Is it too much to ask of people in Congress to stay awake for 60 minutes once a year? Snoozing during the President’s address is rude — they should be ashamed: McCain, Biden, Wyden, and others (Kennedy didn’t look too good either). If it’s too much to ask for them to at least appear to be interested (Hillary did a good job at it, as well as the Speaker), perhaps they should resign. (And if you missed it on TV, it appeared the first person hustling out of the chamber was …. John Kerry!)
Article II, Section 3 of The Constitution states of The President:
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.
If they can’t perform such a basic constitutional task as listening to the President once a year, they’re unqualified to serve in Congress (as well as lacking basic decorum, discourteous, boorish, rude, ill-mannered, and many other adjectives). Maybe in future years the President shouldn’t give out advance copies and bullet points — make ’em wait and listen. That would at least make the minority response more interesting — they would have to think on their feet.
I suppose an apology to the people they represent for their failure of Constitutional duty would be too much to ask.