The state of the union is a time honored tradition designed to give us an opportunity to show social media, through snarky real time commentary, which side of the political spectrum we fall on. Some people will use that opportunity to comment on how the speaker of the house resembled one of the footballs allegedly deflated by the New England Patriot’s last week. Others will hope to persuade family and friends to join their political party through a frenzy of ill timed and out of context one liners posted in the hopes of gaining that elusive retweet. Others still will wonder at how the First Lady can look so fashionable and so demure at the exact same damn time.
My favorite thing to observe is who forgets about the cameras just long enough to make a silly face while sitting behind the President. The best is usually Joe Biden who at any moment could make a face resembling one of these.
Out of context they may not be too funny but in reality they are timed perfectly to remind the whole world that he finds everything vaguely hilarious and has zero fucks to give about anything that is currently happening.
If you take a moment to stop focusing on the people behind the President and instead listen to what he is saying (Or if you’re talented do both at the same time), you’ll know that he talked a lot about optimism directly and indirectly. One of the first things President Obama said was, “Tonight we turn the page.” He went on to list all the things he think proves we are doing a good job at as a country; gas prices are down, unemployment is down, and economic growth and jobs are up. I think we can all agree that these are good things, and more importantly, they are quantifiable things.
Another topic he broached and one of the things that will probably be most talked about and least acted on after tonight is engaging in better politics. As President Obama spoke about rising above party lines and insignificant differences to find areas of compromise, Speaker Boehner continued to look vaguely constipated and therefore unable to clap for more than two consecutive hand movements. (I want to go on record as saying this happens to both parties. If a Republican was speaking with a Dem sitting behind them the same amount of angsty emo kid staring would happen as Boehner exhibited tonight Unless the dem was Biden in which case he’d be smiling from ear to ear and not a single person would know why). What I don’t understand out of this is why is the concerted effort to look so negative?
First thought is, duh they are on opposing teams. Showing that any progress was made is admitting that you are wrong and the other side is right which will forever solidify your place as outcast of the political community. But, what these politicians are failing to realize is that people love happy endings. (Don’t be weird. I don’t mean that kind. Although they do also enjoy those). People like hearing about underdogs rising above, the ugly but endearing guy getting the girl, the kid who’s lemonade stand becomes a million dollar business, or the girl who defies all odds by marrying a sparkly vampire. In a world where people love happy endings so much that the fourth twilight book happened how can it be a good idea to sit and stare negatively at what is obviously good news or a good suggestion? You want to know who hates the happy ending?
That’s right, who was pissed when 99 dalmatian puppies were rescued from being turned into spotted outerwear? Cruella DeVille, who is literally the most evil person to ever grace a Disney screen. So the moral of the story is orange chin up and admit when a loss for you is also a win. People might just respect you for behaving like an actual human being.