SotU Warmup Open Thread: Well-Aged Vegetables At the Ready


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I don’t intend to watch, but I’ll probably be scanning my favorite twitter feeds.

Let’s check in with a couple prominent professional ex-Repubs, shall we?

Jen Rubin, in the Washington Post, “Can we skip to the State of the Union response?”:

Trump’s State of the Union also suffers because he has become a bore — regurgitating the same points, incorporating no new ideas or information (for he is incapable of learning) and spouting the same know-nothingism. He is drearily predictable.

With near-certainty, Trump will utter repeatedly debunked lies, lots of them. He’ll talk about national unity but take no responsibility for the deep divisions he has caused nor for the racism and hatefulness he has exhibited. He’ll make a slew of unfounded foreign policy pronouncements attributing newfound (and nonexistent) respect in the world to his own brilliance. (He seems not to notice that he is the subject of international derision and an endless source of frustration to allies.)

At least with a teleprompter, he can avoid the kind of word salads — or as Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) calls them, “word vomit” — he tossed up in his interview with CBS’s Margaret Brennan….

Abrams can remind the country that we aren’t consigned in perpetuity to a president entirely lacking in intelligence, empathy and decency. About a year from now the presidential primary voting process begins. Voters will have a chance to find Trump’s replacement — someone new, interesting, grounded in reality, personally decent and inspirational. When we see the Trump vs. Abrams contrast on Tuesday, we’ll get a taste of what it might be like to have a president we can respect, maybe even admire. Abrams’s appearance should underscore that 2020 will be the ultimate change election.


Rick Wilson, at The Bulwark, takes a professional angle:

At this very moment, a small army of White House aides is scrambling, circled around a computer in an office in the West Wing pecking out a State of the Shitshow speech they hope will “capture the voice” of a president more given to grunts and verbal excrescences than the lofty rhetoric of presidents. Here’s a spoiler; their work won’t matter.

That’s not merely because when the Trump administration sends us their speechwriters, they’re not sending their best. They are sending the indifferently educated, culturally buffoonish, shiftier dregs of authoritarian nationalist fanboys Donald Trump manages to recruit from random bus stations, hobo squats, and TPUSA Trump Young Pioneers camps…

Of course, Trump will engage in some Bannonesqe self-pleasuring on the front end, but that comes with the territory for American’s tallest, fittest, most intelligent President. It will be Soviet in its affront to reality; every promise has been kept, the beet harvest exceeds the Five Year Plan, and tractor production exceeds that of the decadent West. You know the drill. His victory lap will be a field day for Daniel Dale and the army of fact-checkers who catalog Trump’s minute-by-minute catalog of lies…

The media will, of course, fall into one of the traps they so frequently do when it comes to this president. They continue to treat Trump as if his statements, proposals, and policy announcements have any actual weight or merit. These items are added to the Trump speech only at the last moment, and only as concessions by a president whose advisers have as much luck holding his interest on policy as they would teaching a dog Sanskrit…

Typically, these kinds of middle-ground happy-talk policies are meant to bridge partisan divides and capture voters outside the rigid ideological silos. Presidents of both parties use them, to varying effect. In this president’s case, they’re meant to capture the attention of 2,500 writers, opinion editors, and columnists. Not one of these idiot-bait fantasies will ever be backed up by meaningful policy or legislative action.

They’re designed to be a touch-back for the White House later; “See, we tried to do a Toilet Seat Safety Standards bill! It was in the State of the Union.”

The media still doesn’t understand this, even after two years of Infrastructure Weeks. Watch how many pixels and column inches tomorrow are dedicated to the presidential vaporware the Troika of Truthlessness shoves into this speech…

America will be watching tonight to see a master class in defining the presidency way, way down. Ever the showman, Trump can’t help but disappoint.

And yet, no matter how crass you consider Donny Dollhands, he can always find a new low…

87 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    In honor of the SOTU, I’m wearing nothing at all.

  2. 2

    I will watch. It’s a good opportunity for knitting a project I want to complete fairly soon. I will also occasionally tweet.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Are you knitting the Devil’s Blanket?

  4. 4

    And, btw,

  5. 5
    dmsilev says:

    So, the website is going to “broadcast” a list of donor names? That is impressive, in a way, in the purity of its grift. Also, broadcasting a list of “here’s a bunch of really stupid suckers”…

  6. 6

    @Baud: Nope. Will post maybe when it’s finished.

