It’s that time of year once again. Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution requires that the President
…shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient…
Not that it’s required to be annual, or at any particular time of year, but tradition dictates that it’s annually in the second half of January.
In any case, this year will be interesting. We have a Republican House, with the Tea Party all but declaring ownership of the right side of the aisle. And not even two weeks from the day that a member of the House, one literally targeted by the Tea Party, was shot in the head.
In light of the rancor, which has been growing exponentially since at least Clinton’s 1992 election, it’s encouraging to see that some members of Congress (including, to my surprise, Rep. Joe Wilson) are willing to literally cross the aisle to sit with members of the opposing party during the State of the Union. Sadly, some have chosen to eschew the opportunity, claiming that it’s a political trick.
Contributing to divisiveness, those members of the Supreme Court nominated by Republican Presidents are expected to pass on attending, while those nominated by Democrats are expected to be present.
The word on the street is that Obama will focus his attention before Congress on investments in the future competitiveness of the US. It’s hard for me to find anything wrong with that goal. I suppose the contention will revolve around money and national standards.
Most intriguing to me, in a tabloid newspaper kind of way, is what’s to come after the speech. Rep. Paul Ryan is giving the official Republican response to the speech. And then, along will come Rep. Michele Bachmann, to give the…unofficial response? She’s giving the Tea Party perspective, and since there isn’t officially an official party, it’s hard to know just what to call it.
Whatever it is, it’s pretty clear that Bachmann is angling for a nomination for President. Are we looking at a widening division within the nation’s conservative wing of politics?
- Paul Ryan Giving GOP Response To SOTU, But Michelle Bachmann Will Give Her Own (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Michele Bachmann, the other red meat, to deliver own response to SOTU speech (dailykos.com)
- Expect more civil than sizzle from Obama (philly.com)
- Joe Wilson To Sit With Democrats At State Of The Union (huffingtonpost.com)
- Republicans Rehearsing Grouchy Facial Expressions for State of the Union (borowitzreport.com)