The State Of The Union

…is inappropriate:

Jefferson’s happy settlement lasted for just over a century, until, in the heady progressive climate of 1913, Woodrow Wilson brought the damn thing back. Given Wilson’s attitude toward limited government, toward the Constitution, and toward the American settlement, that it was he who did this should raise alarm bells even in the ears of the speech’s defenders. With the admirable openness that marked his unadmirable hostility to America’s founding ideals, Wilson announced that he would restore the speech because it was fitting for a strong and king-like president with an agenda — in other words, he directly reversed Jefferson’s logic. A brief respite followed the Wilson administration: After delivering his first in person, Calvin Coolidge agreed with Wilson’s characterization of the event, and, wishing to be anything but a king-like president, re-abolished the practice, delivering the remainder of his reports in writing and setting an example that was followed by his successor, Herbert Hoover. But it wasn’t to last. FDR had higher pretensions and brought the speech back. With a few exceptions (none based on principle), it has stayed with us ever since.

One more reason that Wilson was such an awful president, and Coolidge is ovunderrated. The SOTA is nothing but an opportunity for political grandstanding.

28 thoughts on “The State Of The Union

  1. Thomas Matula

    Of course if President Obama did just give them a written report the Anti-Obama mob would then claim he wasn’t doing his job by not speaking to Congress.

    Again, when it comes President Obama no matter what he does folks like you just won’t like it :-)

      1. Thomas Matula

        What makes you think I don’t care about the Constitution? That I never voted for Jimmy Carter like you did? After all Jimmy Carter did do the last written one in 1981 after he lost the election.

        http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/sou.php

        FYI Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution states

        [[[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.]]]

        So REPORTING to Congress is part of the job description, it is just unclear if the information and recommendations shall be given in person or by a clerk. Congress has allowed both options. But tell me, when you reported to someone at P&W how did you do it? But again I am sure which ever option President Obama selected you criticize him, which was the point of my post :-)

        1. Rand Simberg Post author

          Yes, I got the point of your post. The point of your post was idiotic nonsense. I have never been a fan of the SOTA, regardless of who the president is, and I don’t reflexively criticize Obama’s behavior just because he is Obama.

          1. George Turner

            SOTA or SOTU? I’d think SOTA is “State of the Administration” (power-mad and self-absorbed) or perhaps “Statement of Total Arrogance” or “Spending Our Treasury Away.”

      1. Bilwick

        I only object to Obama’s statism. Of course, that pretty much means I have to object to pretty much everything about him. If U&ncle Tom Matula actually cared about liberty, he’d get it.

        1. Thomas Matula

          Unlike you I actually do care about liberty which why I oppose the Tea Party phonies who have only helped the left to take it away by running extreme candidates in Republican primaries, candidates who are not able to win on the state or national level. This was the Republican’s election to win, until the Tea Party made a joke of the Republican Primaries…

          1. wodun

            What about the establishment candidates that lost, was that the fault of the TP too? What about the nationwide turnout, the fault of the TP?

          2. Thomas Matula

            Wodun,

            If you mean a lot of Republicans, including some of the best candidates for President choose to sit this one out because of the Tea Party then the answer is yes, that was also the fault all the crazy noise made by the Tea Party.

    1. PeterH

      I’d prefer the Occupier of the White House gave his SOTU in written form, rather than grand standing before a joint session of congress. I’m going to regard it as a pack of lies either way.

  2. Chris Gerrib

    Thomas Jefferson rather famously detested public speaking. In an era before artificial amplification, he could not make himself heard even during his inaugural addresses. He was well aware of that problem, and when he had to give speeches (like his inaugurals) he had them pre-printed and handed them out. In short, he came up with an excuse to do what he didn’t want to do.

      1. Chris Gerrib

        I’m reminded of a story. A family has a tradition of cutting off a couple inches on the pot roast. When somebody finally asked “why,” investigation proved that great-grandma’s roasting pan was too small.

        In short, just because a tradition is started doesn’t mean that the tradition is good.

      2. George Turner

        Chris, you should bring that up whenever you’re at an inferior burger place, idly noting that the available buns must’ve been really small when the chain first started.

        1. Thales

          “Look at that burger in that picture — it’s big, it’s juicy, it’s three inches thick! Now look at this miserable, squashed thing. Can anyone tell me what’s wrong with this picture?”

  3. Capper7

    I think you meant to say that Coolidge is underrated. He re-abolished the practice of giving the speech after his first one.

  4. teej

    Did you mean to say the Coolidge was underrated?

    We could use a man like Calvin Coolidge again.

    /archiebunker

  5. ken anthony

    Why shouldn’t it be question time?

    Why shouldn’t someone say to the president, “You lie!”

    He is not the king and should not be treated as such.

    Jan Brewer, here in AZ, had it right by sticking her finger in his face.

    Civil does not mean subservient.

    Now that would tell us more about the state of the union.

  6. Johnny B

    President Nathaniel Thorn, fictional president from Dale Brown’s books, eschewed a SOTU Address in one of the books. He also declined a public inauguration.

  7. Leland

    Skyfall was released to home video today. I can read the SOTU transcript faster than the “consititutional professor” can scroll through TOTUS.

  8. Bilwick

    The only speech I want to hear “Il Dufe” give is something along the lines of, “Hey, I just found copies of Bastiat’s THE LAW and Hayek’s ROAD TO SERFDOM left over from when Reagan was in the White House, and boy, do I feel stupid! Uncle Frank lied to me! That collectivism stuff he brainwashed me with is all a bunch of hooey! From now on I pledge to restore liberty! TANSTAAFL, everybody!”

    But given that this scenario isn’t likely to happen, let’s have a pool on how many times Obama does his usual Mussolini-esque chin-tilt during the SOTU Address!

Comments are closed.