My Thoughts on the State of the Union Address

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Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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49 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    I was playing Mass Effect 2.

    It’s awesome, by the way.Report

  2. Avatar Aaron
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    says:

    I was talking on phone for the first 30 minutes.Report

  3. Avatar greginak
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    says:

    The biggest question about the SOTU is actaully WTF is the deal with Chris Mathews? How big a chunkhead can someone be and still have a job.Report

  4. Avatar North
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    says:

    I’ve always meant to ask E.D. Do you ever read and Terry Pratchet?Report

  5. Avatar zic
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    says:

    Personally, I was amazed at the way Obama reframed what the Supreme Court decided on “freedom of speech” as a matter of “national security.” Amazed at the way Republicans cheered.

    Question: What’s remedy does constitution hold for removing a SC Justice?Report

  6. Avatar North
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    says:

    I went into the SOTU with carefully nurtured low expectations. I can honestly say that I was pleasantly surprised, I kept a few notes.
    -I was astonished that Obama the great lover of bipartisanship threw so many jabs at the Republicans. Obviously he realized his base is a problem, it’ll be interesting to see if the independents give him the stink eye for it. Still it made him seem a little more human to me which was encouraging.
    -I couldn’t believe the Republicans sat on their hands as he listed off his tax cuts. Did he slip them a C-note or something ahead of time to play the straight men to his act?
    -Nuclear power got a specific shout out. I was pretty charmed by that. Clearly Obama must have operatives hiding in the bushes in Minnesota trying to find out what dog-whistle would work on me. As soon as he hit that note he got into the black by my measure. But I’m an easier sell than a lot of people here.
    -Obama was a touch odd on health care. He didn’t back down on it precisely but he sure didn’t seem to be suggesting a course forward. Positive interpretation: he’s trying to extend an olive branch in hopes that some GOP moderates will suddenly decide to come in from the cold. Negative interpretation: He’s being a squish.
    -DADT!!! I was not expecting that to show up on the SOTU. More importantly though we get to see Bob bloody Gates applauding the demise of the policy. That seems definitive for me, DADT is doomed, it’s just a question of when. Awfully nice of Obama to include that for me. His operatives here in Minnesota must be good.
    -Bipartisan commission on reducing the deficit… huh pretty snore there. Ten certified experts sit around drinking coffee and rubbing their chins for six months then come out to say that we should end the wars, cut spending and reform entitlements! Amazing!! Maybe I should send in my resume.

    Overall pretty decent. I would have liked more spit and vinegar but it’s a heck of a lot better than the panicked retreat or vacuous nonsense I was fearing. I’d give him an A- .Report

    • Avatar Kyle in reply to North
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      says:

      If anything I enjoyed making superficial comments more than substantive ones. The Democrats should stay away from bright colors, they looked like a Cheer commercial or alternatively as though they were sponsored by Crayola. FLOTUS looked amazing and the President’s make up made him look vaguely clay like for about twenty minutes.

      Bob Gates is surprisingly short and I’m not sure Eric Holder’s mustache is doing him any favors. Poor Tim Geithner looked terrible. Finally, I thought it was a toss up as to who wields more power while being strikingly small framed, Olympia Snowe or Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

      I also wondered just how much of America was struck by the sea of Lavender behind the President. Meta or just distracted, I can’t say.Report

  7. Avatar Lev
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    says:

    I’m somewhat less freaked out by SCOTUS’s CFR decision than most liberals seem to be, and I don’t really think corporate money shifting from PACs and 527s and Party Committees to candidates isn’t the end of democracy. But that reaction shot of the Supreme Court was perhaps the most brutal part of the speech. Those people looked OLD. Half of them at least looked like they should have had respirators on hand. And they really did bring this on themselves. Respect for precedent and Congress…buzzwords, all.Report

  8. Avatar Zeke
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    says:

    Midway through Memories of Ice, huh? Well let me ask you this: would you agree that the Tenescowri are one of the more horrifying things you’ve read in a fantasy novel, like, ever?Report

  9. Avatar mike farmer
    Ignored
    says:

    It was a disjointed speech full of contradictions. It was patronizing, much like a lecture, which caused me to think how undeserved and unearned this air of superiority has become. There was no inspiration — it was simply a confirmation of a progressive agenda, flat, with a tricks thrown in to divert attention — not a good speech at all. If you listened to this speech, then followed it with a speech from Reagan, you could get a much better picture of the defeciencies.Report

  10. Avatar Bob Cheeks
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    says:

    Compared to an Arlen Specter speech it was good, but his speeches are always delivered well…it’s the content. Rather than tracking to the center, abandoning his radical leftist agenda he’s circling the wagons, throwing a bone or two here and there, and challenging his opposition.
    If the story of Taxechewsetts tells us anything, it’s that his opposition is growing.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Bob Cheeks
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      says:

      He and his congresslizards were elected to a 4 and 2 year term respectively. The special election of course is significant but if he and they think that HCR is a good bill (and despite it’s porktacular nature I’ve seen some good arguments to that effect) then they are entitled and somewhat obligated to try and herd enough cats to pass the thing and then face the voters. If they’re wrong well then let the Republicans run on repealing it and flatten the Democrats. That should settle the argument at least. But if the liberals are right, the thing isn’t death on stilts and the voters actually notice that once it’s all down in black and white then maybe it’ll be the Republicans running for the hills.Report

  11. Avatar Andy L.
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    says:

    I had the SOTU on in the background while I played Dragon Age: Origins on my PC. It’s an excellent single-player computer RPG similar to the old Baldur’s Gate games.

    Isn’t Whiskeyjack a great character?Report

  12. Avatar Tim Kowal
    Ignored
    says:

    The novel’s not so archaic—only about 400 years old if you take Don Quixote to be the first true novel.Report

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