I don’t mean the official response by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. She gave a well-presented speech, thankfully short on partisan bile and long on standard Democratic boilerplate about helping the struggling workers and making health care more affordable – both of which would be great if (A.) I thought they meant it, and (B.) they had any idea how to do it. She didn’t respond to any specifics in Trump’s speech, but then, I’m sure it was written before his was released. You can see why Whitmer is a rising star in Democratic circles, if she isn’t sunk by the angry radical left.
No, the Democratic response I’m talking about, the one that’s getting the most attention and blowback, was the childish, rude, self-defeating reaction in the Chamber (some members, such as rabid Trump haters AOC and Al Green, boycotted the speech, and were likely not missed by anyone on either side.)
Reactions in the House to previous Presidents’ SOTU Addresses have often been partisan, but they at least showed respect for the office. A President’s fellow party members might cheer wildly at his accomplishments while the opposition sat quietly or offered polite, tepid applause. But remember the shock and outrage when one Republican shouted, “You lie!” at Obama? Democrats thought that was outrageous (he was later reprimanded.) Well, last night, Trump was interrupted by dozens of Democrats in a pre-planned heckling chant. But amazingly, that was not their worst misbehavior.
That act of self-immolation was repeated over and over, when they angrily sat on their hands and glowered as Trump listed accomplishments that they’d be doing cartwheels over if a Democrat had managed them. Record low unemployment for minorities, women and the disabled? Silence. Blue collar jobs returning and wages rising? Silence. Working on a cure for AIDS? Silence. A little African-American girl being granted her life-changing dream of choosing a good school to attend? Silence. Most refused even to show support for killing terrorist mass murderers or not killing late term babies, two things they oppose largely because Trump supports them. To them, any good news for America is bad news, since it lessens their reelection chances. They even managed to look as if they’d just swallowed castor oil when Trump called for planting a trillion trees. (“Trump likes trees? Then I hate trees now!!”)
I generally refuse to stoop to the now-common practice of ascribing the worst motives to people who disagree with my political views. I don’t assume someone who sees things differently from me is stupid, racist, evil or whatever. But with last night’s sickening display, the Democrats in the House made it crystal clear that they place expressing hatred of Trump and opposing everything he does above every other issue, no matter how positive it might otherwise be. They would honestly rather see Americans suffer and fail, even groups they claim to champion such as minorities, women and the disabled, than see Trump succeed in helping them. It was partisan politics in its rawest, most selfish form, and it was repulsive.
But wait: it actually gets worse. To cap off the blatant display of disrespect for the President and anyone who supports him (or who has benefited from his policies), Nancy Pelosi made a show of ripping her copy of the speech in half behind his back on live TV.
(This followed an hour’s worth of strange facial contortions, eye-rolling and gesticulations that made it appear she was teaching a seminar in bad silent movie acting.)
Pelosi’s stunt sparked a range of heated reactions. I think law professor Jonathan Turley, who recently tried unsuccessfully to teach the House Democrats what an impeachable offense was, put it well on Twitter: “Pelosi's act dishonored the institution and destroyed even the pretense of civility and decorum in the House. If this is the Speaker's ‘drop the mike’ moment, it is a disgrace that should never be celebrated or repeated. In a single act, she obliterated decades of tradition.”
Newt Gingrich also tweeted that Pelosi’s ripping up of the speech disgusted him and wasn’t clever or cute but a childish insult to American traditions, and she deserves to be censured.
The White House response was the most brutal, since they pointed out what was actually in the speech that she was showing utter contempt for. They tweeted, “Speaker Pelosi just ripped up: One of our last surviving Tuskegee Airmen. The survival of a child born at 21 weeks. The mourning families of Rocky Jones and Kayla Mueller. A service member's reunion with his family. That's her legacy.”
But perhaps the best reaction was from several commenters who pointed out that today, Mitch McConnell will be ripping up her “articles of impeachment.”
As Newt pointed out, Pelosi certainly deserves to be censured, but she won’t be as long as Democrats control the House. Thankfully, due to their lack of any accomplishments, their deranged obsession with a doomed impeachment crusade, and their stunningly small-minded misbehavior before the world last night, they might have helped bring the end of that lamentable era to a close very soon.