On Tuesday President Obama will give the first State of the Union address of his second term. In it, he will spend 45 minutes or so explaining that the state of the union is strong, but that there is still work to be done in terms of getting the country back on track. He will outline a list of policy prescriptions that will serve as lofty goals for his second term and beyond. There will be clapping, and cheers, and standing ovations. From his seat behind the president, Vice President Joe Biden will clap, and clap, and clap. From his seat behind the president, Speaker John Boehner will look annoyed, unimpressed, and orange.
And after it's over — spoiler alert — nothing will change. The media will perform innumerable analyses of the speech in a vain effort to determine its effectiveness at conveying the president's agenda and inspiring Congress to act. Act Congress will — with all the haste of the lowliest slug. For all intents and purposes, the State of the Union speech is all about the presidential spectacle, which provides the pundit class with ample opportunity to bore viewers to death with their stale "insights." Liberals will hail the speech as a bold vision, while conservatives will pan it as unnecessarily divisive.
As if the State of the Union address weren't trite enough, per tradition the other party will deliver a response. That honor will fall to Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who will explain that while there were some encouraging parts of Obama's speech, the president's agenda will nonetheless lead the country down the path to ruin.
And as if the Republican response to Obama's State of the Union address weren't enough, the Tea Party will also deliver a response to Obama's speech. That honor this year goes to Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Paul will explain why Obama's vision for the country is terrible, and why European-style austerity is the best way to go.
Needless to say, it's going to be an evening full of clichés and BS, so let's try to make this as fun as possible.