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opinion | P.J. O’Rourke

A real State of the Union address

President Obama.Reuters

So what does a lame-duck president with veto power, executive orders, and only an eight-vote opposition majority in the Senate do?

Anything he wants!

I signed executive orders to lower the price of gasoline and make the economy grow by four percent.

And if you believe that you must already be taking advantage of my new plan for junior college. I’m going to make junior college free — and worth it.

When you get done going to junior college for nothing, and you still can’t get a job, you’ll love my new Robin Hood tax plan — take from the rich and give to the poor.


Some of you are saying, “Wait a minute, I’m not poor.” Don’t worry, you will be when I get done taxing you.

Anyway, in this White House we don’t call people “poor,” we call them “middle class.” Our policies are all about “middle class economics.”

Some of the rest of you are saying, “Wait a minute, I’m not middle class, I’m poor.”

You’re welcome. Like I said, you’ll love my Robin Hood tax plan.

I’m also going to raise the minimum wage. That way instead of not being able to make a decent living with two jobs you’ll be able to not make a decent living with just one.

Plus I’m going to institute paid sick leave for all workers. This is a bipartisan issue. If my presidency makes you sick, you can stay home and get paid.

Because America is back stronger than ever. Tonight we turn the page. Or, if I were you, change the channel. “Storage Wars” is playing on A&E.

Meanwhile, according to the teleprompter, I’m supposed to be talking about cyber-security. Well, I was going to, but Malia and Sasha were having one of those teenage sulks — you folks know how that goes — so I didn’t have anybody to help me open the PDF from NSA, which wouldn’t down-load on Microsoft Word because. . . Is this tech stuff just something kids invented to drive everybody over fifty nuts, or what?


Anyway, I think we’re all supposed to change our passwords. I changed mine to
. Oops, did I just say something? I’d better not see any reference to it in the media. My administration is tough on you people who leak classified material.

Such as what NSA is up to. Which reminds me. . . Low cost broad-band internet access to every American household — NSA tells me it’s got all of you covered on that.

On a serious note, we all, NSA included, need to work together to confront the threat of global terrorism. We must be willing to put aside partisan divides. For example, I’ve had productive talks with Bill Clinton. He pointed out that, under the Sharia Law imposed by ISIS, Al Qaeda and other Islamic extremists, men have four wives. President Clinton’s position is, “They’ve been punished enough.”

He favors a drone strike strategy dispersing American Express Black Cards to each wife of every terrorist. It’ll kill ’em, when the bills arrive.

Did I mention I’ve outlawed torture? That is, if you don’t count listening to this as sleep deprivation. Ruth Bader Ginsberg, I can see you nodding off. Folks in this room are so drowsy that they’re sleeping on their feet when they’re giving me standing ovations.

And I’m addressing climate change too. Climate change is real. I know from personal experience. There’s been a change in the climate in the Senate and the House and it’s making things hot for me.

Hey, time for those obligatory shout-outs to Michelle’s and my completely random special guests in the gallery! Beats me what this has to do with Article Two, Section Three of the Constitution, that the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union.” But, since the Republicans refuse to learn anything and the Democrats think they know everything, we might as well kill time.


We’ve got Alan P. Gross here – spent five years in a Cuban prison. Alan, you’ll be glad to know that my administration realizes what a great nation Cuba is, and we’re doing everything we can to show the Cuban government that we respect their executive, legislative and judicial legitimacy.

We’ve got the chief executive of CVS, Larry J. Merlo. Larry banned cigarette sales at all CVS drug stores. That showed real courage, Larry. Especially since, at the White House, in the middle of the night, when I’m under a lot of pressure, the nearest place to buy a pack of smokes was the CVS on Connecticut Avenue. But Michelle is with you all the way. And, although your decision cost CVS a lot of money, Larry, you can make it up selling marijuana while my Justice Department turns a blind eye.

And we’ve got astronaut Scott Kelly who’s about to go to the International Space Station for a year. I can think of a number of people I’d like to send with you, Scott. And, Scott, I’m sorry NASA couldn’t take you there. They had asteroids. But I’m sure Russia will get you home. Just the other day President Putin was telling me he had a lot of missiles pointed toward America.


P.J. O’Rourke is a columnist for The Daily Beast.