- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 6, 2020

Democrats, at the State of the Union, had the perfect opportunity to show their above-the-fray sides and prove that when it comes to politicking, their primary interests are country and Constitution, first; individual citizen second; self, third — if at all.

But they blew it. They went low — lower than low. And they showed the watching world once again why, simply speaking, the Democratic Party sucks.

Just think of the opportunity House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had to make nice with the president and show that, yes, she voted to impeach — but at this State of the Union, at this formal presentation to the country, in this historic, somber and even grand setting, she was still an American, same as he, and by gosh, they could both come together for an hour or two for the good of the country. She could’ve smiled and clapped. She could’ve politely applauded and stood. She couldn’t risen above the pettiness of politics to show herself an American with a true-blue U.S. compass.

Instead, she ripped the pages of President Donald Trump’s speech.

Instead, she showed how her hate was more important than her concern for the country.

Instead, she made clear that with her, the No. 1 priority is to beat Trump, best Trump, take down Trump. And little to nothing else matters until that priority is met — no, not even the country.

“[Trump] shredded the truth, so I shredded his speech,” Pelosi said. Pelosi petulantly said.

So went the behaviors and rhetoric of the other Democrats, both in and out of the room.

“I just walked out of the #StateOfTheUnion,” Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio wrote on Twitter. “I’ve had enough. It’s like watching professional wrestling. It’s all fake.”

From New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — a reference from the socialist about subverting the Constitution, no less, on Twitter: “After much deliberation, I have decided that I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution. None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it. Consequently, I will not be attending the State of the Union.”

From Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, on Twitter: “I walked out of that speech. The lies, the bigotry, and the shameless bragging about taking away food stamps that people depend on to live — it was all beneath the dignity of the office he occupies. Shame on this forever impeached president.”

More Democrats boycotted. More Democrats left the hall, mid-speech. More Democrats sat on their hands to show their utter distaste for, and disgust with, the proceedings. More Democrats “turned toward the gallery” and “applauded” when the father of a killed Parkland, Florida, school shooting, shouted from the top gallery after Trump spoke of the need to preserve the Second Amendment — and was physically removed by security, an NBC News correspondent reported.

And honestly, this isn’t new behavior for the Democrats.

They did the same during Trump’s State of Union in 2018 and 2019; they boycotted, dressed in solidarity against this president, sat on their hands and walked from the room. But this is a special time in American history — a time when, sadly and egregiously, the president of the United States was just impeached.

It was a farce and political hatchet job from the beginning. And it failed to result in conviction in the Senate (quite properly failed, as a matter of fact).

Now it’s time for the country to come back together, as a country. That’s not to say Democrats and Republicans should all get along and sing quiet gospel songs on the steps of the Capitol. It is to say, though, that like it or not, Democrats are part of America’s leadership. They have a role to play in American politics. They have contributions that can be made and legislation that can be compromised upon and passed — and American people to consider.

They had a chance to shrug off the losses of impeachment and march from the State of the Union with a determined path to better the country, as one — as an e pluribus unum, one.

But they chose to sulk and scowl and whine like untrained toddlers. They chose self first, country not at all.

And on that, Democrats missed a massive opportunity to show themselves as worthy of their roles.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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