Collateral Damage From Pelosi's SOTU Antics

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

By all accounts, President Trump's intuition for welfare state politics (aka "owning the libs") was on full display during his State of the Union Address last night. On top of this, Nancy Pelosi, whom he apparently snubbed for a handshake earlier, played into his hands by making an ass of herself throughout.

This she consummated by pointedly ripping her paper copy of the speech in half.

Pelosi was hardly alone in serving as a a foil to the President. During the address, Pelosi or the Democrats -- whose female members wore white, as if they belonged to a religious cult -- witlessly obliged Trump, as if they were a band of marionettes. Among other things, Pelosi or the Democrats:
  • Refused to applaud a short tribute to the achievements and heroism of past Americans.
  • Hissed or heckled Trump after he noted a reduction in welfare rolls.
  • Did not applaud a student who received a scholarship.
  • Refused even polite applause when Trump awarded Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Before I go on, let me be clear that there are good reasons to be upset about much of what Trump has done or failed to do during his Presidency. And most, but not all, of these things do not align with the anti-freedom priorities of the Democrats. For example, how did Trump reduce welfare rolls, and is this part of a larger strategy to abolish welfare? I don't know the answer to the first question off the top of my head, but I am certain that the answer to the second question is No. Furthermore, the above (after the first item) are not all necessarily things to applaud, in ordinary circumstances -- but read on about why token applause might have been the best thing to do, anyway.

And yes, I agree with Trump's words, "[N]o parent should be forced to send their child to a failing government school." But I don't see this man plotting a road map to end socialized education. And I do have every reason to wonder whether the tax credit program he supports is just a way to get federal funding for religious education. To wit:
Whether we are Republican, Democrat, or Independent, surely we must all agree that every human life is a sacred gift from God!
No. Our lives are sacred, but they are our own. And our inalienable rights derive from our nature as rational beings. The idea that life is a gift from God may be widely accepted, but it is not even wrong. Worse, it is being used by anti-abortionists to claim "rights" for fetuses at the expense of the actual rights of pregnant women.

These are all legitimate gripes, but protesting during the State of the Union is not the way to bring them up. The President runs the show and it is too easy to look foolish -- as the Democrats demonstrated -- by trying to make a point while it is going on. Indeed, this "formal speech from the throne" -- as Thomas Jefferson called it -- seems practically designed for the purpose. (And I agree with him and Jeff Jacoby that the message should be transmitted from the President to Congress in written form.)

So, sure, I had some chuckles at Pelosi's expense, but then the full context of her blunders set in and I realized that this speech basically teed up Donald Trump to look good -- because his opponents are so consumed with hatred for him, and probably also America, in many cases. As an opponent of the left and a lover of liberty, I have found the Trump Presidency to be a disaster, in objective terms. And yet I will consider voting for him simply because the Democrats seem hell-bent on nominating someone much worse.

And now, after the State of the Union address, criticizing Trump will seem petulant at first blush to many people who need to hear that we could do a lot better. Trump -- with a big assist from Pelosi -- just made it harder to be heard when speaking up for many things, especially separation of church and state, and abortion rights.

-- CAV


Today: Reworded paragraph after Trump quote. 

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