SOTU: Democrats’ Worst Day Ever
President Donald Trump’s 2018 State of the Union address trumped an event I chronicled as “Democrats’ worst day ever” — his 2017 address to a joint session of Congress.
Last year, I wrote: “[A]ny fair listener was left with little choice but to accept that Donald Trump is the…President of the United States.“
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. Although partisans insist that President Trump is dangerously anomalous, his address was a study in calm normalcy.
In a beautifully-crafted, uplifting speech, the 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, especially on the economy, President Trump conveyed the positivity, the optimistic, patriotic spirit to which regular Americans always respond. Indeed, the economy is expanding at a rate unseen in ten years, growth for which tax reform is largely responsible. Attending congressional Democrats faced a conundrum: six weeks earlier, all of them voted against tax relief, but their failure to applaud a statement of the bill’s obvious benefits would make them seem childish. Democrats chose “childish.”
People without strong immigration views will find the president’s proposals fair and sensible. He laid out the “four pillars” of his policy, and declared, “Americans are dreamers too” a memorable line emphasizing his central point — that immigration, like all policies, should, first and foremost, serve the interests of American citizens.
Last year, I wrote, “Democrats’ ill-mannered behavior…confirmed their misery.” This year, Democrats remained conspicuously miserable. In candid, on-camera appearances, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appeared to be sucking lemons. Members of the Democratic Congressional Black Caucus sat stone-faced when the president spoke, factually, of historically low unemployment among black Americans. Mid-address, during chants of “USA! USA!, viewers saw Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez flee the chamber, as did the rest of his Democratic colleagues immediately upon the president’s, “Thank you, and good night.”
Since Democrats’ political calculus hasn’t evolved in eleven months, another part of last year’s column bears repeating: “National Democrats…can alienate their unhinged über-liberal base by cooperating with the broadly-popular elements of Trump’s agenda, or resist and drive away centrists who may have once voted Democrat, but who saw commonsense approaches and potential solutions to problems that concern them.
“Democrats face a political ‘Sophie’s Choice.’ Metaphorically, at least, somebody or something must die. Among those will likely be at least a few of the ten Democratic senators who, in 2018, must run in states won by Donald Trump…”
#Resistance alone won’t drag Democrats over the finish line in November.
If President Trump’s growth in office continues, next year’s SOTU could be the “Democrats’ worsterest day ever.” Stay tuned…