great new family movie instead. Much better use of time!

  44. Actually, the gender wage gap is not imaginary. And it’s worse when you look at race. Normally I agree with points you make, but please fact check. Be better than who you are criticizing. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0882775.html

  45. Drew says:

    Right. You’ve “felt this way for awhile”, but THIS president finally motivated you to get on your soapbox and rail against the SOTU. Whatever.

  46. ADW says:

    Personally, I agree with everything said and was about to share this on FB… until I got to the offensive term “polygamist midgets.” Seriously, couldn’t you have just used the proper terminology? They have a condition called dwarfism and prefer to be called little people.

  47. AmandaM says:

    It’s Obama’s (and every other President’s) job to deliver the SOTU. Whether you like the pomp and circumstance of it or not, it is a tradition, and it is a requirement. Previous Presidents (whether Republican or Democrat) all participated in the ritual just the same. To call out Obama for this year being over the top more than any previous SOTU address is just silly.

    So many of your other comments in this post are obviously just your uninformed opinion, delivered in such a way as to get a rise out of your base of readers.

    Those of you that keep commenting on how great a writer Matt is…it makes me sad that there are obviously so many people out there that have no idea what good writing is. Matt’s posts consistently are inflammatory, ill-researched, and full of illogical and deceitful statements.

    • Blazing Leicas says:

      Kudos to you! That ignorant ahole, Walsh, has obviously never studied the Constitution. If he had he’d know that Article 2 Section 3 requires the POTUS to report to congress and the people on the state of the union.

    • Kelsey says:

      Please point out the clause in the Constitution that calls for a spectacle like we had last night.

      • Drew says:

        How was last night’s “spectacle” any different from any other SOTU address? Why are you just NOW up in arms about this yearly ritual? Gee, I wonder…

  48. Donna Robino says:

    I chose to watch a Rocky movie…thank you Matt for letting us know exactly what we expected to hear.

  49. Hannah says:

    I’m going to nit-pick here. You said, “And he repeated promises he’s already broken 5 times (example: “this needs to be the year we… close Guantanamo Bay!”), and they applauded.”

    Obama spoke in the present tense, which we know because he used the word “needs.” Furthermore, the words after it “to be the year” let us now that Obama is looking forward into the future. Therefore, how can Obama have broken his promise already when this year hasn’t fully happened yet. He has until December 31, 2014 to close Guantanamo Bay before we can claim his promise is broken.

    Also, how do we know he hasn’t tried already to close the prison? How do we know he’s not in the process of doing it a little by little? In places like the government, there are lots of legal issues and red tape that we must go through before we can get what we want. Therefore, it might be the case that Obama is actively trying to close Guantanamo Bay but is still processing the red tape and logistics, so he can’t close it quite yet. Things are never as simple as they seem.

    Also, “And he made plainly absurd statements about imaginary “gender wage gaps” is false. In the banking industry, my mom makes $37,000 to a man’s $41,000, and they do the same job and have the same qualifications. My mom is usually even the best seller of annuities and opens the most accounts at her bank, which she is rewarded for by the bank taking her out to dinner. So while I don’t think the wage gap exists everywhere, I know it does exist in some places.

    I think it’s important to watch the State of the Union address, so that we can be informed of the rhetoric that Obama is using. After watching it, we should fact check what he said (http://www.politifact.com/personalities/barack-obama/). It’s important for us to be informed of what he said, what’s happening in our country, and our rights, so we can stand up for what’s right and what we believe in. Without watching the SOTU address and without fact checking anything, I think most people would call us stupid and ignorant. Don’t be that guy. Even flashy shows have their place in society.

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