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High Fives and Game Plans: The State of the Union Address

What to hope for when you watch the Congressional powwow tonight

Tonight President Obama will present his State of the Union address to Congress. Basically, the President will puff out his chest and review his list of victories from the past year. Then the President will go on to share his legislative agenda for the upcoming year. In between each sentence uttered, the audience will suffer an interminable applause.  This will go on for about an hour. And that is the State of the Union.

Given the uniquely theatrical farce that we have learned to call the practice of American politics, any performance from the President attracts a flurry of media attention and scrutiny. Whether he is reading a story to a class of first graders or announcing the death of Osama Bin Laden, hundreds of millions of Americans will be watching. Half will sing praises and half will sling mud. Either way, you will have an opinion about what he wore, why he blinked and perhaps, like me, you too will be curious as to what sort of Secret Service toothpaste they are using to polish those Presidential chomps.

In last year’s address, Obama made a very clear mission to focus on improving the dismal state of the American economy. In between lengthy roaring applauses, he outlined his plans to bring jobs back to America and slap higher taxes on the 1 percent, all the while vowing to make post-secondary education more financially feasible and accessible to all Americans. He made only one singular and passing remark about climate change. Then he made a singular and passing mention of the LGBT community. Needless to say, the tree-huggers, queers and tree-hugging queers were left with a lot to be desired.

Just last month, however, Obama presented himself boldly as an ally to the LGBT community in his second inaugural address. So, tonight, we shall be so bold to desire more from our ally.

Here are some things we would like to have addressed this evening by Mr. President:

DOMA/Prop 8

In March, the Supreme Court (comprised of nine heterosexuals, six of whom are Roman Catholic) will rule whether the Defense of Marriage Act violates the rule of equal protection under the law as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. Assuming you haven’t lived under a rock for the past 10 years, you, too, are anxious to feel bolstered by the person you may or may not have elected to assure you that you are entitled to the same rights as straight people. No more passing remarks. We want more than one full sentence that illustrates the President’s unequivocal support and determination to bring down the haters of lovers.

Violence Against Women Act

You would think this would be an easy one to pass. Apparently not. The GOP has deemed the act ‘too supportive’ to the LGBT community, immigrants and Native Americans. It comes to no surprise that the politics of the Republican Party are more important than a law that vows to protect 30 million more women in the country. If Barack doesn’t bring this up tonight you can be sure that Michelle will be having him sleep on the couch for the rest of the week. And Thursday is Valentine’s Day, so if he’s the husband we think he is, he’d better not fuck it up.

Climate Change

The planet is heating up, the ice caps will melt and the Statue of Liberty will become a Sea World attraction if we do not cease and desist with this irresponsible treatment of the Earth. Wall Street cannot be more than ten feet above sea level. If it sinks there will not be any more banks to bail out. It’s hard to sweep mud under a rug.

In between the roaring applause and elegant waving of his handsome and perfectly manicured hands, what sort of theatrics or game plans would you like to be briefed on from our second term President this evening?

 

Anne Stott
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