I was just one of the 46 million people that watched President Trump’s State of the Union Address. I’ve watched all of them since Reagan, with the exception of Obama’s last SOTU address.
As far as SOTU addresses, I thought it was respectable. It wasn’t exactly Reagan-esque, but is was plausible, conciliatory, and certainly pro-American. He presidentially delivered it with the aplomb worthy of his position, and there was little trace of the brashness of which he is known. Calls were made for bipartisanship and unity. He offered compromises to issues that have Americans at odds these days, and highlighted some of America’s accomplishments over the past year. There was also a plea for investing in our infrastructure, which is long overdue and well known by both sides of the aisle.
For his first Address, Trump received a 75% approval rating in most polls. Not bad for a first-year president with a personal approval rating supposedly hovering down around 40%, if you can believe the pollsters. Also, when considering that the people who did not watch weighed in with opinions, particularly those that were interviewed by a late-night pundit with their negative answers, even though they were asked the day before the Address.
What I found distressing was the Democratic reaction during the speech. I am not so naïve to believe the Republicans didn’t sit on their hands some during both of Obama’s Addresses, and one exuberant Representative even broke decorum by shouting something. But keep in mind, Obama had spoken out publicly that “elections have consequences,” and his speeches were not exactly conciliatory. He always pushed on with his various agenda’s. Compromise was not on Mr. Obama’s mind during his Addresses.
However, during Trump’s speech, in the time-honored and ridiculous tradition of giving standing ovations with every sentence the president utters, the Democrats sat on their collective butts the entire evening. With the exception of Joe Manchin, from West Virginia coal country, and oddly, newcomer Doug Jones of Alabama, they all sat and watched intently at what Nancy Pelosi told them they could or could not do. She was perched in her anointed spot in the corner, face full of dour, moving fellow Dems with just flickers from her eyes.
Furthermore, in what was supposedly a show of unity with the #Me-too movement, nearly all of the Democratic women wore black, which combined with their resolute expressions and near catatonic state, made them virtually irrelevant during the evening. I guess it had a slimming affect if one should look for the positive. Oddly, Pocahontas Warren wore cobalt blue, evidently having missed a memo.
President Trump reported black unemployment is the lowest in history and average rates of pay are the highest ever. Given this great news, the Black Congressional Caucus sat on their hands in a bloc with matching multi-colored beach towels over their shoulders and grumpy looks on their faces. Evidently, that just wasn’t enough. One wonders how would they have reacted had it been mentioned by Obama?
President Trump gave details on his plans for DACA and allowing 1.8 million illegal immigrants paths to citizenship. Not only is this a larger number than Obama ever offered, it was against the wishes of his own party. In response to that offer, Hispanic Senator, Luis Gutierrez stormed out of the building. When one is a former Chicago alderman, they just aren’t used to not getting their way.
Senate-minority leader Chuck Schumer, glasses purchased on the end of his nose and glaring over them at President Trump, parked himself in what appeared the best seat in the house. It was obvious he was not buying one word the president had to say. He looked like a school yard bully sizing up his prey.
Well, at least Chuck, Roy, Joe, Pocahontas, and Nancy made it. A dozen Congressmen made it known they were staying home for the Address, and then apparently did. They were not missed.
My point for bringing up the Democratic response is not to poke fun. OK, I did poke a little fun. But seriously, folks, with those kinds of reactions, do you really think there is going to be any civilized deals made in the upcoming year. Do you think there will be any sound legislation passed on a bipartisan basis to benefit us, the taxpayer? We are the people paying for that bunch to represent us and get things done – not to play political games and act like spoiled school children throwing tantrums.
Did I tell you about my new grandson, Lincoln?