House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ripped up so many things on Feb. 4. She shredded any hope Democrats have of pretending that they have respect for the United States, for the Constitution, for decorum, for civility, for common decency. What may have been the most powerful State of the Union address in modern history was spat on by the Democratic Party. There is no greater demonstration of the contempt in which Democrats hold the United States than what the leader of the House Democrats did on that evening.
One glaring example of Democrat hypocrisy, exhibited during President Donald Trump’s delivery of his third State of the Union, was the white-clad female delegation of the Democratic Party. Refusing to applaud the record low level of women’s unemployment – and, more importantly, the fact that women have filled the overwhelming share of new jobs – demonstrates how political power is, for some, vastly more important than solving perceived social injustices.
The 2020 State of the Union dripped optimism, and still, the majority of Democrat members of Congress sat stone-faced, refusing to acknowledge the achievements of the past three years.
Surely, everyone could celebrate achievement. Unfortunately, it is clear for Pelosi and her party colleagues that achievement means nothing if it is credited to the president of the other party. It is one thing to have differences of opinion about which policies might best serve the nation, but it is quite another to pour scorn upon good policy for no other reason than a dislike for the president who championed those policies.
The enduring image of President Trump’s 2020 State of the Union address will be that of the House Speaker tearing up her copy of the president’s speech. The action epitomized the absolute refusal, on the part of the opposition party, to cooperate in any efforts to move the country forward.
A Few Highlights from the SOTU
The president touted an agenda that was “relentlessly pro-worker, pro-family, pro-growth, and most of all, pro-American.” In typical Trump fashion, he told Congress: “America’s enemies are on the run, America’s fortunes are on the rise, and America’s future is blazing bright. The years of economic decay are over.”
The tension between the two aisles was palpable as the president listed his administration’s accomplishments, from lower unemployment to the dangers of sanctuary cities and states. His pledge to protect gun rights, though, drew a vocal response from a guest of Pelosi’s: Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter had been killed in a school shooting in 2018, started shouting in protest and had to be escorted out of the chamber.
The House speaker barely concealed her disgust, too, when the president mentioned the Space Force. Trump used the moment to introduce Iain Lanphier, 13, who has ambitions to join the new branch of the U.S. military. In a deeply moving moment, the president hailed Lanphier’s great-grandfather, who was also in the gallery: Tuskegee Airmen Charles McGee, had in early December celebrated his 100th birthday and was recently promoted by his commander in chief to Brigadier General.
Ever hungry for the contributions and the votes of America’s teachers’ unions, Democrats scowled as the president spoke of the need for alternatives to failing public schools. Fourth-grader Janiyah Davis and her mother was another invited guest. Trump revealed to Davis that she would receive an Opportunity Scholarship to attend the school of her choice. The move was a response to Governor Tom Wolf’s (D-PA) veto of legislation that would have expanded the voucher program. “No parent should be forced to send their child to a failing government school,” Trump said.
Home from a year in Afghanistan, Sgt. 1st Class Townsend Williams surprised his wife and two children, who were in attendance. It was a touching moment and a symbolic tribute to all the families of those who are serving overseas in the nation’s military.
Ultimately, though – for all the poignancy of the address – it is clear that the Democratic Party would rather see the country fail than see it succeed during the Trump presidency. As skilled a politician as she has been for so many years, Pelosi – in a desperate attempt to appease the most virulent Trump-hating elements of her party – may have taken the political divide to a new level – a level that is beyond healing,
Sgt. 1st Class Townsend Williams
Read more from Graham J. Noble.