Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Reason #117: The State of the Union

While it is technically required by the Constitution, the State of the Union address, originally known as "the President's Annual Message to Congress" (which I like better because it leaves the door open for somebody to just walk up to the podium and flip everybody off) did not involve an actual speech for almost half of the nation's history. Jefferson stopped it in 1801 because it seemed too hoity-toity and he didn't roll like that; Woodrow Wilson, on the other hand, liked the power trip, and brought the speech back in 1913.

It also didn't take place at night until FDR in 1936, and if you ask me, nine o'clock is pushing it. It wasn't shown on television until 1947, which I'm guessing was the first time the Vice President had to stay awake the whole time.

Anyway - surpassing even my loftiest hopes, it appears that President Obama plans to make the "Buffett Rule"--mostly forgotten since it first came up late last summer--a key element of his address before Congress tonight. For those of you just tuning in, the "Buffett Rule" is not an actual legislative anything, but rather a guiding principle that establishes that something is wrong when the third richest person on the planet pays a lower tax rate on his income than does his secretary.

Some of you may know this principle by its traditional name, "logic".

Lest there be any doubt about just how hard he'll be hammering this point home tonight (less than 24 hours after Mitt Romney released his tax records, further establishing that this man just fundamentally has no idea what he's doing), it appears that Warren Buffett's actual secretary will be sitting with the First Lady during the speech, which is the kind of thing usually reserved for Rosa Parks or anyone who happens to rescue a drowning puppy that week.

Between this and Mitt Romney being the walking, talking antithesis of the Buffett Rule, the 2012 presidential election has officially arrived at Big Boy Time. Should be exciting.

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