The big twist tonight will be that some Republicans and Democrats are sitting together. This bogus publicity stunt will not change the level of partisanship in Washington D.C. one iota. The idea was proposed by Democrats to soften Republican opposition to the speech and to hide from the viewing audience the numerical advantage that Republicans now enjoy on Capitol Hill. The media are touting the seating arrangements as a response to the Tucson tragedy and the more “civil tone” in the nation’s capitol. Of course, they forgot to inform U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) who likened Republicans to Nazis during the debate about the repeal of the healthcare law.
In his prime time speech, President Obama, like his predecessors, will announce a laundry list of proposals. Every few seconds the Democrats will cheer and leap to their feet while Republicans will sit on their hands. Occasionally, an issue such as support for our military or Congresswoman Giffords will be mentioned that will generate bi-partisan applause. It is all so predictable and boring. In fact, the constant up and down from the members of Congress and the numerous standing ovations are ridiculous and hinder the ability of Americans to understand the true meaning of the speech. The partisan applauding also infuriates most Americans who don’t want politics as usual and truly want to learn about the specifics in the speech.
The sad part is that these speeches are very short on specifics and long on generalities. Customarily, the introduction, speech and ovations last about 90 minutes. On my radio program this morning, (Ringside, WGSO 990 AM, 7-11 a..m.), some listeners said they would prefer to “watch the wall” or “watch grass grow” than to be subjected to another Obama State of the Union address. I can imagine doing much more productive things with my hour and a half than viewing President Obama once again on television. Watching the entire speech would be tantamount to political torture, so I will gladly pass up the opportunity.
Henceforth, I would prefer that Presidents just hand deliver an annual message to Congress without all of this pomp and circumstance. If that occurred, Americans would be grateful and it would improve the political standing of the President. Most Americans see through all of these cheap political games and understand the real motivations at play. This whole show is not about benefiting the country; it is all about improving political standing. Is it any wonder why so many Americans are skeptical about politics?
If we had a real, genuine leader who cared more about his country than his poll numbers, we would not have this type of farce every year.
Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m..weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com. E-mail him at [email protected].
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