One Guess As To Why Don Surber Is A Dumbass

Here’s the quote, see if you can guess what Surber got wrong:

Well, the audience for President Obama’s first State of the Union address was big, but failed to come close in size to the audiences that Presidents Clinton and Bush 43 drew in their SOTUs at the nation’s times of crisis.

Answer: President Obama’s first OFFICIAL State of the Union address is still a little under a year away, thus making Don Surber either uncannily prescient and accurate (how many prognosticators do you know drop statistics in their predictions?), or he’s a certifiable dumbass who’s manhandling statistics and events to prove a point that suits his agenda.

Note, this was not President Obama’s first State of the Union address, I know this because no where in his address did he come out and say, “the State of the Union is…” and either the traditional “strong”, or something considerably less traditional and headline worthy.

Now, let’s be clear, the constitution does not mandate all the pomp and circumstance that surrounds the modern State of the Union address, it merely states:

He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient

And in days of yore, this requirement could easily be satisfied by a letter to Congress. It is in contemporary times that presidents give the State of the Union as an actual address before a joint member of congress.

This may appear to give Surber the kind of gray area he is looking for to call last night’s address a State of the Union address on Mr. Obama’s behalf, however; this is a fairly dishonest maneuver.

The key difference between Mr. Obama’s address last night, and the other two addresses that Surber cites is that the other two addresses were officially billed as State of the Union addresses, the actual title and all. By comparison, the run up to Mr. Obama’s address last night did not have comparable billing to the other two examples in question. They were official State of the Union addresses in accordance with contemporary procedure, last night was not.

The over all effect is to essentially handicap Mr. Obama in a contest in order to deliver the point that Mr. Surber wanted to make; that Mr. Obama is losing popularity.

This may be so, but if it is, I would hardly think it necessary to manipulate figures and events to prove the point. I would, for instance, just go to the Gallup Daily tracker which had shown Obama dipping below sixty percent for the first time yesterday. Of course, I could see how that could be problematic for Mr. Surber as today’s numbers would appear to show that last night’s address has allowed Mr. Obama to bounce back up over sixty.

What was it President Adams (the first one) said about facts? Something about them being stubborn? All things considered, 52 million is a pretty impressive draw for a State of the Union address. The fact that it wasn’t a State of the Union address actually makes it a little more impressive, don’t you think?

6 Responses to “One Guess As To Why Don Surber Is A Dumbass”

  1. Kathy says:

    Totally off the top of my head, after one quick read: Obama’s address was not a SOTU?

  2. Kathy says:

    I’m sorry, I was a bit unclear there. When I wrote, “Obama’s address was not a SOTU?” I didn’t mean to imply I didn’t know the answer to that question. Of course Obama’s address was not an SOTU; I knew that. The question mark was meant to refer to whether this fact, that the address was not an SOTU, was the answer to your question that you were looking for. I should have had a little more faith in my own answer — I was thinking, well, maybe there’s something else obvious that I was overlooking.

  3. Yeah, I figured that might have been your meaning after I was already in my car and on my way to work.

  4. Mark says:

    Kyle: Totally O/T – but did you get my e-mail?

  5. Yeah, I got it last night, was too tired to respond, and when I got up in the morning it was already off the front page of my inbox. I remembered it on the way into work, and will respond either tonight or tomorrow.

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