The State of the Union address is a method of compressing partisan lies into an hour-or-two-long speech (or -three, in the case of Bill Clinton).
The annual speech tells Congress and the entire United States what The President thinks. It is received in a room full of crusty and aging legislators who long ago lost their souls and have no lodestar except the desire to:
- Bask in the reflected glory of the President's presence, and
- Have all their impressionable constituents watch them doing so and thereby get the impression they have a fraction of the President's charisma.
Federal law provides that, in addition to his annual salary of $400,000, the President gets one evening a year in a chamber where a crowd of fawning wannabes will deliriously applaud him for saying nothing of substance, and where everyone in the country can see that they did. This is not just a fringe benefit for the President, but reassures even the most incompetent American citizen that his poorest and most meaningless work might have someone welcome it, by virtue of the welcomer being even worse — or might lead to a lifetime sinecure, if he can simply find a boss who is eager to be surrounded by suck-ups.
Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution tasks the President to "from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the Union, to recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient, or failing that, to advise the same as to how far to bend over."
It is a perennial mystery
to Constitutional scholars
why the small document that set out three co-equal branches contains this loophole directing two of them to kiss the butt
of one of them every year.. (more...)