NEWS AND OPINION:
The resistance, the struggle, the fight: They are the mantras of choice for the Democratic Party, which is still centering its strategies on pushback and aggression. That could make sense, perhaps. Democrats raised $65.9 million in the last year, and their GOP counterparts brought in $132.5 million. Democrats are $6.1 million in debt, and the GOP has zero debt. Meanwhile, the midterm elections are just over 40 weeks away.
The money challenge places the Democratic Party “on the verge of insolvency,” observes Michael Ahrens, a communications director for the Republican National Committee.
Indeed. It’s little wonder the Dems have their dukes up, though most declare that President Trump is actually “the bully” in the bout. His State of the Union speech, however, appears to have re-energized Democratic ire.
“We will fight for you and we will not walk away,” Rep. Joe Kennedy III said during his official party rebuttal of Mr. Trump’s address Tuesday.
“The character of our country — and the state of our union — isn’t determined by our president. It’s determined by our people. Now more than ever, we’re in this fight all the way,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted to her 2 million followers after the speech ended.
“Listening to Trump’s State of the Union tonight is making our blood boil,” proclaimed the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “If you feel the same anger, here’s the best way to fight back: Donate to help Democrats win back the Senate majority.”
Not to be outdone, Sen. Bernard Sanders offered a 20-minute rebuttal to Mr. Trump’s speech, and yes, he called the president a bully and declared that the “beginning of a political revolution” had begun. Mr. Sanders is also in combat mode.
“We have the people, and when ordinary people stand up and fight for justice there is nothing that we cannot accomplish. That has been the history of America, and that is our future,” the Vermont independent advised.
AND ABOUT THAT SPEECH
President Trump‘s State of the Union address drew more than 40 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. Over a fourth of those viewers chose to watch on Fox News, which drew a record-breaking 11.5 million people to its coverage. That audience liked what they saw during the 80-minute speech, according to a CBS News poll of 1,200 viewers who watched it.
It found that 81 percent felt that Mr. Trump was trying to unite the nation, while three-fourths approved of the speech itself and hoped Mr. Trump would continue to “reach out” to political rivals. Another 72 percent approved of Mr. Trump’s proposals and 65 percent “felt proud” during the night. The majority — 54 percent — said Mr. Trump’s policies would “help them.”
Mr. Trump’s speech did not draw as large an audience as his initial address to Congress last year, witnessed by 48 million viewers. His ratings for the annual event could very well be on par with those of former President Barack Obama, whose audiences ranged from 31 million to 52 million during his two terms in office.
THE LIBERTARIANS HAVE A SAY
The Libertarian Party does not like big spending on infrastructure, the national debt, expanding the military and President Trump‘s plans to keep Guantanamo Bay open. The Libertarians also had a rebuttal to Mr. Trump’s SOTU address, delivered by Libertarian National Committee Chairman Nicholas Sarwark, himself a candidate for the mayor of Phoenix, Arizona.
“The Libertarian Party has a vision for America where government barriers are taken down. Where every American has the right and the freedom to pursue happiness however they choose, to raise their family, to run their business, to live the American dream without government telling them what to do. We’ll be running over 2,000 candidates nationwide who share this vision for a better America. People like you and me standing up to create a freer America, where government is less involved in our life and the state of our union is even stronger,” Mr. Sarwark advised.
MR. SHIRLEY GOES TO EUREKA
Best-selling author and historian Craig Shirley, one of the nation’s leading biographers of Ronald Reagan, heads Friday for Eureka, Illinois, — bound for Eureka College, the 40th president’s alma mater, where Reagan Fellows participate in a Reagan leadership program. There is a Reagan Peace Garden and a Ronald W. Reagan Society that hosts such speakers as Mr. Shirley, along with Newt Gingrich and others.
What’s the occasion this time? Reagan’s birthday is coming up next week, and Mr. Shirley will be on campus to attend a splendid dinner then offer a most erudite address. Mr. Shirley knows his stuff.
He is the author of, among other books, “Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign that Changed America,” “Reagan’s Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign That Started It All,” “Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan” and “Reagan Rising: The Decisive Years, 1976-1980.”
THE NEED FOR A HORSE
Some things do not change.
“The Pennsylvania State Police is once again looking for a few good horses. The force’s 26-horse mounted patrol unit is seeking donations of horses to be used statewide for searches, crowd control, security, and patrol operations of remote areas. As a secondary function, the animals participate in parades, demonstrations, and other community events,” notes the Harrisburg-based police force.
They seek geldings between 5 and 15 years old, standing at least 16 hands tall — about 5-foot-4 at the shoulder — but less than 18 hands tall.
“Drafts and draft-crosses are preferred. Thoroughbreds and other ‘hot bloods’ are less desirable. The animals must have quiet, sound dispositions and be free of serious stable vices,” the police advise.
POLL DU JOUR
• 91 percent of Americans who were familiar with President Trump‘s State of the Union address approve of his infrastructure proposals.
• 77 percent approve of his plans for the economy, 75 percent approve his proposals for national security.
• 72 percent approve of his ideas about immigration policy.
• 64 percent say they feel optimistic about the next three years, 61 percent approve his plans for North Korea.
• 54 percent credit him with improving the economy.
Source: A CBS News poll of 1,178 SOTU address watchers, conducted Jan. 30.
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