The (nefarious) Address to (mindless government school) Students
This one is one of those iffy ones. If the President uses it as an opportunity to push his agenda (a possibility suggested by the Imperial Department of Education's proposed lesson plans), then it's a win for conservatives, libertarians, and for Republicans, because then there's no question about the Obama administrations intention to politicize every damned thing they can. Thus a feeding frenzy of bad intentions can commence (and I benefit from lots of pissed off people reading blogs). Yay.
However, the administration is tacking in a different direction now (because many of the more reactionary people are jumping on the "indoctrination" bandwagon before it can even roll out), and the speech is looking to be something that every American School Child should hear. Of course, there are reasons why:
1. It's the President of the United States - No matter our political feelings on the (destructive) nature of his policies, every child should be taught a reverence for our Constitutional republic, and respect for the office and the person currently serving in it. So if the President is wielding the bully pulpit to speak to the nation (or in this case, the nation's children), they damned well should listen. And then discuss, in a non-partisan fashion, what he said. Even if he veers into trying to indoctrinate, there is a lesson to learn.
2. President Obama has the ability to inspire like no other - While I (and most other decent people) don't give one shard of a rat's left nutsack what color the prez is, Barack Obama is the first president we've had who is not a white man. In this, he can speak to minorities (especially blacks) who have an ass-backward view of the value and importance of education. He can also inspire those who thought there were limits to what someone could aspire to because of skin color, sex, orientation, etc. And he doesn't even have to say it explicitly. All he has to do is provide the traditional and proper motivational speech about self-responsibility and unlimited possibility that many others have spoken of. But the fact that the messenger isn't a white guy can matter in this situation, and can counter much of the prejudice and bigotry that comes from past discrimination, slavery, and oppression.
So it comes back to my post on government education: Look at the speech as a learning opportunity no matter what. And quit yer bitchin' if you're too lazy to respond intelligently if necessary. Until then, it's a matter of waiting to see what he says before bursting a sac.
The (wish I was smoking a) Joint (during this) Address
The joint address is a powerful and rare thing in the machinations of Washington. Other than the annual joint address (the State of the Union one), presidents rarely use this. Previously, President Bush used it to address Congress and the nation in the wake of 9/11, and President Clinton did so to tackle the pressing and must-solve problem of the day, health care (the result was the flop of Hillarycare, 16 years ago).
And yes, 16 years and two administrations later, President Obama is going to try his hand at something the master prevaricator (or perverticator) couldn't pull off. And considering Clinton, who could sound convincing even when you knew he was lying (hint: it's when his lips were moving), couldn't get a Democrat-led Congress to turn out a government health care system, what chance does Obama have at working his mojo to accomplish this goal?
In all, it may prove to be the final nail in the coffin of Obamacare. But only if the opposition (the Goofy Old Party, specifically) can be effective in explaining (without resorting to bullshit) why what Obama will promise will fail to come to pass.
Bonus content to prove things never change
I wanted to look for some joint address goodness from yesteryear that applied to the current situation. Here's what I first found. Let me know how relevant it really is:
It is my duty to recommend to your serious consideration those objects which by the Constitution are placed particularly within your sphere - the national debts and taxes.
Since the decay of the feudal system, by which the public defense was provided for chiefly at the expense of individuals, the system of loans has been introduced, and as no nation can raise within the year by taxes sufficient sums for its defense and military operations in time of war the sums loaned and debts contracted have necessarily become the subjects of what have been called funding systems. The consequences arising from the continual accumulation of public debts in other countries ought to admonish us to be careful to prevent their growth in our own. The national defense must be provided for as well as the support of Government; but both should be accomplished as much as possible by immediate taxes, and as little as possible by loans.
- John Adams, State of the Union Address, 1797