  7. 7
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: Film at 11!

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Socks? The Devil’s Socks?

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    No one has ever streaked the SOTU. Just sayin’.

  10. 10
    Anne Laurie says:

  11. 11
    namekarB says:

    I almost want to donate $5 using the name Howard Schultz

  12. 12
    Crosspalms says:

    When he walks in, who will shake the hand that grabs the pussy?

  13. 13

    I’m kind of surprised that nobody has written an alternative (that is, accurate) State of the Union.

    The State of the Union stinks.

    We are separating ourselves from historic allies and the international order we built with them. We separate children from their parents seeking asylum at our southern border. Lies permeate every official pronouncement…

    I thought about doing it, but it’s too depressing.

  14. 14
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    My plan is to watch it minimally — I understand that every time there’s a click away or off is bad news for President Shitgibbon — but I do plan to track the Wonkette and Daniel Dale livestream commentaries, as well as whatever snark shows up here on BJ.

  15. 15
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Hard pass. I have better things to do than scream at my TV for over an hour tonight.

    To the rest of you, I hope you have plenty of your preferred beverage nearby…

  16. 16
    A Ghost To Most says:

    I would watch only for the promised real-time fact checking. Luckily, I can catch the 3rd period of the Capitals game instead.

    Those of you playing drinking games, be careful out there.

  17. 17
    pat says:

    I’m watching MSNBC. Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow, Nichole Wallace, Eugene Robinson….

    Pretty good so far…

  18. 18

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  20. 20
    Ken says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Our own Madame DeFarge.

  21. 21
    chopper says:

    why would i be at all interested in watching the bloviations of that rat-soup-eating, no-business, born-insecure motherfucker?

  22. 22
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  24. 24
    The Dangerman says:

    …Bannonesqe self-pleasuring on the front end…

    Aieeeeeeeeeh!

    /Opus (the Penguin)

  25. 25
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Baud:

    No one has ever streaked the SOTU. Just sayin’.

    Le jour de gloire est arrivé, Baud.

  26. 26
    Jay says:

    Crooks and Liars reports that a bunch of Brexiteer’s are pressuring May, to have Needy Amin solve the Irish Border Problem.

    There is no peak stupid.

  27. 27
    chopper says:

    Of course, Trump will engage in some Bannonesqe self-pleasuring on the front end, but that comes with the territory for American’s tallest, fittest, most intelligent President. It will be Soviet in its affront to reality; every promise has been kept, the beet harvest exceeds the Five Year Plan, and tractor production exceeds that of the decadent West.

    i hear the chocolate ration went up!

  28. 28
  29. 29
    chopper says:

    @Baud:

    the yarn is made of pure evil. the purest, in fact.

  30. 30
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I doubt I could be trusted to watch it with pointy objects in hand.

  31. 31
    Raven says:

    @Crosspalms: Reminds me of a story my dad told me about running into Artie Shaw in a latrine on Guadalcanal. They shook hands and Artie made reference to his wife, Lana Turner.

  32. 32
    chopper says:

    @dmsilev:

    i mean, we could all donate five cents and put “heywood jablowme” down as a name. couldn’t hurt.

  33. 33
    lollipopguild says:

    @Baud: President Baud will be campaigning naked because he has nothing to hide.

  34. 34
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I had an ear worm of La Marseillaise earlier, now it’s back

  35. 35
    JMG says:

    I never watched States of the Unions, not even those of Presidents I liked, so I sure as hell won’t see this one. If it staggers into the news cycle as long as Friday I’ll be surprised.

  36. 36
    Randalms says:

    @dmsilev: do I have to use my real name? How fast can I legally change my name to “Trump Sucks”

  37. 37
  38. 38
    Yarrow says:

    Reposting from below:
    I’m watching CNN but will turn it off before the SOTU starts. I happened to catch an interview with AOC and her guest, the woman who confronted Jeff Flake in the elevator. Apparently many of the women representatives are wearing white.

    Also I caught a short commercial for a series coming up on CNN, “Tricky Dick.” Starts in March.

  39. 39
    chloe says:

    @Baud: Stupid sexy Baud.

  40. 40
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Baud:

    You need David Niven for that.

