- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 16, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Democrats must be shaking in their Birkenstocks.

How else to explain their many, many and many more preemptive strikes at President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech — a speech that doesn’t even take place until Jan. 30?

But already, the left’s lining to hit hard.

“Democrats ramp up efforts to boycott Trump’s State of the Union address,” blasted one Fox News headline.

That’s after four Dems — Reps. Frederica Wilson, Maxine Waters, John Lewis and Earl Blumenauer — announced intent to boycott the speech. Not that anyone cares.



But just in case you wondered why, here’s a bit, from Waters to MSNBC: “Why would I take my time to go and sit and listen to a liar?”

And this, from Lewis, referencing Trump’s reported “sh—holes” remark, again to MSNBC: “I cannot in all good conscience be in a room with what he has said about so many Americans. I just cannot do it. I wouldn’t be honest with myself.”

The Huffington Post, meanwhile, ran a snarky hit piece about Trump’s looming speech, pretending it had received an advance copy and was leaking it to the public. It opened: “Madame President, Vice Personal Pence, Ivanka, Jared, Eric, Don Jr., the one invited African American guy up there, happy bankers, rich guys from Goldmine Sex, the two porn actresses that I wanted to party with, the good people of Puerto Rico who will not be hearing this speech thanks to my astonishing lack of response, so they have no electricity but who needs it, right? It’s Puerto Rico …”

Huffington Post, remember, is the same news outlet the included a vile — and completely biased — editor’s note on all Trump-related stories during the presidential campaign season that slammed the then-candidate as a “serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther.”

All this comes in addition to Democrats’ announced plans to bring sexual misconduct victims to the speech — not to protest their own party’s Al Franken-types, but rather, allegations against Trump — and to hold as many protests both inside and outside the venue as possible. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and fellow female Dems are going to wear black to show solidarity with the Hollywood sex assault victims and to bring “MeToo” to the forum; Rep. Eliot Engel is reportedly taking a seat out of the line of Trump’s entry walk so as to avoid shaking the president’s hand.

“Democrats are already plotting ways to protest during [Trump‘s] State of the Union later this month,” The Hill reported.

Why all the preparation and bad press?

The clue is this: It’s the economy, stupid.

“Economists agree: Trump, not Obama, gets credit for economy,” The Hill wrote.

And this, from CNBC: “Trump earns ‘high marks’ from UBS for his economic policies.”

And this, from the Washington Examiner: “Over 100 companies giving ‘Trump Bonuses’ after tax victory, ‘tsunami building.’ “

Now consider this: In 2016, Pew Research Center found the top issue of concern to voters was the economy. FiveThirtyEight found similarly, writing, “After two straight elections dominated by economic issues, 2016 is shaping up to be … another election dominated by economic issues. In polls, voters consistently rank the economy as their top concern.” In 2014, Gallup reported, “Republican and Democratic voters see the economy, jobs and fixing the federal government as important to their congressional vote this year,” with 89 percent of Democrats specifying it was the “availability of good jobs” that fueled their voting decisions and 91 percent of Republicans saying it was generically “the economy.” In 2012, Pew Research Center wrote this: Fully 86 percent of registered voters say that the economy will be very important to their vote in the fall; 84 percent say that jobs will be very important.”

See where this is headed?

The economy, jobs and the state of individual finances are consistently and historically the top concerns of all America voters, no matter the party.

Trump’s doing well in those regards — and will likely spend considerable time during his State of the Union discussing just how well.

Democrats can’t refute the facts, so they have to distract. And that’s why they’re spending so much time and media messaging on bringing up their petty protests now, pre-State of the Union — so they can taint the speech before it even takes place. They’re afraid, very afraid, of the good news Trump may very well sell, and they’re worried all that good news, backed by solid economic improvements, will make their runs for public office this November all the more difficult.

Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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