Tom Brokaw R U OK

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Normal American Tom Brokaw tweeted an all-lowercase, freeform take ahead of Tuesday evening’s State of the Union. It might not make much sense to the untrained eye:


It’s hard to say what any of this definitively means, but here is my attempt:

state of the union speech. a kabuki exercise. reps of potus party hop up and down, like electronic programmed moles

This part seems clear enough: Brokaw is making an unoriginal comparison between the highly staged and choreographed State of the Union with the highly staged and choreographed Japanese art form. Will Trump strike a presidential, politically bipartisan posture tomorrow night without changing his politics at all? Almost certainly! “reps of potus party”—the Republicans—will fall all over themselves to clap their hands off, like “electronic programmed moles,” which has also been true since the dawn of this event. This is poetry, people!

Moving along to:

oppo does dark

On first reading, this could be read as a reference to damaging “oppo,” or opposition research, but it seems more likely to be a nod to the anti-Trump #Resistance, which has selected Joe Kennedy III—yes, one of those Kennedys—to deliver its designated response. Unless Kennedy does something embarrassing like get very thirsty to make the speech memorable, it will be lost to history, just like all the rest.

Finally, Brokaw takes a turn toward the painfully obvious:

be nice if a potus just said, “hey, gimme a break. doing the best i can. let’s grab a beer and watch some hoops.”


It sure would be nice if the president, whose administration has so far been an endless crusade to demonize immigrants, LGBTQ people, and women, would just invite the whole country to grab a cold one and watch sports (which sounds like a logistical nightmare apart from anything else). After all, he’s doing the best he can, just like Brokaw, a special correspondent at NBC News, or any one of us.

All told, this is an excellent primer for what at least 50% of responses to the SOTU from the pundit class will look like: largely incomprehensible unless you squint, full of praise for any semblance of civility from our boorish president, and with polite golf applause if the Democrats are able to put up any sort of a fight at all.