Top O’ the Briefing

Happy Wednesday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends. Edwin could feel that his dream of owning a haberdashery and exotic kelp emporium was on the verge of coming true.

As far as American traditions go, the State of the Union Address may be one that we want to take a look at letting go of. Well, at least in its present form. I’m not saying that we should abandon the Constitution — quite the opposite — I think we should get back to the original directive. Write it down, drop it off, and be done with it.

This televised dog and pony show that we’re subjected to now gets worse the longer it goes on. I don’t even like the State of the Union Address when a president I voted for is in office.

Full disclosure: I did not vote for the dude who gave the speech last night.

Biden was his usual trainwreck self, phasing in and out of whatever narcotic cocktail they pump him full of for extended public appearances. A gifted orator the man never was. Now he’s just the weird uncle at the Thanksgiving table who everyone is waiting to do something that makes them all uncomfortable.

Matt was on fire with the fact checks for us last night. Here’s an example:

During his State of the Union address, Joe Biden once again blamed Vladimir Putin for inflation.

“Inflation has been a global problem because a pandemic directly disrupted our supply chains and Putin’s unfair and brutal war in Ukraine disrupted energy supplies, as well as food supplies, blocking all that grain and Ukraine.”

The pandemic certainly did have a negative impact on the worldwide economy, but the inflation rate in January 2021, when he took office, was a mere 1.4%, which was on par with the average inflation rate of 1.2% for all of 2020. Inflation started going up after Biden took office, and peaked at 9.1% in June of 2022.

The Biden-era Democrats do a lot of blaming because they don’t really have much in the way of their own accomplishments to point to. Every failure of theirs is excused with “But Putin!” or “But Trump!” If you didn’t watch the speech, you can catch up on Biden’s Pinocchio moments by reading Matt’s other fact checks.

New Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders delivered the Republican response, which Chris covered for us:

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R-Ark.) delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union address.

According to The Hill, Sanders “finds herself at her highest position yet in a GOP that is at an intersection between Trumpism and potential new leaders” with her appearance. She was an inspired choice to deliver the GOP response for multiple reasons. First, as Trump’s press secretary, she proved herself an effective communicator who could go toe-to-toe with Democrats. Second, as the nation’s youngest governor, she represents a new generation of conservative leaders.

Here’s the young governor’s money line of the night: “The dividing line in America is no longer between right or left. The choice is between normal and crazy.”

Bingo! Maybe even “Yahtzee!”

The need for a response by the party not in power is indicative of what is wrong with the televised State of the Union speeches. They’re not really clinical assessments of the state of the union, they’re insufferably long campaign ads for the party who has the White House at the time. I know we’re not supposed to try and figure out what the framers of the Constitution had in mind back in the day, but I’m pretty comfortable saying it’s not whatever that was that happened last night.

I appreciate that the State of the Union Address is supposed to be one of those things that shows off the best of our way of government to the rest of the world. Everybody but the designated survivor coming together in one grand room for a big kumbaya moment to show that, even though we’re a family that bickers a lot, we can still get along.

We’re not really that family though. It’s time to stop pretending. In fact, it’s the State of the Union Address that proves that. Seeing the president’s party rise for perfunctory standing ovations all night while the members of the opposition party register public disapproval by keeping their butts in their seats doesn’t give off that unity candle vibe. Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s face backs me up on this.

Let’s be done with the make believe and more faithful to the Constitution. The world doesn’t need to see our dirty laundry being aired out. We don’t need to be reminded of our dysfunctional ways.

And our needy attention-seeking ruling class doesn’t need any extra camera time.

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