Tuesday, January 12, 2016

working together

President Barack Obama is waking up this morning to his last opportunity to revise the content of an important speech. Tonight, he will come before a joint session of Congress to give his address on the State of the Union. This is an annual event. The Constitution requires him to do it. (Article II, Section 3) But what does it mean?

Presidents traditionally come before the House members and Senators, Justices of the Supreme Court, Members of the Cabinet (minus one - there is always a "designated survivor" who sits it out, just in case of disaster), and invited guests, and basically updates what has happened in the past year, and what needs to be accomplished in the future. Presidents will talk of bills before Congress and the importance of their passage.
Expect the President to say something about ISIS, about the various terrorist attacks, about his executive actions on guns, and about the upcoming political campaign.  Will he also talk about marriage equality?  It's likely, given that the plaintiff in last year's Supreme Court case, will be sitting with the First Lady.  He will probably also say something about moving prisoners away from Guantanamo Bay, about immigration, most certainly about health care, and the economy.  The really significant thing though is he will ask for people to work together.
Politicians are not always good at working with others, especially those for another party.  President Obama, being a Democrat, will likely not get a lot of applause from the majority in Congress who are Republicans.  That's really too bad.  If you truly want to make a difference, you need to get along well with others and be willing to hear all sides of an issue.  The State of the Union Address is always a good chance to see cooperation, or the lack of it.  Watch tonight and see how our elected officials react to our President.  Tomorrow, start sending those emails and making those phone calls, urging them to work together!

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