SOTU: Memorable or Forgettable?

For tonight’s State of the Union Address USA Today’s David Jackson offers a sensible list of past efforts which “proposed ideas that continue to influence American life.” In most cases, their significance wasn’t clear until much later.

Join us in comments on Trail Mix tonight to see if we can figure out whether President Obama’s SOTU will make a difference.

The Monroe Doctrine (Dec. 2, 1823)
In a written message to Congress, President James Madison warns Europe to stay out of the political affairs of the Western Hemisphere.

Quote: “We owe it, therefore, to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those (European) powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety.”

Gold in California (Dec. 5, 1848)
President James Polk helps trigger the California gold rush – “the ’49ers” – by broadcasting the valuable discovery in a written message to Congress.

Quote: “It was known that mines of the precious metals existed to a considerable extent in California at the time of its acquisition. Recent discoveries render it probable that these mines are more extensive and valuable than was anticipated.”

The Civil War (Dec. 1, 1862)
President Abraham Lincoln, in a written message, eloquently outlines the stakes of the then-raging Civil War.

Quote: “Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this Administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation … In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free — honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve. We shall nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope of earth.”

The Four Freedoms (Jan. 6, 1941)
Just 11 months before Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt tells Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan that the United States will stand up for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want and freedom from fear.

Quote: “In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.”

The War on Poverty (Jan. 8, 1964)
President Lyndon Johnson previews a raft of social legislation to be known as the Great Society.

Quote: “This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America.”

Axis of Evil (Jan. 29, 2002)
A year before the invasion of Iraq, President George W. Bush sends an unmistakable warning to Saddam Hussein, as well as the leaders of Iran and North Korea.

Quote: “States like these and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.”

— David Jackson, USA Today

45 thoughts on “SOTU: Memorable or Forgettable?”

  1. We shall nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope of earth

    abe’s admonition very relevant re today’s congress..

  2. craig, would it help to cut out the repeating of the thumbs up comments? or at least up the number that qualifies them for the “top of the class” column on the right. save some storage that way.
    and yes, pages are loading more slowly. also yesterday there was quite a hangup with the george carlin vid… was it something he (or i) said?

  3. Woo-hoo is not the state of the u-hoo-nion.

    I’d just like to take a moment to apolozie for the the TX Congressman who has invited the Motor City Madman to be his plus-one at tonight’s SOTU address.

    Honestly, living in this state is like having a misbehaving child on an airplane. You’re captive until the landing, so the only thing left to do is apologize.

  4. Craig, would you share insights and stories about Presidents next Monday? Always fascinating stuff; learn a lot from you.
    Maybe Tuesday could be a salute to Vice Presidents-? Some of our VPs have been colorful characters who deserve remembrance. Veeps are people too.

  5. Ya know, If the Democrats were smart they would form a stealth organization who’s only goal would be to get Ted Nugents face out before the public talking politics.


  6. “Some of our VPs have been colorful characters who deserve remembrance. Veeps are people too.”


    Great idea. Maybe we will at last find out, who was Cheney’s VP. 😉

  7. Damn, Florida GOP dodged the bullet for their outright corruption among party leaders professing conservatism.

    Breath-taking arrogance and entitlement in Florida politics not limited to Jim Greer
    By Adam C. Smith, Tampa Bay Times, February 11, 2013 7:02 PM EST

    You could practically hear the gasp of relief from Florida Republican leaders Monday when ex-GOP chairman Jim Greer pleaded guilty to theft and money laundering charges, sparing them a sordid, two-week trial.

    What a trial it could have been, a veritable reality show featuring testimony about lying political leaders, hookers, bitter vendettas, personal slush funds and secret contracts.

    The whole sorry story of the Florida Republican Party under Jim Greer is exhibit A on how near-absolute power, combined with astronomical campaign accounts, can and did breed breathtaking arrogance and entitlement, if not outright corruption, among party leaders professing conservatism.

  8. I was trying to remember anything from prior SOTUs, but can only come up with “strong” and “good”. And I can remember clapping – oh, and “You lie.” aside from that…

  9. Obama needs to mention his populating the Supreme Court with more women replacement justices…a trend that will eventually get the court to look more like America in the new millennium than the early 1900’s!

    PS One Grammy Awards comment, J-lo IS the new Cher!!!

  10. patd, i sent you a note about that carlin video last night. for unknown reasons it was caught up in the spam filter, and i cleared it through. anyone, please let me know asap if your comments don’t post. i can’t set up alerts every time something goes to spam or i’d get hundreds a day for the real spam that it catches —

  11. starting with deactivating the most recently installed or updated features to see if any improvement. Don’t worry about anything that might go missing for a bit. this is just a test.

  12. Son remarking this morning: “Tonys, BAFTAs, Oscars, elections, inaugurations, State of the Union … Nights when my very odd mother doesn’t cook.”

  13. SOTU… political theater at it’s best.

    As a political junkie… I will watch Rubio’s speech in earnest… but Rand…
    if I bother, it’ll be just for the laughs.

  14. Craig…
    I don’t know what you’ve done or disabled… but this site is working much better so far today.

  15. craig, moseyed down the trail this morning before checking email so i missed yours. thanks for unspamming the vid. i was reluctant to bother help folks in case they were busy having another breakdown challenge.

