Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is determined to stop President Trump from delivering the State of the Union address on Jan. 29. She says it’s due to the shutdown, but that’s nonsense and just a political ploy. So what is the real reason Mrs. Pelosi doesn’t want the American people to see it? The increasingly obvious reason is the House is in chaos.
The moment Mrs. Pelosi sent her bizarre letter to the president suggesting he not deliver the address in the House and send a written report instead, you could hear the collective guffaw rise from the American people. To bolster her request, she cited a lack of security due to the partial government shutdown. That was absurd on its face and was summarily contradicted by the Secret Service.
At first blush, it would seem Mrs. Pelosi was attempting to keep the president from being heard, but that’s impossible. Another argument is she’s trying to strip him of the trappings of the presidency. That that, too, is completely futile.
Despite the media coverage presuming this is a Pelosi-Trump conflict, her action signals she doesn’t want the American people to see something damaging to her and the Democrats in general — which is a freshman caucus not in her control and more interested in stunts than in governing.
Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the new representative from New York, hasn’t found the time to open an office in her district for constituents, but she did organize and lead other freshmen to run over to the Senate to ostensibly confront Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about the shutdown.
“The stunt — dubbed #WheresMitch on social media — came to an unceremonious and anti-climactic end after the pack first went to the wrong office of McConnell, then delivered the letter to his chief of staff, and ultimately declined to stake out the Senate floor,” Fox News reported.
Not only did they not bother to check his itinerary, but they also forgot to make copies of their letter, so Mr. McConnell’s staff did it for them.
Perhaps it would have been more their speed to rely on the traditional high school stunt of toilet papering the Senate chamber.
In the meantime, Miss Ocasio-Cortez went on the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and promptly announced she “gives ‘zero [expletive]’ about people telling her not to ‘make waves’ with senior Democrats,” Real Clear Politics reported.
We’ve also had one new member use an obscenity referring to the president and her desire to impeach him, while another tweeted a vile condemnation of the Covington Catholic High School kids even after the accusations against them had been debunked.
Last year, even without the Democratic House caucus turning into “The Real Freshmen of Ridgemont High,” the Democrats pouted during the 2018 State of the Union.
“Several members during the address chose not to stand when Trump honored Louisiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise and praised his resolve for returning to work less than four months after he ‘took a bullet’ from a gunman and ‘almost died.’ And they chose not to join in the applause for a 12-year-old boy in the gallery whom Trump praised for putting flags on soldiers’ graves on Veterans Day,” Fox News reported.
Many will recall the outrage from Democrats and others when GOP Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina shouted “You lie!” at then-President Barack Obama during the president’s health care speech to Congress in September 2009. Imagine what could happen with this current class of Democratic newcomers in the House of Representatives who seem to be under the impression that they’ve got their very own Capitol version of the “Burning Man” festival.
It’s already clear Mrs. Pelosi is not in charge of that chamber, and she is experienced enough to know that the juvenile chaos orchestrated by Alexandria and Friends will remind everyone that Democrats are the party of stunts, while Mr. Trump continues to govern in the face of a Democratic Party that knows only games and obstruction.
Mr. Trump likely knows this, as on Wednesday he sent a letter to Mrs. Pelosi telling her he would be accepting her earlier invitation and would deliver the State of the Union on Jan. 29 from the House chamber. Mrs. Pelosi reacted immediately. Her first letter was couched as a suggestion. Her response Wednesday was more specific.
” ‘I am writing to inform you that the House of Representatives will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the president’s State of the Union address in the House Chamber until government has opened,’ ” Fox News reported.
Considering the chaos with the Democrats, this isn’t surprising, but the president has more than a few options. There is an importance to Mr. Trump being in an environment that conveys the power of the office. He can deliver a speech to the Senate on the state of the union, without it being the official address. It also doesn’t need to be a joint session of Congress. If Democrats want to boycott, fine. The Senate environment is much smaller than the House, and those seats can easily be filled.
The American people want things to get done for this nation. That’s why we elected a man of action. The Democrats have two years to show voters what they stand for, and so far things are pretty clear: The Democrats are offering temper tantrums, stunts and reality television.
• Tammy Bruce, president of Independent Women’s Voice, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk show host.