Straight From Heaven: The Mute Button

James Taranto says it best…

Why God Gave Us the ‘Mute’ Button

We watched last night’s speech with a mostly right-leaning group of friends, and over their objections we kept the TV on for the Democratic response, for we were really curious as to what Barack Obama was going to say. But as it turned out, the Democrats apparently couldn’t get Obama and instead had to go with the B team of Nancy Reid and Harry Pelosi.

Reid grew up in Searchlight, Nevada, yadda yadda yadda: That’s about all we took away from their speeches, which were soon drowned out by the sound of conversation. Eventually we relented and turned the sound off. We would have read the speeches this morning, but apparently the Dems didn’t think them worth publicizing; we couldn’t find them anywhere on the Democratic National Committee Web site (which does, however, have the eagerly anticipated Terry McAuliffe response, though they don’t know how to spell his name).

Reid and Pelosi do not, to say the least, present an attractive face to America. As our friend Rich Miniter observed, Reid looked like a doctor who refuses to administer painkillers. As for Pelosi–who is known mostly for being more charming than Barbara Boxer–she stiffly stared at the camera with a deer-in-the-headlights look.

We have to wonder what the point is of this tradition of responding to the State of the Union. We don’t mean to pick only on the Democrats; recall the Republican response to the 1995 State of the Union. Even though in 1995 the GOP mattered a lot more than the Dems do today, chances are you remember nothing about their response–and that’s the point: These things are never memorable, and they serve only to make the opposition party look insignificant. If the Dems are smart, they’ll skip the response in 2006.

He’s dead on.

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