  16. they are tinkering now RR, hopefully they’ll get us tuned up

    patd, can make some adjustments to the comment rater as you suggested but not going to do anything myself while the tech folk are under the hood

  17. rr, not to worry about missing anything, looks like networks aren’t covering the rant

    Viewers will be able to watch Paul’s speech live on the conservative website Though a network pool camera will record the first-term senator’s remarks, none of the major television news networks has announced that it will air the response as it happens.

    The Tea Party Express is purportedly unfazed by this apparent downgrading of interest from the media outlets it so often disparages, but the group does not deny that it wouldn’t mind having extra attention.

    “We don’t depend on the mainstream media to get our message out there,” Kremer said. “This movement was born out of social media, and I think we need to utilize social media to the best we can. While we hope one of the networks goes live with it, there’s no guarantee.”

    Paul will speak a few minutes after the conclusion of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s official Republican response to the State of the Union, which all of the major networks will carry, and that moment could mark either a junction or another divergence in the two senators’ careers.

    In an interview with CNN on Sunday, he emphasized that his response to the State of the Union will not be in competition with Rubio’s.

    “To me, I see it as extra response. I don’t see it as necessarily divisive,” Paul explained. “I won’t say anything on there that necessarily is like, ‘Oh, Marco Rubio’s wrong.’ He and I don’t always agree, but the thing is, this isn’t about he and I.”

  18. Not much of a politics day – can’t seem to get upset about much – even WaPo doesn’t raise any issues for me today. Lunch seems like a good idea. Think I’ll take myself up on it.

  19. Watching Perks of Being a Wallflower on Pay Per view. Compared to politics it is delightful to see images of something important.

  20. I think Dr. Jill Stein should get some air time too

    Maybe Link-tv and Democracy now will do something with other party leadership.

    My suggestion for the state of the union is to restage it for the today’s media

    The speech could be entirely in tweet

    Maybe a half-time break with a gun control commercial featuring the fastest growing political group victims of gun violence. Or Gabby Giffords could reprise her earlier testimony.

  21. I think a good drinking game for tonight will be spotting people nodding out.

  22. Craig

    oh no asleep on the Trail…

    I think he should begin his speech by announcing the end of the federal war on marijuana and the beginning of the war on illegal guns and gun sales. While we wait for better laws let’s do something with what we’ve got and let’s end the useless stupid, expensive war on marijuana
    or to be politically correct the useless stupid war on cannabis

  23. That would show class (in a kind of offhand way) and an incredibly wry sense of humor, wouldn’t it? I’m betting he doesn’t, but he should.

  24. il papa:

    take this mitre and shove it i ain’t workin’ here no more
    my spirit done left and took all the reason i was working for
    ya, better not try and stand in my way
    cause i’m walkin’ out the door
    take this mitre and shove it i ain’t working here no more

  25. patd, you’ve become a links and video diva. so proud. I hereby deputize you to encourage and educate others in proper use of our commenting tools

  26. Hi all,
    Sorry don’t want to be a complainer but the sight is loading super slow.. I couldn’t log in with Twitter as the little wheel just kept spinning. All other sights for me load fast and i have Brighthouse Lightening? Oh my Crepe Myrtle when its in bloom, soon soon..[image=I-Phone 020.JPG]

  27. Senators who voted against the Violence against women act:

    “Senators who voted against the bill included Republicans John Barrasso (Wyo.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), John Boozman (Ark.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Cornyn (Texas), Ted Cruz (Texas), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Orrin Hatch (Utah), James Inhofe (Okla.), Mike Johanns (Neb.), Ron Johnson (Wisc.), Mike Lee (Utah), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Jim Risch (Idaho), Pat Roberts (Kansas), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Jeff Thune (N.D.) and Tim Scott (S.C.).”

    Do they assume that women aren’t paying attention? Are they right?

  28. Liberals have Won, But Don’t Tell Ted Nugent
    by Taylor Marsh

    It is no secret that young voters tilt left on social issues like immigration and gay rights. But these students, and dozens of other young people interviewed here last week, give voice to a trend that is surprising pollsters and jangling the nerves of Republicans. On a central philosophical question of the day — the size and scope of the federal government — a clear majority of young people embraces President Obama’s notion that it can be a constructive force, a point he intends to make in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. Young, Liberal and Open to Big Government

    My beefs with Obama and Democrats before the 2012 election was that their loyalty to what made the Democratic party what it is today was way too fickle. But as I wrote on Sunday, what keeps me moored on the Democratic side is the very policies that young people are today realizing that can make a real difference in their lives, which Republicans want to end.

  29. Do they assume that women aren’t paying attention? Are they right?

    God, i hope not! What a lousy bunch on that list.
    Has Solar been over to “The Swamp” lately.. I’m missing him, maybe have to give him a call..

  30. Tony, I’ve worried about him also. I’m hoping he’s very busy working on some neat projects. Let that be so.

  31. Tony, it seems that it’s the stars of the Republicants who are on that list. Scary.

  32. Tony never worry about complaining. As I’ve said here for the last couple days I know we’ve got what the techies call “latency” issues and they’re on the case. I expect they’ll get it fixed within next 24 hours. Jealous of your crape myrtle, mine is way behind.

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