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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

State of the Union Speech is About the Nation-Not Congress

Poor Man Survival

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State of the Union Speech is About the Nation-Not Congress

One year after various Democratic politicians boycotted the presidential inauguration, there is a growing list of members now pledging to boycott President Trump’s State of the Union address. As with the boycott of the inauguration, this protest misses the point of the State of the Union and, more importantly, the role played by members of Congress. To put it simply, it is not about him or them. It is about us.

Besides the inauguration, the State of the Union is the only occasion in which members of all three branches gather together in a formal joint event. It is a demonstration of civility and comity between the branches. It has become a symbol of a unified government where a president speaks to the body of representatives for the American people.

Fewer people are watching the addresses, which have declined from a 44.3 rating during the Clinton presidency to 19 or 20 for recent addresses. (Notably, Trump was responsible for a sharp increase to 28.7 in his Feb. 28 address.)

Rep.”Mad” Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), a vile anti-Trumper, had declared that she will boycott the address and asked, “Why would I take my time to go and sit and listen to a liar?”  She promised to deliver a rebuttal on BET network. Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) says that she will not attend because “President Trump’s address will be full of innuendo, empty promises, and lies.” It is tempting to dismiss this content with the observation that, if we removed “innuendo, empty promises, and lies” from the congressional record, we would be left on some days with little more than a transcript the length of a haiku poem.

Yet, these statements reveal a troubling and fundamental miscomprehension of the role of members. First and foremost, it is not about these members as individuals. They represent hundreds of thousands of citizens, including some who support and others who oppose the president. As representatives, they are expected to attend these events to represent those citizens. They do not have to rejoice, but they have to represent.

Second, the view of a given president is not the material question for a member. Members have gathered out of respect for the office, not the officeholder. They gathered to hear Richard Nixon despite his criminal allegations. Indeed, Waters appeared to listen to Clinton, who not only lied under oath, but was impeached for doing so.

Third, if members begin to engage in protests or boycotts of the State of the Union, we will lose the little decorum that we have retained in these increasingly poisonous, petty political times. If attendance is treated as an endorsement of presidential policies, more and more seats will be left vacant as partisan voters demand boycotts.  In which case, few would show up to any Democratic politician speaker.

Indeed, Democrat Kennedy III delivered a rebuttal which was full of hot air and hypocracy which talked about restoring the wages of the American working class –something Pres. Trump has already started doing while Democrats under Obama did just the opposite with their massive anti-business regulation which is typical of limousine liberals.

What is most concerning is the view of boycotting members that there is no longer any value in listening to the president. Waters added, “I don’t appreciate him and I wouldn’t waste my time sitting in that house listening to what he has to say. He does not deserve my attention.” Rep. John Lewis(D-Ga.) has said, “I cannot, in all good conscious, be in a room with what he has said about so many Americans. I just cannot do it.”

When we are deeply divided, the value of coming together for these events is more, not less, important. With our politicians unable to pass a budget to fund our government beyond the first week of February, this is the worse time for members to stomp off in a kindergarten fit.  Democrats need re-read their history books especially those about Washington, Jefferson and Franklin and the art of compromise and start thinking about what is good for the whole of the country, not just special interests.


Yours for surviving the Deep State,

Bruce, the Poor Man


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Democrats were hoping to use Trump’s speech to launch a new wave of attacks against him, but that massively backfired. The State of the Union address may have been Trump’s best performance to date, and even a CBS News poll found that his speech got an astounding 75 percent approval rating.
No matter how Democrats try to spin things, the truth is that there is a lot of good economic news right now. Pinheaded Dems under Obama instead saw more people get on welfare & college grads move back in with their parents.
#1 “Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone.”
#2 “After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.”
#3 “Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low.”
#4 “African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded”