Beyond that, I find the pseudo-monarchial trappings of the speech increasingly repellent. We’re in the midst of an election campaign to decide whether Barack Obama gets to keep his office another four years and yet, for 90 minutes or so, we’re supposed to pretend that he’s our king. The entirety of both Houses of Congress, the Supreme Court, the Joint Chiefs, and the Cabinet–minus, of course, some token unelected apparatchik kept in a safe location somewhere to reconstitute the government in the event a Japanese airliner rams the Capitol — is supposed to clap like trained monkeys while the Campaigner in Chief delivers a partisan stump speech thinly disguised as a plea for national unity.

James Joyner, “State Of The Union Address Obsolete,” Outside the Beltway, January 24, 2012

Yeah, I really hate this. 

I live under a monarchy, and you know what Obama didn’t look like yesterday? A king. He looked like someone who has been elected and who, in nine months time, has to ask the people to re-elect him if he wants to stay in office. He looked like someone who was accountable to his citizenry, which is precisely what royals are not.