Today Nancy Pelosi told Trump he could shove his State of the Union. Yesterday no Democrats attended Trump’s shutdown lunch summit/photo op. And this follows her sunglassed, James Bond style, ass-kicking of Trump in December’s “I’ll own the shutdown” whine-fest. She even alpha-dogged Schumer to show where the true center of the Democratic universe is.
Two months ago, her political obituaries were being written. She was an old-style, centrist Democrat too aligned with corporate interests to head a newly progressive party, epitomized by the fresh-faced, twenty-something talent of the social-media savvy, dancing, suddenly ubiquitous Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Not so fast newbies. The Muhammed Ali of the House wasn’t done yet.
First, opposition to her speakership melted away like the truth in a Trump administration. Then yesterday, when Trump attempted to split the Democrats by inviting moderate Representatives to his wall-folly boosting White House meeting, Pelosi didn’t deny her caucus the right to make up their own minds. To a person, they looked at Trump’s trap and said they would rather stick by the Boss.
Loyalty wasn’t demanded; it was earned.
And to ice her cake today, the most powerful person in American politics eviscerated Trump by hitting him in the ratings. In a letter to the demented one, she said that the State of the Union was off. It wasn’t going to happen as long as there was a shutdown — because it wouldn’t be safe with the Secret Service and DHS hobbled by furloughs.
And then with an exquisite turn of the blade, she harkened historical precedent and suggested he could send a letter instead.
She spelled it out for him like a schoolmarm lecturing a particularly dimwitted child:
During the 19th Century and up until the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, these annual State of the Union messages were delivered to Congress in writing. And since the start of modern budgeting in Fiscal Year 1977, a State of the Union address has never been delivered during a government shutdown
She laid out why it would be a problem:
The U.S. Secret Service was designated as the lead federal agency responsible for coordinating, planning, exercising, and implementing security for National Special Security Events by Public Law 106-544, December 19, 2000. However, both the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security have not been funded for 26 days now — with critical departments hamstrung by furloughs.
And then shoved the knife in:
Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th.
Trump lives for ratings and for one hour in January much of the nation is glued to the TV to see the President congratulate himself while supposedly briefing Congress. Surrounded by pomp and circumstance the great man stands tall and tells the nation to “look at me”.
The sweetest cut of all is the suggestion he sends a letter. Everyone knows he can’t write. Whatever was committed to paper would be exclusively someone else’s words — except for the signature. And most obviously Trump would be denied the oxygen of visibility.
I am all for youth and new ideas, but what a lift it gives to an aging American population that the best politician in the US is a 77-year-old, grandmother of eight.