Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I love me a state of the union.....

It really does not matter whether the president is a Republican or a Democrat, I am always fascinated by the late January ritual in Washington, the State of the Union. Obama first real one fulfills my simplistic expectations of a brief love feast between irreconcilable enemies. All the usual cliches and paraphernalia are present, but this year I was sensitive to two in particular.

Obama was received warmly by the Republican appointed Chief Justice. I know, I know, they all play their part but yet there seems to be enough sincerity and respect between the two guys to make that moment, shall I dare say it?, institutional.

The other thing that hit more than usual is that no one besides the army chiefs wore medals. That republican simplicity where many a Senator is different from the President just because he may be wearing a better tailored suit.

Of course I am just a Venezuelan where today such a spectacle is simply unthinkable. When my president gives his state of the union speech, he arrives with all sorts of medals and ribbons on his chest. The other powers of the state seat on his side and look subdued enough in a silly pretense of equality that fools no one. In America the Speaker watches from above and the Chief Justice observes from below. The symbol is not lost, no matter what party holds which spot.

In America Congress applauds or only one aisle. On occasion the other aisle may groan some, but the President makes his speech. In America the President is the center of attention but the other attendants are not mere stone guests. In Venezuela it is all about my president.  In the United States of America all is there to try to avoid the president becoming the bloated howling monkey that mine has become.


  1. 1979 Boat People11:31 PM

    Typo in:

    "...aisle my groan some,..."

    "...aisle may groan some,..."?

  2. Never thought of it that way.
    Great observation.

  3. He is almost as arrogant as Hugo and we have renamed this the State of Obama speech. heh. Ideologically they are too close for comfort.

    Criticizing the Supreme Court is a no-no. That will have reverberations. I hope he doesn't start thinking he has dictatorial powers.

    Oh, thats WHY he criticized them, they refused to give him book and film (& other) banning powers.

  4. United

    PLEASE! Observe that my post is absolutely non partisan. I am commenting on the general style of the event, not on whether Obama se la comio o la cago.

  5. What is 'supposed' to happen is that our servant, the President and Chief Executive, is to report back to our representatives on the state of the union.

    Its a beautiful system that was suppose to reinforce that it is we the people who are in charge of the government.

    [deletes everything else out of respect for Daniels call for non-partisanship]

  6. Anonymous12:27 AM

    I heard a favorable mention for free trade with Columbia...the Democrats are coming over to the Republican position.

  7. And notice that the military (joint chiefs) and the supreme justices do NOT applaud ever. No "uh ah ... no se vá" in the states.

  8. Anonymous10:26 AM

    I agree with Daniel. The State of the Union Speech clearly shows that a President is supposed to preside; that a president addresses the nation as a whole and all its citizens. A president is entitled to his agenda, but must show leadership and respect in how he addresses his opponents. This Obama, and all other US presidents that I have seen in the last thirty years, have always done. Chacumbele...well, that's an entirely different story.

    Pelao Manrique

  9. sheik yer bouti10:43 AM

    then you must have gotten a tingle up your leg like Chris Mathews when he advocated the elimination of the chicken shit Clinton "dont ask dont tell " policy about gays in the military

    how many gays are in the Venz military by the way?

  10. Juanimador11:29 AM

    They better pony up for that free trade agreement. Otherwise the U.S. wouldn't be very kind to it's MVP ally in the region...

  11. Anonymous12:25 PM

    Daniel I can't say I am so optimistic about about the civility in Congress, especially in regards to Obama this past year. For example Joe Wilson yelling during Obama's speech and now Justice Alito breaking protocol. So disappointing. Although I must say compared to what Chavez has turned the Venezuelan government into most things seem pretty civilized

    BTW, glad your feeling better

  12. Marypuchy12:35 PM

    That was one "sorry ass" State of the Union Address if there ever was one............. Absolutely pitiful!!!!!!!

    America needs to wake the f**k up!

  13. 1979 Boat People1:55 PM


    Bill Clinton hails Canadian generosity to Haiti, urges others to continue effort

    Proud to be Canadian.

  14. Milonga2:18 PM

    In the US the President would not need to close down a TV station for NOT broadcasting his speech, since they fight and pay for doing so! That's a "cadena" to watch, because it only happens once a year and has rules with regards length of speech, etc. showing respect for listeners, something that Chavez never had!

  15. Anonymous4:46 PM


    protocol was broken when the executive branch leader went after a recent decision during the state of the union. He is trying to create enemies and me against them mentality all over. Him talking about the supreme court started the issue. otherwise agree with daniel


    I have just deleted a pro obama and an anti obama post.

    AGAIN: this post is about the ceremonial, not the content.


    i will remind some of you that this is not my first state of the union post as i also watched some of bush speeches. and clinton, and bush senior, and even reagan, by the way.

    grow up!!!!!

  17. Anonymous10:31 PM

    barqui, I'm not disagreeing with Daniel about the SOTU address and the clear difference between VZ and US. The point I was trying to get across is that those protocols seemed to be breaking down which is concerning. While you and I may not agree with the president expressing his displeasure about a supreme court ruling their is nothing inherently wrong with it. Frankly it is quite common (i.e. roe v wade how many times does this come up?). What is wrong, is for supreme court justices and the Joint Chiefs of Staff expressing emotion during the speech, and for good reason. As Greenwald states:

    "It's vital -- both as a matter of perception and reality -- that those institutions remain apolitical, separate and detached from partisan wars."

    What should we expect next "uh ah .... no se va" or "se va, se va, se va" from the justices?


  18. Yeah, I agree with you, Daniel. It’s a admiration coming from a country in North-eastern South America but for sure if it is taken to be a ritual, there are norms to follow. From the insider perspective, there is more to that speech than the way it appeared in the eyes of many spectators.

  19. "I heard a favorable mention for free trade with Columbia"

    There already is free trade with (the District of) Columbia, just not with Colombia - though I'm sure the latter is what anonymous heard. And while it may be on Obama's agenda enough (barely) for him to mention it in that speech, it's not going to make it through this Congress any time soon. Damn shame, too.

  20. 1979 Boat People4:39 PM

    Heck, i am not the last person mispelled the country name "Colombia" which i were mocked by Kepler last year.

    Sorry, Kepler.


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