Using a Joint Session of Congress as a Prop
I was secretly hoping that Speaker Boehner would arrange to have Styrofoam columns brought into the House of Representatives' chamber, to be installed adjacent to the podium when the teleprompters were carted in. It would have been a fitting response to the abuse of Congress by using an address to a Joint Session to give a campaign speech kicking off a president's re-election campaign.
Make no mistake: the president cheapened and degraded the majesty of an address to both Houses of Congress. We have every reason to expect that with the precedent now set, Joint Sessions are fair game for appropriation by future presidents seeking a majestic backdrop for political posturing.
Barack Obama fond of the word "unprecedented" as a descriptor of his actions. Unfortunately, the word applies to his address last night, and not in a good way.