  41. 41

    Has the beard on Cruz’s face started its own twitter account yet?

  42. 42
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Just pulled up C-SPAN video stream. Nancy SMASH looks fanfuckingtastic: white suit (pantsuit, probably) with that terrific blue and red choker we’ve seen her wear in the last week or so. Womyn Power, patriotic colors: she is going to kill it tonight just by sitting there behind him.

  43. 43
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    I like to see Speaker Pelosi do an imitation of the kid who made faces at the Trump Rally. Also coughing and sneezing of the word bullsh*t like John Belushi, performed by the Democratic members. Hey if they can utter “you lie!” Let’s throw it back in their faces.

  44. 44
    Wag says:

    I have had my share of disagreements with Ms Rubin over the years, but I absolutely welcome her to out big tent of Trump haters. After I Dem replaces Trump, I have little doubt that she will revert to her old ways, but I’ll cheaish our brief fling.

  45. 45
    trollhattan says:

    @Raven:

    They shook hands and Artie made reference to his wife, Lana Turner.

    I’ll see your va, and raise you a va-voom.

  46. 46
    Raven says:

    @trollhattan: Shake hands with the hand that. . .

  47. 47
    trollhattan says:

    @TaMara (HFG):
    Hey, that’s my congresscritter!

    What’s our favorite freshman Arizona senator wearing?

  48. 48
    trollhattan says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee:
    I’d be totally on board with Nancy SMASH texting and touching up her nail polish and occasionally giving Pence a noogie.

  49. 49
    Elizabelle says:

    Dropping jacy’s fundraising info into this thread. Don’t think of the orange asshole! Think of sending a few bucks jacy’s way.

    She is $6,544 towards her $10,000 goal. Dropped the total needed a bit since etsy sales were doing well.

    You know you want to donate (again).

  50. 50
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Raven: Ha! I didn’t. I think my friends and I went to see that in the theaters when it was released and were too young to get the jokes. At 11, I doubt I’d seen Casablanca yet much less the Maltese Falcon. I should watch it now that I’ve got so many of those old movies half memorized. Helluva cast.

  51. 51
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    My local NPR culture vulture had the author of “We’ll Always Have Casablanca” on a few days ago. Haven’t been able to shake the “Watch on the Rhine/Marseillaise” scene ever since.

  52. 52
    Raven says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: It’s hilarious. . . “no tip, war veteran”! Marsha Mason was one of my favorites. Ever see Cinderella Liberty with her and Jimmy Cann?

  53. 53

  54. 54
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:

    Trump snorting and snuffling and wheezing offa teleprompter: like watching a feral rabid beast slowly succumb to a tranquilizer dart. Low energy. Sad!

  55. 55
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Raven:

    Shake hands with the hand that. . .

    “I Danced with a Man who Danced with a Girl who Danced with the Prince of Wales.”

  56. 56
    Raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Watch the Betty La Boop clip I posted.

  57. 57

    OMG, Rick Perry. WE. ARE. DOOMED. #designatedsurvivor

  58. 58
    Raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Much more civil than Artie Shaw was.

  59. 59
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    So The Beast had a luncheon with news anchors today…

    @ JonLemire
    Trump: “Biden was never very smart. He was a terrible student. His gaffes are unbelievable. When I say something that you might think is a gaffe, it’s on purpose; it’s not a gaffe. When Biden say something dumb, it’s because he’s dumb.”

    Justin Sink @ justinsink
    “This president is going to call for an end to the politics of resistance, retribution and call for more comity”

  60. 60
    trollhattan says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    Sweet mother of god. “There are three things I remember about running the country: Be presidential; Eat more fiber; uh…”

  61. 61
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Baud:
    Pictures, or it didn’t happen.

  62. 62
    sdhays says:

    …a small army of White House aides is scrambling, circled around a computer in an office in the West Wing pecking out a State of the Shitshow speech they hope will “capture the voice” of a president more given to grunts and verbal excrescences than the lofty rhetoric of presidents. Here’s a spoiler; their work won’t matter.

