Two, Three, Many SOTU Responses

Well, it appears Republicans won’t have any dearth of responses to tonight’s State of the Union Address. There’s the Official Response by Marco Rubio, which will apparently utilize Real Live Anecdotes of how Government Does Bad Things to Middle-Class Families. And precisely because it won’t include anything new or relevant to the current debates in Washington, Rubio’s speech will likely be hailed in both conservative and mainstream media as a Breath of Fresh Air from a Fresh New Face in National Politics, blah blah bark bark woof woof.

If Rubio is already slotted for the Fresh Air stereotype, another not-so-new-voice will be on hand to offer the stalest air imaginable: paleo-rocker Ted Nugent will be lurking around the congressional press gallery as the guest of Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), gibbering and capering for the cameras with his delightful blend of Obama-hatred and crude libertarianism.

And then there’s Sen. Rand Paul, who will offer the third annual “Tea Party Response” to the SOTU, sponsored by the Tea Party Express organization, which this time around is not being televised at all but will be web-cast at Erick Erickson’s RedState. Paul does not receive the automatic media adulation Rubio is getting these days, but he’s doing his best to telegraph his every utterance–including a banal national security speech at the Heritage Foundation earlier this month–as Big and Historic.

So take your pick, or get masochistic and pay attention to all three, along with whatever previously obscure Republican solon comes up with a memorable epithet aimed at the president.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.