Even before Donald Trump became president, the annual State of the Union ritual had grown tiresome to those who considered it outdated kabuki theater, just as party conventions have become little more than an extended TV commercial.
Then Trump arrived in the White House. His willingness to say one thing one day and another the next threw Washington into a bizarre reality where what Trump says next, on Twitter, matters more than what he has said before.
In the Trump era, there is no pretending that the State of the Union speech involves a serious political dialogue between the president and the legislative branch. It has descended into political theater, posturing and play-acting.
Ahead of Tuesday’s State of the Union address, Trump has created suspense over whether he’ll use the speech to announce that he will use national emergency powers to obtain funding to build a wall along much of the U.S.-Mexico border.
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