Obama’s State of the Union Address Promises DADT Repeal, College Loan Relief, Free Smiles

Tonight the President told us all to be nice to each other, to stop being cynical assholes, and to create more jobs and love gay people! This message is very similar to what Conan O’Brien said last week. Also similar to Conan? All the jokes!

Executive Editor Laneia & Associate Editor Sarah watch the State of the Union Address, share their feelings [below]. What are your feelings?

i. in the beginning.

Sarah: DO WE HAVE A GAME PLAN? I’m very hyper!
Laneia: We are watching.
Sarah: Ok! Mostly my thoughts will be like “OMG STOP CLAPPING!”
Sarah: Ugh I hate the State of The Union. It’s so masturbatory.
Sarah: srsly

Obama: “Talk to the small business in Phoenix that will triple its workforce because of the Recovery Act…”

doesn’t that make you feel like he knows you?
Laneia: mhm def
Sarah: like he understands your plight as a person?
Laneia: he’s like, in mah backyard
Sarah: yeah
i’m sure that makes up for everything
for DADT
for DOMA
for all that
because he knows that your hometown exists
Laneia: yes
i feel much better now
also ? when biden nods?
i feel greatly at ease when biden nods
Sarah: oh mmhmm
and how there’s a woman up there
totes makes it up to me
is it too catty if i point out that she looks like skeletor?
i probs shouldn’t criticize her appearance
Laneia: yeah don’t do that
Sarah: she does though
not a bad thing, she’s great!
Laneia: mhm


Sarah: i am so cynical tonight
i need to be more hopeful

iii. how long should we wait = not rhetorical

Obama: “From the day I took office, I’ve been told that addressing our larger challenges is too ambitious, such effort would be too contentious. I’ve been told that our political system is too gridlocked and that we should just put things on hold for a while. For those who make these claims, I have one simple question: How long should we wait? How long should America put its future on hold?

Laneia: “how long should we wait” for equal rights for all people. “washington has been telling us to wait for decades”

Obama: … Meanwhile, China’s not waiting to revamp its economy; Germany’s not waiting; India’s not waiting.

Laneia: Canada’s not waiting
Sarah: good point

Obama: “Well, I do not accept second place for the United States of America.”

we’re #1
i mean yeah, good point about how they’re not waiting but GOD it’s not a competition.
Sarah: it’s like high school football or somethin’
Laneia: exactly
Sarah: he’s subliminally trying to appeal to Texas
Laneia: mm mhm

iv. what does a state of the union address attendee look like?

Sarah: that republican looks P.I.S.T.
Laneia: PIST, lolz
Sarah: i think joe biden is wearing a purple tie
Laneia: everyone is!
either purple or red
i am v. interested in who he’s got in the audience for his DADT point
will they be super dykey?
or femme
Sarah: oh hmmmmmm
i am so intrigued
by how this will go
and also, wtf, he can just sign an executive order
i am so not funny tonight
Laneia: i know
dumbest part

v. brilliant idea

Sarah: i think that a constant feature of this broadcast should be a republicam
so i can judge the right’s level of agreement, asshattery, etc.

vi. a cake made of unicorns

Obama: We need to make sure consumers and middle-class families have the information they need to make financial decisions. Next, we need to encourage American innovation.

Laneia: he’s basically just like : “in a perf world, we are awesome. here’s how we could be awesome, if we didn’t suck.”
and it’s like, “lesbians living in treehouses”
Sarah: hahahahah
omg i wanna live in a treehouse!
Laneia: RIGHT
Sarah: but i think that’s the point of the state of the union, right?
Laneia: is it?
Sarah: create an inspiring agenda
Laneia: i was hoping he’d be more fucking REALISTIC

Obama: But to create more of these clean-energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives, and that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country.

Sarah: i wish lesbian treehouses was on the agenda but
but if this is so unrealistic, that doesn’t give me hope for DADT
like it’s a pipe dream or something?
Laneia: yes this feels like State Of My Pipe Dream
Sarah: you’re right about the campaignyness
i think that should be the post title, fyi

vii. getting schooled

Obama: And the idea here is simple: Instead of rewarding failure, we only reward success. Instead of funding the status quo, we only invest in reform, reform that raises student achievement, inspires students to excel in math and science, and turns around failing schools that steal the future of too many young Americans, from rural communities to the inner city.

Laneia: oh hm, the idea that schools are stealing futures
that’s an interesting way to put that
Sarah: it is in fact
Laneia: kind of impressive
Sarah: i like that turn of phrase!

Obama: Still, in this economy, a high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job. That’s why I urge the Senate to follow the House and pass a bill that will revitalize our community colleges, which are a career pathway to the children of so many working families.

