On Sunday, President Obama announced that he would be leaving a seat open at his State of the Union Address for the victims of gun violence. This morning, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) announced that he, too, would leave one of his guest seats empty, to protest abortion. “I have reserved it to commemorate the lives of more than 55 million aborted babies, the chorus of voices that have never been heard in this world but are heard beautifully and clearly in the next world,” he said, adding that he would not attend the address himself. In light of these changes, the updated guest list is as follows:
In last night’s State of the Union Address, President Obama offered a modest agenda that he proposed to enact “with or without Congress”—mostly through executive orders. For those of us who voted for him in 2008, it was a call to ambivalence. It would be nice to see the President do things like raise the minimum wage for federal contractors or curb carbon emissions, and Congress has certainly made Washington less effective by its recalcitrant opposition. But if an adversarial relationship with Congress is the problem, enacting minor policies by presidential fiat will only exacerbate it. And at this moment in our federal government, do we want to give more power to the executive branch?