The hype for the last State of the Union address had been building for months. There was a countdown, special Muslim guest stars and a pre-show featuring a mediocre indie band and Joe Biden.

And all Iran had to do to steal the show was take two Navy boats and ten sailors hostage.

Then, when Obama puffed out his chest and declared, “No nation dares to attack us or our allies because they know that’s the path to ruin”, it took good manners not to laugh.

That would come as news to Iran which three days ago fired rockets near the USS Harry S Truman and then decided to seize two American naval vessels, or to North Korea, which celebrated the State of the Union early with a major nuclear test, or to China, which threatened us with war in October.

Never mind Russia, which invaded and annexed part of one of our allies. Or all the Islamic terrorists.

While Americans were being held hostage, Joe Biden stepped out on a rug even more threadbare than the one on his head to introduce two indie rockers fresh from appearing on Colbert.

No matter what might be happening in the real world, in the White House the party had to go on.

But pity Obama. He wanted to be FDR laying out the Four Freedoms. He didn’t want to be Jimmy Carter in a sweater reassuring the nation that the best was yet to come. He has the Ayatollah to thank for that.

No matter how weak an opposition the Republicans may represent, Obama has found enemies abroad who will not rest until they distract him from his golfing, his partying and his domestic political agenda.

Obama refused to mention the latest Iranian attack in his speech. Instead he claimed that his dirty nuclear deal with Iran “avoided another war”. But while Democrats ritually applauded like windup toys, Americans watched and worried about the fate of still more of their countrymen being held by Iran.

Iran had not just seized ten Americans and two ships. It had seized control of Obama’s agenda.

The State of the Union lays out Obama’s agenda. Free criminals, legalize illegal aliens and put more businesses out of business. He wanted to lecture Americans about being “afraid” of “change”. There was the imperial “we” in which he defined his own agenda of ObamaCare, big bailouts, Green Energy and gay marriage as a national accomplishment that had to be safeguarded for the future.

But his claims that the country was stronger than ever had been shown up as a lie once again. And without a strong America, none of his lies or promises, his taunts or threats mattered.

Obama claimed, “When it comes to every important international issue, people of the world do not look to Beijing or Moscow to lead — they call us.” That must be why even former American allies in the Middle East and Eastern Europe are turning to Beijing and Moscow.

Nobody counts on Obama for anything except a quip and a handout. And Americans are the ones paying out of their savings and their children’s savings for those international handouts.

A record number of Americans are out of the job market making Obama’s claims of a fantastic economy into a bitter joke to the countless of people who haven’t been able to find jobs, or who have lost their jobs or their health insurance plans because of his policies.

While many of Obama’s billionaire donors have cashed in on government giveaways (while his millionaire donors have had to settle for ambassadorships) the middle class has lost hope in the future. The tedious recital of dishonest statistics has become a constant ritual that hardly anyone outside the financial sector pays attention to anymore. The real story is told on street corners and in barber shops by a despairing middle class sacrificed on the altar of Obama’s radical left-wing politics.

Obama claimed that, “more and more wealth and income is concentrated at the very top.” It is indeed. What he neglects to mention is that the “very top” is Washington D.C. and the bedroom communities of Maryland which have sinuously concentrated the country’s wealth in their fat, coiling inner rings.

The imperial ring of government comprises the wealthiest areas in the nation today. And increasingly, despite Obama’s hollow class warfare poses, ordinary Americans know it and are angry about it.

Obama repeats the same tired lies about ObamaCare, even as the latest reports show that the system is coming apart.

He claims that we “shouldn’t weaken” Medicare, after having proposed cuts for it yet again.

He says that when mass immigration creates an oversupply of labor, that doesn’t lead to wage stagnation.

He claims that destroying coal jobs and replacing them with taxpayer subsidized Green Energy is “freedom”.

He denounces the “entrenched interests who want to protect the status quo”, like the elderly who want to be able to heat their homes in the winter or coal miners who want to be able to feed their families.

But their “entrenched interests” have to make way for those of Obama’s Green Energy billionaires.

Big Brother couldn’t have said it any better. And yet none of it mattered, because outside the wolf was at the door and the cold winter wind was blowing through the cracks.

While America was once under attack, Obama desperately read off the same tired justifications which, with Orwellian magic, sought to transform his foreign policy of weakness into strength.

The best way to beat ISIS was to go on pretending it was a JayVee team. The Trans-Pacific Partnership would “advance American leadership in Asia” by destroying more jobs in America. The embargo on the Communist dictatorship in Cuba had to end to “consolidate our leadership and credibility in the hemisphere”.

Obama’s twisted version of “American leadership” means crippling American industry in non-binding Global Warming deals, freeing Al Qaeda terrorists from Guantanamo Bay and spending more money on foreign aid. It means letting Iran go nuclear while lecturing Americans about Islamophobia.

That’s not leadership. And Iran’s serial humiliations of Obama remind us of that.

No matter how much money Obama spends on speechwriters, no matter what words his teleprompter blinks at him and what pop culture distractions his staff frantically throw at social media, under pressure, weakness will never be mistaken for strength.

Obama wanted to go out as FDR or JFK. He might have settled for LBJ. But his dirty appeasement of Iran will see to it that he leaves a cringing Carter.