In a 2017 piece entitled, “Democrats’ worst day ever,” I wrote, “In the last four months, the Democrats’ worst day wasn’t General Election Day, 2016 or even Inauguration Day, 2017. [It] was February 28, 2017 when Donald Trump gave his first speech to a joint session of Congress and appeared presidential. Democrats’ ill-mannered behavior there confirmed their misery.
“Based on its content and delivery, love or hate him, following that speech, any fair listener was left with little choice but to accept that Donald Trump is the legitimate President of the United States.”
Then, a year later, in a piece entitled, SOTU: Democrats’ worster day ever…, I wrote, “In 2017, Donald Trump dismayed Democrats by merely sounding presidential. He did that again, but, this time, he had a year of solid accomplishments to share. […] [T]he president made strong statements on immigration, infrastructure, defense, regulation and national security. He was openly conciliatory to Democrats, a mood angry, disappointed Democrats still cannot – or won’t – approximate or reciprocate.
“It was a substantive, emotionally-powerful speech made even more powerful by the clearly-perceptible petulance of congressional Democrats who applauded little or, in most cases, none of it. While detailing his achievements…President Trump conveyed the positivity, the optimistic, patriotic spirit to which regular Americans always respond.”
Fast forward to February 4, 2020, one day after the Democrats’ Iowa caucus debacle and a day before his certain acquittal on two weak, partisan articles of impeachment filed by a House Democrat kangaroo court, Donald Trump again presented the president’s annual State of the Union address to a congressional joint session.
The president’s presentation was a remarkably centrist “Morning in America” type of speech, but Democrats sat silent and sullen through his recitation of positive economic news, including for women and minorities – perhaps especially for those, since improvements in the lives of people whose votes Democrats expect is politically inconvenient. Watching them reminded one of the popular online “Grumpy Cat” memes. (Google it.)
Understandably, following the president’s introduction, Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not join in chants of “Four more years!” She appeared inattentive throughout, looked lost at times, even desperate, and occasionally shook her head absently. Plenty of lip biting, teeth sucking, Pelosi appeared struggling at one point to avoid weeping.
When the president introduced Juan Guaido as “the legitimate president of Venezuela,” a once-prosperous nation ruined by socialism, almost everyone stood and applauded, but when he said, “We will never let socialism destroy American health care,” most Democrats sat immobile and mute – and remained so when the president spoke of improved border enforcement, advocated victims’ rights to sue sanctuary cities, the right to pray in public schools, preservation of Second Amendment rights, and called for a ban on late term abortion. Democrats were non-responsive even to the president’s reference to “American greatness.”
The event was another bad look for congressional Democrats, made worse by Speaker Pelosi, on camera in a chair she may not occupy next year, petulantly tearing up her copy of Mr. Trump’s speech.