Dispatches from the Creation Wars

In Which I Agree with Justice Scalia

Scalia says what I’ve long been saying about the pointlessness of the State of the Union speech:

In remarks to the conservative Federalist Society on Thursday night, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia decried the “juvenile spectacle” that is now the State of the Union address, saying he believes it is inappropriate for justices to attend the annual tradition.

Comparing the gatherings to “cheerleading sessions,” Scalia said, “I don’t know at what point that happened, but it did happen, and now you go and sit there like bumps on a log while applause lines cause one half the Congress to leap up while [another] causes the other half to leap up. … It is a juvenile spectacle. And I resent being called upon to the indignity.”


He’s absolutely right. All Americans should, in fact, be offended by the fact the State of the Union speech is nothing but a stump speech full of meaningless applause lines.

“America must be on the side of good things and against bad things.”

Wow, how brilliant. It would make an interesting study to go back through about 50 years of State of the Union speeches and keep track of every promise made and every principle declared and see if the president did anything at all to live up to those statements. I bet the percentage would be pretty damn low.

Even more interesting would be comparing similar rhetoric between presidents with highly opposed policy preferences. The SOTU speech has become little more than a litany of cliches and platitudes, like campaign speeches, with little relationship to actual policies undertaken. Not only should the Supreme Court not bother to watch them, neither should anyone else.