One Cheer for Heckling

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene gives a thumbs down during President Joe Biden's State of the Union address. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.)

If you follow politics and want to challenge yourself, try finding something praiseworthy to say about the dismal yearly pageant known as the State of the Union.

Everyone hates it. Kevin Williamson wrote on Tuesday about how much he hates it. Jonah Goldberg has complained many times over the years about how much he hates it. At my old haunt I was known to fire off understated posts on the topic with titles like, “Please, Mr. President: Make America great again by ending the garbage event known as the State of the Union.”

Everyone hates it, but it’ll never be canceled, certainly not by Joe Biden. No president will easily forfeit the chance to speak unopposed at length to tens of millions of American voters, least of all one who’ll (probably) be on the ballot next year. And for Biden, who spent centuries in the Senate, addressing a congressional chamber is his happy place. Observers across the political spectrum marveled last night at how energized he seemed by the setting; reportedly he lingered in the Capitol for more than hour afterward to schmooze with members of Congress.

When the biggest threat to your reelection is public suspicion that you might keel over at any moment, a televised production proving that you can still deliver a long speech late into the evening with satisfactory focus is, frankly, an opportunity that can’t be missed.

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