Dear Editor- On Not Watching SOTU

I can no longer bring myself to watch a Barack Obama speech because I find that the words which leave his lips contain, literally, no correlation whatsoever with the actions he then undertakes. Seriously, there’s such a gigantic gulf between one and the other that all it does is infuriate the tar out of me. Example: the man runs for president promising the most transparent administration ever, and then he files 6 different sets of criminal charges against government leakers/whistleblowers (under the draconian, WWI-era Espionage Act) for allegedly leaking classified information to journalists. By the way, that tally of 6 Espionage Act prosecutions (again, as punishment for providing information to *journalists*), is more than the sum total of Espionage Act prosecutions initiated by every other president in our nation’s history, combined. As a reminder, one of those presidents was Nixon.

Anyway, that’s just one single for-instance. I could list many, many other areas in which Barack Obama’s eloquently-stated (progressive) principles stand in direct and violent contrast to Barack Obama’s regressive actions as chief executive: federal prosecution of marijuana dispensaries, warrantless wiretapping, habeas corpus rights for detainees, the use of state secrets filings to shield the executive branch from legal scrutiny, legal and civil immunity for corporate criminals and Bush-era torturers, and even the outright assassination of an American citizen without the faintest due process. The man has decided to continue the policies of his Republican predecessor on each of the above issues, which is bad enough, but hiding those policies behind liberal-sounding stumpwork just adds too much insult to the injury. If the man wants fill his cabinet with nothing but Wall Street executives (past, present and future), that’s his choice, but he shouldn’t then ask me to listen to his calls for economic equality. I’d rather drive some staples into my arm.

So, anyway, yeah, that’s why I won’t be watching.

Patrick Meighan

The Actors' Gang

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