Sarah: he’s right, the undergrad degree is the new HS diploma
also hard to get a job with
Laneia: um did a h.s. diploma EVER guarantee a good job???
Sarah: no, it guaranteed a job if you were willing to join the military
Laneia: right
Sarah: i think the high school diploma lost it’s appeal in the ’40s

Obama: To make college more affordable, this bill will finally end the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that go to banks for student loans. Instead, let’s take that money and give families a $10,000 tax credit for four years of college and increase Pell Grants. And let’s tell another 1 million students that, when they graduate, they will be required to pay only 10 percent of their income on student loans, and all of their debt will be forgiven after 20 years, and forgiven after 10 years if they choose a career in public service, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college.

Laneia: he said he wanted to change the college loan payback to 10% of a grad’s income. and that loans should be forgiven after 20 yrs. i just condensed that for you.

Obama: I didn’t choose to tackle this issue to get some legislative victory under my belt. And by now, it should be fairly obvious that I didn’t take on health care because it was good politics.

Laneia: he is SO FUCKING JOKEY
this will not look good to the repubs
Sarah: nope
Laneia: they will rip him a new one over this tone

Next: If Obama says our country is going to turn around, will we also turn around? And news on DADT!

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Laneia is the Director of Operations and founding member of Autostraddle, and you're the reason she's here.

Laneia has written 918 articles for us.


  1. ‘america must always stand on the side of human dignity’ mmhmmm right. I’ll get back to you when i get my equal protection under the law card. I like the translations because I was totally doing this on my couch to my tv. I used to throw a big party for the SOTU. One day I will again and we can all Autospeak at the TV.

    As far as DADT I am very happy it was mentioned and to mention it in the SOTU should give it a nice big push. That being said Sen. McCain has already released a statement saying that it is a ‘mistake’ to repeal DADT. He also calls the policy ‘successful’ I mean this was released at 9:25 even before the speech was over.

    *clap clap stay optimistic clap clap*

  2. I am mostly optimistic as a result of this speech…..BUT….. I kind of got the vibe that he was rushing through the DADT statement. It was so short and he seemed uncomfortable. I guess I just wanted him to go into a little more detail. Maybe I am just seeing the glass half empty because I’m so used to the haters drinking all my damn milk. Did anyone else get gay-antsy vibes from him?

    • Yes, like it was there and before you soaked it in, it was gone. I was also probably already pissed about the “spending freeze” thing. Does anyone not remember during the campaign the scalpel, axe analogy? The speech wasn’t bad overall and he did get a few jokes in. But I wish whack-a-mole Pelosi had come out to play tonight, she’s fun to watch.

    • frankly i was surprised he said anything at all. i felt like he was doing a lot of pandering to his opposition, as usual (what the hell was with all that #1 rhetoric, anyway? first in what? being a country?), which is i guess a smart strategy in theory but i’m sick of it and it’s not winning him any repub support anyway. he had to acknowledge the gays somehow and DADT is the safest bet right now. everybody loves gay soldiers isn’t that what like, band of brothers was about? no? i never saw it.

      • i never saw it either but I’m sure you’re right. I give a lot and I mean a lot of leniency to politicians i agree with for the bullshit they pull but I am getting pretty frustrated that the Dems having a majority in the House and Senate can’t get anything through. Already there are some refusing to run for re-election and how does one guy who drives a truck in Massachusetts intimidate an entire party?

  3. When Obama started talking about “how long are we going to wait” and stuff I seriously became ANGRY WITH RAGE. I was playing WoW with my brother and my response was to pretty much pound on the keyboard incoherently. We’ve been saying that about GLBT rights for so long, and he and his buddies keep saying “wait”… it just felt like a slap in the face.

    Yeah, cynicism is easy, but that’s because every time we open ourselves to hope, we get kicked in the face. Funny how that works.

  4. Q: Great diversity vs. created equal?
    We’re not the same. We’re not the same on the outside and we’re not the same on the inside. I guess the point is that the value of every human life is the same, we deserve the same rights the same starting point (which makes the fact that it’s the most capitalistic country in the world slightly ironic. Socialism is not communism…), but we’re NOT created equal. We have different needs, goals, values, cultures… isn’t that diversity?

  5. The part when Laneia managed to take a pee break during the small bit about DADT is like when my friend took a pee break during the only 3 minutes of plot in that god awful three hour David Bowie movie, The Man Who Fell to Earth. He almost cried. Did you?

    Obama is such a great public speaker, he makes everything sound like sunshine and rainbows. He also has very soft hands.

  6. This play by play is better than the speech. Funnier and without the clapping! I didn’t watch the speech, but apparently when Obama was talking about the anonymous funding, Alito mouthed something like “he’s wrong.” so much for impartiality!

  7. DADT is important. I’m glad he says he’ll work on it. But as the president who strictly mentioned queer folks in his acceptance speech after he won the election, I expected more. I hoped for more. And I want to get married, dammit! And just, you know, rights.

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