So the much-anticipated State of the Union Address has come and gone. Quite frankly, I'm not one for big, grandiose, meticulously written and rehearsed, teleprompted speeches. Something about the staginess of it all makes it seemed contrived and lacking sincerity. I'm much more the town hall, wrestling match kind of guy. I like the unpredictability, and perhaps the mayhem, of that particular forum. Nothing like catching a politician in an unscripted moment.
But I do love all the pomp and circumstance of these big televised government spectacles, replete with hokey symbolism and wannabe monarchism. It's pure theater. While they're often snarky and confrontational, as President Obama deftly demonstrated Wednesday night--or as Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) did back in September with his "You Lie!" outburst to Obama--they're absent the silly, wig-wearin' screaming matches of the British Parliament, or the knock-down, drag-out mega-brawls of the Japanese. (Personally, I'd love to see Barney Frank knock the crap out of House Republican Whip Eric Cantor sometime.)
To me, the real excitement in the State of the Union Address was not what was said onstage, but what happened offstage. So in no particular order, here are a few of my favorite moments from the President's address:
-When Obama promised to repeal the "Don't ask Don't Tell" ban on openly gay men and women in the military, the generals looked more uncomfortable than if they were getting blown by Clay Aiken
-The generals looking like 5-year-olds in a time-out when Obama said he's ending the Iraq War
-Nancy Pelosi looking like she'd been sniffing glue all night
-Joe Biden looking and acting more like Jason Sudeikis' Saturday Night Live" Biden parody than his real self
-Personally, I can never get enough of Eric Cantor's smug smirk
-Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) yawning just 5 minutes into the speech, looking like he was past his bedtime at 9:05 p.m. Are we keepin' ya up, Harry?
-The sheer ridiculousness of the non-stop standing, sitting, standing, sitting, standing, sitting. It's like a freakin' Tae Bovideo
-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) looking like he wanted to kill the president
-House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) squeezing his ass cheeks so hard to avoid laughing when Obama joked that he expected some applause from Republicans after mentioning tax cuts. C'mon John, you can laugh at the other side's jokes once in a while. They won't kick ya out of the caucus.
-Nothing but crickets from the Republican section when Obama discussed tax cuts. Man, nothing shows the likelihood of true bipartisanship more than conservatives silent over sweeping tax cuts.
-The Supreme Court Justices looking as though they were in a collective coma
-Justice Samuel Alito looking like he had an Irritable bowl syndrome attack, and mouthing "not true," when Obama chastised the court for its recent ruling on campaign finance
-Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) looking characteristically constipated the whole night
-Watching the virtually silent Republican section looking like a bunch of spoiled rotten, defiant, mocking children bucking authority
-Watching Republicans oddly silent at the President's promise to make banks and financial institutions pay back all of their bailout money. Perhaps TARP actually stands for "Totally Amoral Republican Posturing?"
-Republicans having that "Are you fucking kidding me?" look on their faces as Obama asked them to join him in passing health care reform
-Obama fantasizing about bringing civility and bipartisanship back to Washington. Poor guy probably believes in the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny too.