State of the Union: Pre-game, Live Thread, and Reax

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website

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25 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    The big moment so far tonight, as far as I can tell from my particular bubble, is that Trump brought in Juan Guaido and called him the “legitimate President of Venezuela”.

  2. George Turner says:

    He awarded Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Melania walked right over and put it on him! Prior rumors were that they’d work on getting him the award over the coming months.

    I haven’t watched the rest of it because I have an upset stomach.

  3. Jaybird says:

    There’s a particular trick that Trump likes to use where he overstates good numbers and a certain segment of the media can be relied upon to “fact check” his numbers and explain that, no, instead of Trump’s statement that we haven’t had an unemployment rate this low since the 50’s, we had a lower rate in 1968 and we tied this rate in 1969. So we haven’t had an unemployment rate this low since the 60’s. The *LATE* 60’s, not the early 60’s.

    And so the fact checkers, in pointing out Trump’s mistake/lie, remake Trump’s point for him.

    Also, apparently, Rush Limbaugh got the Presidential Medal of Freedom? (Has he even been relevant since 2006 and announcing that he carries water for policies that he doesn’t agree with?)

    • greginak says:

      I think he was relevant enough to call a college student a slut during the Obama admin re: the birth control debate.

      • Jaybird says:

        Oh, yeah. The Sandra Fluke birth control thing.

        So he bubbled up once in 2012.

        Heck, maybe Rush is still relevant and I just don’t overlap with any of the circles that find him so.

        • InMD says:

          Pretty sure my grandma still listens to him every day, and has since approx 1992. My bet is no one you know listens to him because you and your social circle are not retirees.

          • Derek says:

            I listen to Rush for about 45 minutes 3 times a week. Definitely not a retiree.

            Most likely this came about because Rush has come out stating he has advanced lung cancer. Not a huge shock since he has been a heavy cigar smoker most of his life.

  4. InMD says:

    I’m curious if there’s ever been another military family reunion during SOTU. Maybe I’ve just missed it but this is bizarre.

  5. Saul Degraw says:

    Rush Limbaugh has done nothing with his life but spread hate and bile.

    • George Turner says:

      Rush Limbaugh has had the #1 program on US airwaves for one third of the entire existence of radio, which is simply astonishing. Not even Will Rogers could match that, and Will was unbelievably dominant.

      • Pinky says:

        I’ve never seen stats on this, but Limbaugh has got to be the most recorded person in history.

      • Stillwater says:

        A pretty successful musician I know, in response to someone running down Brittany Spears, said every one of the people who gain attention in the public eye have supreme talent, even if it’s not a type of talent you appreciate. Rush was popular. Massively popular. Hell, even I used to listen to him (in an anthropological observation sense, but whatever). When I think back on the contours of conservatism in the US from the 80s to now, it’s easy, and perhaps (lazily) all too easy, to attribute conservatism’s cultural resurgence to the singular efforts of Rush Limbaugh. I mean, he was not only iconic but occupied a place of centrality in cultural thought rarely achieved by pop culture intellectuals/analysts.

        • Chip Daniels says:

          Rush, along with Newt, was one of the forces that turned me away from conservatism.

          • Stillwater says:

            Listening to Rush helped me understand conservatism. He certainly didn’t push me away from it (or draw me into it). My takeaway was that, pretty consistently, Rush’s conservatism was grievance-based and grievance fueled, which (I think) is a time honored form of conservatism. It’s just not a type of conservatism I’m inclined to support.

            • Chip Daniels says:

              Yes. In 1980 as a naive and brash 20 year old I was enthused by the idea of a utopian conservatism that would solve the world’s problems, combat the Evil Empire and bring about justice.

              A decade later, as a 30 something who had been knocked around by life a bit, I saw that Rush (and Newt) had no real ideas other than the sulking grievance of the bitter divorced dad drinking alone at the end of the bar.

              • Stillwater says:

                My FIL is a) a diehard Limbaugh conservative who b) is a white male government-trained, government-employed, government-pensioned, Medicare-receiving *griever* who thinks Big Government Liberals are ruining America.

                Rush gave this man a voice!

              • InMD says:

                Sounds exactly like my uncle who I love very much, and who has been living off social security disability since his 50s.

              • Stillwater says:

                My FIL criticized Obamacare for being “too socialist”. I said, “well, what do you think Obama should have done instead?” He said something like the VA, or Medicare.

                Thanks Rush!

              • LeeEsq says:

                Got to love that American inconsistency. If Obama managed to do something like the VA or Medicare on a national scale, people would still blather about socialism.

              • Stillwater says:


                Dems = socialists

                Republicans = ~ Dems, therefore not socialists.

                Thanks Rush!

        • Saul Degraw says:

          I am not denying he wasn’t successful but everything you says below to Chip does not sound like it deserves a Presidential Medal of Freedom. This is the award given to people like Jonas Salk and Rosa Parks or Mr. Rodgers (by Bush II). It makes perfect sense for Trump to give it to Rush but the is still a grievance fueled bigot who earned millions by convincing white guys that they were the real victims

          • Jaybird says:

            Don’t forget Ellen!

            Instead of giving it to Rush, it probably would have been more appropriate to show her hugging Dumbya and rescinding it because it shouldn’t go to people who like War Criminals.

  6. Jaybird says:

    And Nancy Pelosi ripped it up at the end.

    Tweets about the SOTU that I saw tonight were limited to three categories:

    1. “I’m not watching the SOTU.”
    2. “I’m watching the SOTU and Trump is Evil!”
    3. “I’m watching the SOTU and Trump is Good!”

    (Note: My experience should not be mistaken for the experience of everyone.)

    • Stillwater says:

      4. Trump’s SOTU was kitchy reality TV but very effective and the Dems are in for a world of hurt going into the general election.

      • Jaybird says:

        While I would tend to agree, that sort of thing validates my priors so I’m trying to avoid that until the Democrats have a brokered convention or something. Riots.

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