Tuesday, January 25, 2011

State Of The Union Time

State Of The Union Time 2011 - Before President Obama goes before the nation for the State of the Union address, conservative blogger and former presidential speechwriter David Frum offers him a draft. A real one.

Tuesday night, Senators, Congressmen, Supreme Court Justices, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a few guests (usually invited to be used as emotional props) will join President Obama for his third State of the Union address.

The format is predictable and boring.

Every one will dutifully rise and applaud wildly at the President’s entrance. He will make his way down the aisle at an interminably slow pace that would embarrass a lame tortoise, shaking hands with everyone within reach and pretending to like even his most ardent opponents. Upon being introduced, he will approach the podium to another thunderous round of applause that will last for an absurdly long time. Then, the President will deliver his carefully scripted, politically-driven State of the Union address; glancing between Teleprompters as if he were watching a tennis match. While we will be spared the spectacle of Nancy Pelosi doing her impression of a trained seal when the President even clears his throat, he will still receive a standing ovation from his Democratic colleagues for almost every point he makes. Even the Republicans will occasionally be forced to join in the celebration although they’ll do their best to try to look disgusted the rest of the time. When it’s all over, pundits from both sides will provide us with their translation of what the President just said … as if he had been speaking in a foreign language we didn’t understand.

If the government didn’t control the FCC, these speeches would never be aired. What if we reshaped the State of the Union to reflect the flair of reality TV and let the audience participate in some way? Maybe people would actually watch the address instead of changing channels to see Snooki getting arrested.

For starters, let’s eliminate Teleprompters and the use of notes. Contestants on American Idol don’t get to use a monitor or sheet music. If they forget the words, that’s part of the fun! Republicans and Democrats could wear tribal buffs just like on Survivor. Best of all: Maury Povich could hook the President up to a lie detector to make sure he was telling the truth. In the end, the audience could call an 800 number or text a code to cast their votes for their favorite issue, and the government would be compelled to fix the top two. Oh sure, there wouldn’t be any way of screening people to determine whether they were legitimate citizens who were of voting age, but it doesn’t appear that we do that in our regular elections.

We could also eliminate the useless pomp-and-circumstance at the beginning as well as all of the needless displays of sycophantic support. We could sell the time we saved to advertisers and use the proceeds to help reduce the national debt (think Super Bowl-type revenue). So without further adieu, I think the show would go like this.


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