When I was a kid I checked out of the traveling Bookmobile an even-then-elderly book about the prologue to World War II; I think it was The House that Hitler Built, by Stephen Roberts. I didn’t really read it, but I remember one sentence that I think was in that book. It was about the Reichstag, which was full of Nazis. The author says that at every remark Hitler addressed to these legislative nonentities, “all the automata” would “jump up and shout.”
You see the application to President Biden’s state of the union speech, which was interrupted by applause 91 times.
The Constitution says of the president that “he shall from time to time give to the Congress Information on the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” That’s it. President Washington’s first state of the union address was 1,088 words long, and it was sent to Congress in writing. That was good enough; they could read it if they had the time. Until the administration of the pompous Mr. Woodrow Wilson, that’s the way the speech was handled. Big deal.
Who would write stuff like that? More to the point: who would jump up and applaud it?
But now it’s on television, it lasts for an hour and a half, and it is conceded in advance to be so full of idiocies that pundits spend their time discussing the various kinds of trickery it will contain and whether these acts of cunning will succeed in finding enough fools to believe them.
A sample of this year’s attempted cunning is a passage in which Biden claims that America is “the only nation that can be defined by a single word: possibilities.”
What the hell? Who would write stuff like that? More to the point: who would jump up and applaud it? The Senate and House of the United States of America, that’s who.
I don’t need to tell you how bad, how very bad, the whole of that speech was. I’ll just mention that at the end Biden yelled, “Go get him!” Nobody knows what he meant by that, but almost everyone in the audience was cheering when he said it.