SOTU … or the Jerry Lewis Telethon?

February 5, 2019

SOTU … or the Jerry Lewis Telethon?


President Donald Trump

The man gave a good speech. He did, truly! Boring and predictable, and surely lacking in truth here and there. Still, competent. Wait. What? Pen•in-s(h)u•la? Eh! No BFD. Wait. What? “The Madero Maduro regime.”

Did some words piss me off royal? Absolutely. With respect, if someone I love gets shot, do I care about the identy of the shooter? Undocumented person, as opposed to someone whose gun comes courtesy of Second Amendment rights?

Talking about long wars, started by his party’s last president, without any acknowledgment that he knows Jacksh*t about the issues. Hello?

Does Wall nonsense infuriate me? Obviously, physical barriers in urban centers make sense. Just as clearly, Wall from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico makes no sense.

The good news? No one watches the State of the Union anymore. (Yogi-ism: “No one goes there anymore. Too crowded.”) The bad news? No one should write this fella off. No. One.

None of which is my point but, before I make my point, I need to offer a disclosure. LB and I attend a Super Bowl party most every year. Old friends, and we go for the company and the pageantry. TBT, LB enjoys the football a bit, and me a lot less. Go we do, though.

This year, we were late. Not uncommon for us, but this time I got called out for Old Man’s Attire. A debate can be had over whether my attire faux pais or concerns about broth thickness delayed us. Regardless, there was an alleged Old Man get up. And there was a switch-e-roo. Better, and all was well.

Fuddy-duddy disclosure aside, I can’t stand what I’ve seen in the House chamber of the United States Capitol. Guests! Shout outs! USA cheering! Members of Congress, holding offices held by Henry Clay, Lyndon Johnson, Sam Rayburn, our local fellow, Morris Udall, and Daniel Webster, shouting and cheering. Candidly, I’m embarrassed for these lions of our past. What have we become? Did the Jerry Lewis Telethon become a zombie and gobble up the State of the Union address?

I believe Ronald Reagan led us down the path of SOTU as theater. (Jerry, you’re absolved!) No surprise, coming from the Actor-in-Chief. Unfortunately, and as with most of what Ronnie gave us, we’re worse off for his having been our 40th president.

I know times have changed. As regular readers know, I do Facebook. Twitter, not so much, but for 61 I’m moderately hip. (When I looked in the mirror before I left for the first time on Sunday night, I thought I looked a bit gray. But that was the hair and face, not the clothing selection.) Still, can we have a bit of dignity within our leadership? Leave the icons at home, as wonderful as the shout-outs may seem? Have no cheering on the floor? Have we fallen so low? Really?

Confession. I’m watching the Newshour crew, and Mark Shields (expected) and Peter Wehner (less so) panned the speech. So maybe I have it wrong. Comments welcomed.




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