A Satire: The Real Meaning of the 2013 State of the Union Speech in Plain English

The following is my own admittedly biased interpretation of what President Obama really meant in his State of the Union speech last night. I will loosely follow the transcript provided by the Washington Post,


and, for brevity's sake will omit a lot of it, well, most of it, always seeking to emphasize what I consider the important points. Here goes...

Mr Speaker, Mr Vice President, members of Congress, it is my task to report the state of the union. To improve it for the sake of our corporate paymasters is the task of us all. 

Tonight, thanks to our capacity for deception and kabuki theater, the loyal coverage of the mainstream media, and the seemingly inexhaustible gullibility of the American people, there is much progress to report. After a decade of grinding war, our official military is mostly coming home, but don't worry, there are still plenty of oppotunities for private contractors such as Blackwater, or whatever it's called now, to reap rapacious profits at the expense of the American and Afghan people. 

After years of grueling recession for the many and soaring profits for those we represent, we can now deceive the people further by proclaiming that the recession is over and the recovery is at hand, and most of them are stupid enough to believe it. 

Corporate profits have skyrocketed to all time highs, but the middle and working classes have seen their standards of living decline and are starting to get nonplussed. So it is our generation's job to reignite the myth of a thriving, rising middle class so that we can fleece the suckers even more. 

We can't just cut our way to permanent corporate domination; we have to preserve the illusion that we really care about the American people. So let's put party interests aside and work together to make it look like we really do care, and we can accomplish this by getting just a few corporate interests to sacrifice just a little for just awhile before somebody out there gets the idea that there might be a market for guillotines. 

We are already part of the way there. We've reduced American wages and benefits so much that some great corporations are bringing relatively low-paying and highly profitable jobs back to America, and we need to trumpet that to the people. That's why I'm going to Asheville tomorrow for a photo op. 

We've accomplished much. We're producing more natural gas than ever before, lowering costs for many corporations and setting the stage to export it to less fortunate countries at a profit.  But I've got to talk about climate change because of these recent big frackin' storms that are starting to wake the people up. We must try really, really hard to at least pretend to be thinking about doing something about it and, who knows, some of our corporate sponsors might even find a way to profit from it, so let's give it a try. 

And together, we have to take steps to insure that Latin American immigrants and their descendants don't get the idea that they have the numbers to force real change for themselves and their black and white working class brothers and sisters, so let's do some immigration reform that will spare us the cost of deporting millions while insuring a source of cheap domestic labor for decades to come. 

We also have to do something simple and concrete that will fool tens of millions into thinking that we really care about them, so let's bite the bullet and raise the minimum wage to nine dollars an hour. That way, we can proclaim that anyone who is willing to work can live above the artificially low official poverty line that I, of course, will do nothing to raise, and then we can really turn the screws on those lazy slackers who prefer to get food stamps, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and unemployment insurance over real work that is profitable to ourselves and our sponsors. 

We'll continue to protect our corporate interests overseas, no matter what the cost to our own people while convincing them that we are doing so in order to preserve their freedom, which we will continue to erode by more national security legislation and policies that ignore that quaint old Bill of Rights. 

And now, I'm sorry, but I've got to throw tub to the whale of my Democratic base: We need to  vote on reasonable gun control! Hear that applause? They love it, the suckers. 

Remember, my fellow members of the power elite, that while we may take jobs with different corporations or think tanks when we leave what the people still foolishly think of as public service, while our ties may be blue or red, our skin tones white, brown, or orange(heh!  Got you there, Mr Speaker!) we share the same proud title. 

We are all Corporatist Americans who know which side our bread is buttered on. It is up to us to write the next chapter in the rise and consolidation of American Corporate Fascism. May Mammon bless us all. Good night. 







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Way too accurate to be funny

geomoo's picture

It's pretty sad.  I was just out with my three friends, former hippies, consider themselves liberal to radical.  They were speculating that maybe obama would do such and such a good thing if he could get the support.  They all believe he means well and is trying to get liberal things done.  I got a little exercised, said he's doing exactly what he wants to do, mentioned a couple of examples of outright switch and bait, all to no effect.  But I let go pretty quickly.  I've become pretty resigned to even long-time liberals being completely fooled by the politics of personality.  Sigh.  Just waiting for the social security heist.

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I know what you mean. I have former college friends who...

Ohio Barbarian's picture

all think Obama really means well, though I think some of them(they're all white) are fooled by the color of his skin and are afraid they will be labeled racist if they don't tow the Party line. What's really sad is that these same people used to lambaste people who got suckered by Reagan's earthy charm(I guess, I never saw it, either) and  in-your-face nationalism into believing that what was good for business just had to be good for them and that government=bad. 

These same friends were all horrified when I voted third party--in OHIO, ye gods!--and told them I thought Obama was the more effective evil. Of course, they all have some skin in the consumer-capitalist game and really don't want to see the system destroyed, whereas I have very little to lose. 

Anyway, thanks for the comment on my little exercise in satire. Scathing is the only way I know how to go in that category. 

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What do you mean satire?

Glinda's picture

Had he been truthful, that's exactly what he would have said.

Well done.


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