It killed them to stand

Washington emergency rooms were swarmed last night with Democratic congressmen and senators experiencing acute joint pain from unwillingly giving repeated standing ovations during President Bush's State of the Union address. With a national television audience looking on, majority Democrats were forced to their feet again and again to avoid looking stupid when Bush spoke of winning in Afghanistan, persisting in Iraq, having Al Qaida on the run, facing down Iran, and bringing home 20,000 troops.

Cardiac specialists from Rose Hospital told Politics West that Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, and members of their caucuses were fortunate that partisanship and ideology prevented them from standing or applauding at number of other points in Bush's speech, however.

The stress of having to acknowledge his superior logic on such issues as making the tax cuts permanent, expanding consumer choice in health care, pursuing stem cell research without destroying embryos, and authorizing surveillance of terrorists could have felled many Democrats with heart failure, the specialists said.

The President and Vice President, meanwhile, were given Botox shots by White House doctors to relieve extreme facial fatigue -- after struggling for most of the hour to suppress broad grins at the Dems' persistent discomfort, whether sitting or standing.