- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 25, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I wonder if the Founding Fathers could have envisioned the nature of the modern State of the Union address, an event that is always heavy on pomp and circumstance, but which has essentially degenerated into farce (“Obama calls for taxes, investments,” Page 1, Wednesday).

The public officials who attend are always all smiles and appear thrilled to be there. They are on their best behavior and the president receives deference from them in most respects. It would be easy to conclude from observing the attendees that bipartisanship is alive and well in America.

Those who know better recognize that the president’s foes are usually ready to strike upon the conclusion of his address. They know in advance what he will say and many begin condemning his plans even before the speech is delivered.

The president always makes a stirring speech, highlighting his perceived accomplishments and calling for new initiatives. Few, if any, of these ever come to fruition.

The speech is repeatedly interrupted by applause and standing ovations from the party faithful, while those on the opposite side of the aisle sit on their hands to express disapproval.

It is easy to understand why most Americans consider the State of the Union address a waste of time.

OREN M. SPIEGLER

Upper St. Clair, Pa.

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