Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An Abbreviated Assessment of the SOTU

Here are the thoughts I can muster about the State of the Union speech:

1. I can't emphasize enough how much I dislike the use of human beings as visual aids. Back in 1982, Ronald Reagan began arranging for a few members of the public to be in the hall so they could be mentioned and shown on camera at the same time to make a point, and we've been stuck with it ever since. It was clearly manipulative and forced at the time, and it hasn't gotten better since then.

2. When Obama made a point of saying that Muslims are part of the American family, I thought it was sad that only half of the members of Congress shown were applauding or standing up.

3. There's one good thing I now know about Michele Bachmann: Her voice and style of delivery annoy me much less than Sarah Palin's. I suppose I should also give her points for getting her Tea Party response speech done early. Clearly, she made no substantive points about anything in Obama's speech, so it must have been written ahead of time.

4. Were you disconcerted to see the State of the Union speech referred to everyhere (at least online) as SOTU? I hate this recent wave of abbreviation (SCOTUS, POTUS, FLOTUS, anyone?). I remember seeing POTUS used repeatedly and having no idea what it meant (president of the United States). Not to mention NSFW. That confounded me for days.


Barbara said...

I have on speed dial. Definitely nsfw, but extremely useful.

Can't comment on the speech--too depressed/cynical/annoyed/let down/helpless. I'm sticking with my October suggestion for closing the budget gap and getting something actually done: Send all the politicians home, turn off the lights, and turn down the heat.

Michael Leddy said...

I agree about the human beings as visual aids (well put). But I think it is smart, esp. when so many people persist in seeing our president as "other."

I cringed more at the sitting-together stuff. Not so much that they were sitting together, but that the sitting in itself is supposed to be an accomplishment of some sort. What are they, in kindergarten?

I don't like POTUS and SCOTUS either. There's only one SCOTUS, and he was a medieval philosopher.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Making a point by telling a real story is effective, but then it became part of the formula for the SOTU. But last night they had, what? a dozen people? whose faces flashed on the screen at some point but who were never mentioned by name or identified on screen. That seemed odd. You've nailed it: humans as visual aids. I liked the mixed seating and I think whatever cuts down on kindergarten behavior in Congress is to be encouraged.