Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Today's Cartoon: The U.S. State of the Union Address

With President Bush's approval rating at an all time low of 28% going into his State of Union Address, I'm actually a little surprised that he didn't make the most of his opportunity to pander to the audience in order to amass the most standing ovations possible. I mean, if I were in his shoes, I would have said practically anything to get applause because the way things are headed that is probably the only way that he's going to get it.

While most people no longer put much stock in Bush's leadership; when the opposition is honor bound by tradition to applaud during the State of the Union, it is the president's priority to phrase his speech in such a manner so as to put them in a position where it appears to the public that they are clapping in approval, even if they're not. For example, when discussing his unpopular decision to send more troops to Iraq, President Bush was careful to accompany it with an emphasis on "supporting the troops". Even though they are two entirely separate issues, no politician in Washington is willing to risk not applauding the sacrifices made by the armed forces in order to launch a silent protest against Bush's war strategy. This thereby creates the illusion that the applause was not only a show of support for the troops in combat, but for the messed up policy which continues to keep them there.

However, if you ask me, a much easier and more effective way of doing this would have been for the president's speech writers to end every point with some random statement like "I hate AIDS" or "Retarded children are beautiful" in order to manipulate the audience, by forcing them to applaud; and the viewers at home, by making them believe that the President was still popular ;)

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