    This still amazes me. Why would anyone lose any sleep or “scramble” over writing any speeches for President Dollhands? At best, he slouches through the prose, butchering it while he struggles with the teleprompter and he won’t give one shit what it says, even as he’s saying. He probably won’t even understand it; he just makes the noises that seem to be words. It means nothing to him, beyond being praised for performing it. And whatever he says in a speech has less importance than the feces he regularly flings on twitter. Everyone will have forgotten it by tomorrow, and no one will ever discuss it ever again.

    How do these people convince themselves that anything they do matters?

  63. 63
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @trollhattan:

    Oops.

  64. 64
    Amir Khalid says:

    @chopper:
    That guy used to comment here, didn’t he?

  65. 65
    CaseyL says:

    I’ll be following here and on twitter. When it’s time to hear Stacey Abrams, I may then turn on the TV.

    Speaking of which: Does anyone know if the Democratic response also carried on C-SPAN?

  66. 66
  67. 67
    Jeffro says:

    @Anne Laurie: That second suggestion is just pure gold. Plz, Nancy Smash!!

    He wouldn’t keep checking ’cause he wouldn’t know. But in the meantime, his acolytes on the GOP side of the aisle would be squirming to say something as their staff lit up their phones.

  68. 68
    Elizabelle says:

    It makes me ill that Trump is giving the SOTU and not Hillary.

  69. 69

    Wow – not a woman in line to shake fat cheeto’s hand. Just a bunch of old white guys. Oops, there’s a person of color. So I guess he’s not a racist? //

  70. 70
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    What a waste of electricity broadcasting the mumblings of this demented toddler stuck in a 72 year old body.

  71. 71
    Mary G says:

    I always watch for some strange compulsive reason, and he is coming down the aisle shaking hands with 30 white men in dark suits and one older white woman who dared to wear medium blue. Democrats are clapping as unenthusiastically as possible. Like QE2 clapping.

  72. 72
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    I just donated $5 in the name, I.M. Peach

  73. 73
    J R in WV says:

    @Mary G:

    I have to say, I could stand there, hands still, at my side. Would not be able to clap for this bumbling idiot. Not at all!

  74. 74
    The Lodger says:

    @chopper: You know you get better results with 85% evil, 15% spandex.

  75. 75
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @trollhattan: Sweet mother of god. “There are three things I remember about running the country: Be presidential; Eat more fiber; uh…”

    and dance Dance DANCE like no one’s watching!
    That would be funnier if I were some front page big shot who could embed gifs. and if the borked link button hadn’t delayed this post till the thread died.

  76. 76
  77. 77
    sukabi says:

    @Anne Laurie: if she tapped her chin every time he lies she’ll knock herself out.

  78. 78
    Mathguy says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: @Cheryl Rofer: The comments to the tweet over on Twitter are filled with the usual MAGAt droppings, oozing with ahistorical nonsense (“Democrats fought suffrage!”) and petty crap.

  79. 79
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Mathguy:
    They’re really saying

    “Ich bin ein treues Mitglied der Gesichterfressendeleopardenpartei.”

  80. 80
    Another Scott says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Schumer presented one earlier today. It was pretty comprehensive. I heard bits and pieces of it on CSPAN radio on the way home.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  81. 81
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Amir Khalid: Golf clap. You worked hard on that comment.

  82. 82
    Crosspalms says:

    @Raven: My dad was a Navy air/sea rescue pilot in the Pacific then, and I bet he would have loved to have run into Artie Shaw. Points to Artie for a) being in a combat zone and b) talking about his wife, so I score it Artie 2, DJT 0.

  83. 83
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Raven:

    Reminds me of a story my dad told me about running into Artie Shaw in a latrine on Guadalcanal. They shook hands and Artie made reference to his wife, Lana Turner.

    If it involves the quip “Shake the hand that shakes the dick that put the stick to… “ I remember it from a 1960s H. Allen Smith collection — only IIRC it was Betty Grable’s ex.

    (At least they didn’t have visual memes in those days!)

  84. 84
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    McKay Coppins @ mckaycoppins
    Seems like he thought that “there can’t be war and investigation” line was going to be a bigger applause line than it was.

  85. 85
    Crosspalms says:

    How did an overweight Serbian war criminal wind up in the White House? Shouldn’t he be in The Hague?

  86. 86
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    JustRuss says:

    When Jen Rubin gleefully jumps back into the Republican party after President Harris is elected, I want the Post to publish this column every week for at least four years, and every day when Abrams is running for senator/governor.

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