I didn’t watch it. It was about to come on, and I was about to go plop down in front of the television when I thought, this is going to be completely irrelevant, it’s just going to make me annoyed and angry, and most of my friends will write about it in quick, informative, and entertaining fashions. So instead I cracked open a beer and a book and read in bed with my wife and dog. Much better, thank you.
In true blogger style, however, I still have opinions to share.
1) Seriously, this really didn’t matter at all. Don’t know what the Nielsen ratings will be like, but I imagine everyone is really tired of hearing this guy talk.
2) PGL highlights the foolishness of Bush’s commitment to eliminate $18 billion in wasteful spending. It’s really foolish. We’re discussing $150 billion in questionable stimulus. Bush is about to ask for $70 billion more for his Iraq War (a project that may end up costing us nearly $3 trillion, even if we don’t stay there for 100 years, McCain style). This is the lamest attempt at fiscal prudence I’ve ever seen.
And while some of the programs he’ll trim may well deserve the red pen, it’s as likely as not that he’ll end up slashing funds for things like Amtrak–programs people use, like, and want to see more of. Silliness.
3) Ezra comments on the questionable nature of this passage in Obama’s response:
Each year, as we watch the State of the Union, we see half the chamber rise to applaud the President and half the chamber stay in their seats. We see half the country tune in to watch, but know that much of the country has stopped even listening. Imagine if next year was different. Imagine if next year, the entire nation had a president they could believe in. A president who rallied all Americans around a common purpose. Thatâ€™s the kind of President we need in this country. And with your help in the coming days and weeks, thatâ€™s the kind of President I will be.
I’m sympathetic to Ezra’s points, and to the broader pro-partisanship argument. At the same time, if at least 60 percent of the chamber isn’t standing, it isn’t much going to matter who’s behind the rostrum. Moreover, Obama may not be talking about bipartisanship; he could be saying that if we nominate him, the whole damn country will vote Democrat (or at least telegraphing the notion that an Obama candidacy would be much stronger down ticket).
4) Won’t it be nice to see someone else do this next year?