Republicans’ Plan To Cancel ‘State Of The Union Address’ Gaining Traction


Some Republicans have been calling for the Republican leadership in Congress to cancel the President’s upcoming State of the Union address.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Rep. Paul C. Broun (R-Ga.) called for Boehner to not invite Obama to deliver the State of the Union address next year.”

The Rachel Maddow Show reported on Wednesday that the idea of blocking Pres. Obama from delivering the address was first voiced in public shortly before Thanksgiving.

According to the show’s blog, “The New York Times published a quote from a prominent figure in conservative media pushing the argument; Breitbart News ran a column endorsing the move; and Politico noted unnamed “GOP aides and lawmakers” who like the idea.”

The Rachel Maddow show also notes that the far-right Washington Times ran an op-ed on Wednesday entitled “Cancel Congress’s role in the State of the Union address.”

Here is a modest proposal: The Speaker of the House should declare a state of Constitutional emergency in which the President’s specific unlawful actions … have cumulatively provoked the legislative branch into a bold but measured legislative response. That response will be to cancel – for 2015 – the traditional end-of-January joint session of Congress to which the President is normally invited to deliver his annual State of the Union Address.

In another article, published on Wednesday, The Washington Post noted that the idea of “disinviting Obama from delivering the State of the Union address” is “gaining currency on the right.” The Post also offers some insight as to the motivation along with a grim prediction:

Though it seems like the pettiest of actions, there’s something significant driving it: A fundamental unwillingness to accept that Barack Obama is legitimately the President of the United States.

This isn’t new, but I suspect we’re going to be seeing more ideas like this one pop up, as Republicans find themselves stymied on policy and look for ways to strike out at the president.

Paul Walman of The Washington Post goes on to note that:

When I make reference to Republicans’ unusually powerful loathing for this president, I often get emails from conservative readers saying that I’m wrong; they don’t hate him, they just disagree with his policies. These protests are a little hard to take seriously when among other things so many on the right spent years questioning whether Barack Obama is actually an American at all. The fact that the birther movement has faded recently should not make us forget that the president of the United States was literally forced to produce his birth certificate to prove to his political opponents that he is indeed an American and therefore eligible to be president.

As Rachel Maddow points out:

Imagine the message it would send to the nation and the world if a far-right Republican Party, for the first time in American history, refused to allow the first African-American president to deliver a State of the Union address from the House floor, all as part of an extended tantrum over immigration.

In 1999, a Republican Congress welcomed President Clinton to deliver a SOTU even after he’d literally been impeached, despite the fact that the GOP-led Senate was still weighing whether to remove the sitting president from office. They let Clinton speak a month after impeachment, but they’ll block Obama? Please.

Time will tell what other plans Republicans have to try in impede the President’s ability to perform the duties of his duly-elected office, but things are likely to get far worse before they get any better.

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Samuel Warde
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