As I wrote earlier, I’m no fan of State of the Union speeches. I’m usually no fan of the opposition-party responses, either, for a variety of reasons. First, they suffer in comparison to the pomp offered the President and can’t avoid seeming anti-climactic. The only person who ever really got that was Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, who arranged to give his response in 2010 in the Virginia legislature, with his fellow Republicans offering applause in a venue that at least approximated that enjoyed by Barack Obama.
However, at least rhetorically, Marco Rubio took the correct path in responding to the usual SOTU laundry-list speech. In his rebuttal, Rubio stayed away from offering the Republican legislative agenda, and instead stuck to the Republican and conservative philosophies of governing and economics. Rather than try to compete with Santa Claus, Rubio explained that, in the words of Robert Heinlein, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch: