I find the state of the union speeches repugnant. Why? More applause than even great performers get during musical, comedic, or dramatic performance. It seems symptomatic of what is so false and pretentious in politics.
Tonight I watched Rahm Emmanuel speak to a very happy audience. He was announcing a win of the Congress - a big deal. I'm delighted that the frat boy may finally have adult supervision. So why mar this moment with gratuitous and incessant clapping?
My idea about the first thing that the new Congress should do? Set a quota on clapping for political speeches. Introductory applause. Two interruptions. And then a rousing close. More than that and you aren't allowed to introduce legislation for six months.