Crowley's analysis of the Democratic SOTU response is spot-on, even as it's in-line. While his criticisms of the speech are the best I've read (and you should read them), it's general awfulness and ineffectiveness seem well accepted. The calls are already coming for the tradition to be scrapped, for the minority retort to be let out of its misery.
There's something nicely, idealistically American about guaranteeing the opposition party airtime to respond to the President's address. Just because they don't do it well (and that goes for Republicans and Democrats), doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. What it does mean is that it needs to rescued from irrelevancy.