I love our Constitution including the Bill of Rights (though the tip is still NOT reflected after all this time), but I'm not sure how we got from Article 2, Section 3, "(h)e shall from time to time," to a night-long talk fest where, at the end, to borrow from Bob Dylan, nothing is revealed.
It's the Father of Our Country who set a precedent, a Presidential Precedent if you will, by taking from 'time to time' to mean annually BUT (emphasis desired) he wrote his more or less as a report, as did all Presidents through William Howard Taft in 1912. The annual gabfest is really the creation of Franklin Delano Roosevelt who perhaps had terrible handwriting. In any event, thank you, sir.
I don't watch the addresses anymore and I didn't watch President Obama this past Tuesday night not because I'm a lousy American (I'm not; my blood type is red, white and blue) but because thanks to a thousand sources of information, all exploited by everyone who has something to say, I and you knew what was in it before he opened his mouth.
And in case you wondered because I do know folks who get upset when it's on, it's not that I dislike that 'my regular TV is ruined' not when there's dross like Dads and Sean Saves the World as programming. In those cases, and dozens more, please make a speech, I insist. I'll even wait while you write it.
The parts of all of this for which I see no reason include, but are not limited to: talking heads in the TV studios and beyond them, usually outside in a dark place with the Capitol Dome lit behind them, talking about what the President is going to say.
Then the President says it and we go back to the talking heads who tell me what I just heard him say which is what they had told me earlier he would say.
To me, this is sort of like Evel Knieval at Snake River Canyon. We (okay, I) only tune in to see if the President, actually this President, is going to turn around and pull that Orange is the New Speaker Guy over his desk by his suit jacket lapels and thrash him. To my unending disappointment, he never does. Decorum rules. Yawn.
But there's more. As tissue-paper flimsy as the 'constitutional requirement' for all of this is, there's even less reason for the other guys (and gals) to do whatever the heck it is they do immediately afterwards.
Sometimes, between the counter-speech (does it have a more technical name such as the "yeah-but address" since that's pretty well all that comes across during it) and those microphones seeking a reaction from the mouth in the middle of the face of X or Y party stalwart Congressperson/Senator Curtis (or Christine) Goatheart, I wonder if they listened to anything said by anyone at anytime in the course of the evening.
I was told, though I missed it (shucks (and not my first choice of words)) there was a Tea Party Reply, Rebuttal or Rejoinder as well as one by Senator Rand Paul. The latter was, I assume, like the person delivering it, broadcast somewhere above the police calls. How, I wonder, does that tin foil hat he usually wears not set off the metal detectors in the Senate Office Building?
Not sure what to make of the reported behavior of Congressman Michael Grimm, from New York City's Forgotten Borough as reported in, among other places, here, but what a beautiful day in the neighborhood he must have been having. The Congressman apologized later in the week and accepted 'full responsibilities for my actions' which, sir, is what adults are supposed to.
I have been known to make the argument, you asshat, that accepting responsibility is what makes an adult an adult.
I'd point that out to Mr. Grimm with little hesitation and even less trepidation as we live in a ground floor apartment and have no balconies whatsoever, "f***ing" or otherwise, from which I might be thrown or hurled like a grey-haired javelin with a bald spot.
Mr. Grimm spent a not inconsiderable part of his earlier years defending this nation and its Constitution so perhaps on the barge ride home he could study the aforementioned Bill of Rights and see how each is designed to complement and enhance the others. Especially the first one, Congressman.