It’s time for the State of the Union again, which means it’s time to gather around the TV and
thoughtfully discuss the future of the country play a sophomoric game based on the events that we expect to unfold over the course of the evening.
Now, on to the game….
Last year, we played a blackout-inducing drinking game. It was a huge success. Little known fact: University of Miami Law grad Senator Marco Rubio was even playing along last year.
This time around let’s keep the drinking, but change the game a bit. Who’s up for some Bingo?
For the drinking, drink at your leisure, but be prepared to finish your drink whenever someone in your game gets a Bingo. If you want to play with the rest of the ATL readership, you can do that too! How will you know when someone wins? Well, Tweet “Bingo!” to @ATLBlog and we’ll retweet it around. The good people at Osric have a Bingo card generator, so you just cut and paste the word list at the bottom of this post into the appropriate field and BANG, you’ve got yourself a Bingo card!
Change in Subject — The easy one. The State of the Union is expected to address — at the very least — immigration, the minimum wage, health care, Iran, and North Korea. When a new subject arises, check this box. Simple.
Cut to SCOTUS — At least some contingent of the Court will be in the room, and whenever a robe is on screen, mark your card. There’s are potential double points available here because…
Cut to Ginsburg Asleep — I didn’t expect her to fall asleep again last year. But… she did.
Cut to Attorney General Eric Holder — The nation’s top lawyer will get on screen at some point. The odds that he ends up sitting this one out (as one cabinet member must) are virtually nil because the Attorney General is too high profile. Sitting out is for the Secretary of Agriculture…
Executive Order — The theme of 2014 is supposedly the “Year of Action,” so expect the President to throw around the prospect of making law unilaterally a bunch. His decision to boost the minimum wage for federal contractors via executive order is already out there.
The Constitution — The most legal of all possible references. If the President mentions the Constitution in any explicit way, including “constitutional” or a specific mention of any Amendment, you can mark it.
“Law” — For that matter, whenever he says, “Law.”
“State of [the/our] Union” — Last year I compared this to the annoying moment when a character in a movie bends over backward to name check the movie:
I hope it will not come up tonight, but it will.
Standing Ovation — Last year there were 41 standing ovations. If you get this on your card, stand up and cheer.
Obamacare/Health Care — The troubled rollout was a favorite talking point for months, but with enrollment almost meeting the administration’s goals to this point, the President will doubtless bring it up to shift the narrative on it.
Gun Control — Last year, the Sandy Hook shooting didn’t just put gun control on the agenda, it made it the only thing the whole nation agreed upon, with upwards of 90 percent supporting background checks and majorities supporting assault weapons bans and clip capacity limits. And… nothing happened.
Citizens United — And the reason nothing happened on gun control is the outsized influence of gun manufacturer money in Washington. Will President Obama raise the Supreme Court case that gave rise to one of the most famous moments in his State of the Union history?
NSA — Obama has announced some changes to the NSA. Those changes don’t include the whole “no longer spying on you” provision, but it’s a start.
Edward Snowden — If he gets a specific namecheck. If Obama announces a pardon, just quit the game and concentrate on the social media fallout.
Gay Marriage — States are joining the marriage equality fold right and left. Literally, with Utah and Oklahoma on board. But Oklahoma is eyeing a new escape route from the 21st Century: banning all marriage. Derp.
Election Law — President Obama has spoken to the issue of voter suppression before. Now that he’s chosen Stanford Law’s Pam Karlan to serve as Assistant Attorney General for Voting Rights, he’s signaled that this remains an administration priority.
Judicial Nominations — We live in a post-nuclear world so the backlog of nominations is a less pressing political issue than it was last year, but it could still get a shoutout.
Immigration Reform — It seems like a year ago when everyone talked about comprehensive immigration reform as the bipartisan issue whose passage was just around the corner. That’s because it was a year ago.
Farm Bill — You may not think the Farm Bill is a big deal, but it’s a really big deal. It looks like the only substantive legislation Congress will pass this year, too. Come to think of it, this is why the Secretary Vilsack probably won’t sit out tonight.
Cut to a Special Guest — There’s more than a dozen guests sitting with First Lady Michelle Obama. Elsewhere in the gallery, we’ll have Sean Hannity, the Mayor of Fort Lee, and some Duck Dynasty guy. We’re just missing a Kardashian to round out the sideshow.
Generic Words — Speech-giving cliché time! Let’s go with: Hope, Progress, Gridlock, Change, Forward, Republican, Democrat, My Friend, The American People, Equal, Historic, War on [Insert], Help, Economy, Jobs.
So now that we’ve got our words, go to Osric and change the title of the card to “ATL SOTU Game,” change the Free Space text to “Free” or maybe “Obama On Screen,” and then cut and paste the below list into the Word List:
Change in Subject, Cut to SCOTUS, Cut to Ginsburg Asleep, Cut to Attorney General Eric Holder, Executive Order, The Constitution, Law, State of The Union, Standing Ovation, Obamacare or Health Care, Gun Control, Citizens United, NSA, Edward Snowden, Gay Marriage, Election Law, Judicial Nominations, Immigration Reform, Farm Bill, Cut to a Special Guest, Hope, Progress, Gridlock, Change, Forward, Republican, Democrat, My Friend, The American People, Equal, Historic, War on Insert Something Here, Help, Economy, Jobs
Here’s my card: