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100 Days of Trump: Will Democrats pay for snubbing the widow of an American war hero?

Conventional wisdom indicates no one long remembers what presidents say during their annual speeches to Congress. It’s true, I can scarcely recall any notable quotes from State-of-the-Union addresses of the past, though there were a couple moments that stand out (such as George W. Bush declaring Iran, Iraq and North Korea as the “axis of evil” in 2002).

Usually the joint sessions of Congress are just a lot of factually bent cheerleading combined with presenting wish lists for government programs that Congress will never pass. Members and senators clap, some stand Widowand then when the speech is over everyone moves on to the next day’s congressional docket.

That being said, President Donald Trump’s emotion packed salute to a fallen military hero and his widow on Tuesday night will likely go down as one of the more consequential moments of State of the Union history. The minutes long tribute was memorable for its substance as well as its spontaneity. It looked like the whole world was taking part.

When the emotion finally subsided after the program, many of us were shocked to learn some Democrats had actually remained seated during the entire ovation.

Kyle Becker of Independent Journal Review reported, “While the president addressed Carryn Owens to honor her family's sacrifice, there were multiple rounds of standing applause. As the video clearly shows, a number of Democrats declined to stand and applaud the grieving widow and her husband, who gave everything to defend the nation…

“Former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders…Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and other top Democrats…remained seated. As pointed out earlier by Independent Journal Review's Benny Johnson, other key members of party leadership refused to stand. Namely, former DNC Chair and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), who just lost his bid for DNC Chair.”

(Note: The DNC disputes this claim, saying Ellison and Wasserman-Schultz did stand the first time. True, but as Erick Erickson points out, they didn’t applaud or participate. Kudos to Erickson because this WILL come up.)

In his article Becker provided photos to prove his contentions. Apparently Sen. Al Franken and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer initially remained seated but then stood up as the ovations continued. So they’re not completely heinous.

Which brings me to a question for the “sitting” Democrats: If you can’t applaud for the widow of a deceased serviceman, what does it say about you? How to explain? Let me try:

1. You despise the military;
2. You despise widows – at least the ones who are American citizens;
3. You despise the Bible (which Trump cited);
4. You despise the president and his family;
5. You despise traditional American institutions;


6. You are just an awful person.

While each of these applies to nearly all Democrats, I’ll choose option six as the most likely explanation for the behavior of the widow-protesters because it basically condenses all the others into one neat package.

It’s often said people take politics too seriously. Families and friendships sometimes split apart over differences of political opinion. Usually when this happens the involved parties “agree to disagree” or settle on “it’s just my opinion” -- but the hurt remains.

But there’s a difference between disagreeing on what the marginal income tax rates should be or whether protectionism versus free trade is the best policy for our government. These are matters that can and should be debated on the floors of the House and Senate chambers where lawmakers can hold different views and leave it up to a majority to decide. This is what the Founding Fathers had in mind when devising a system of divided powers.

Ultimately, however, politics is about personal values and these are not easily divisible in a political setting. The United States split apart in 1860, for example, because of a difference of values on slavery. The political issue at hand was whether the institution of slavery could (or should) be allowed to expand along with the geographic growth of the country. Abraham Lincoln campaigned against allowing slavery to extend beyond its current boundaries.

Southerner leaders saw Lincoln’s position as a threat to their agrarian way of life and livelihoods (we are not making moral judgements here). Their personal values were threatened to the point where they chose secession as the only possible way to save themselves.

War settled the political issue but the values differences remained for generations. Some of those values issues still linger, though I maintain the true number of “racists” in America is infinitesimally small despite what the Democrats claim.

But in other areas it’s clear there are grand canyon-sized divergences in values today, such as on abortion, religious freedom, same-sex marriage and, as demonstrated by the conduct of the Democrats the other night, respect for American tradition.

Seeing some Democrats remain seated while most of America found common ground on the simple concept of honoring a fallen hero and his widow speaks volumes as to their character and the hope of reconciliation going forward.

Can we look these people in the eye and respect their opinions from now on? Is it even possible? Or maybe they just signed their political death warrant.

Roger L. Simon wrote in PJ Media, “The Democratic Party members watching that speech looked like a party of the living dead.  They didn't know how to react.  They didn't know if they were Americans.  They didn't know who they were.

“Every time Trump called for bipartisanship for the good of our country, they winced.  They couldn't stand it and didn't know how to react because they are the least bipartisan people in the world and they scarcely know what cooperating is.  Working together is not in their natures.  Yes, they talk about it endlessly but they never do it. (See: the history of the Soviet Union) Maybe it's not in their DNA.”

Obama used to talk a lot about bipartisanship too. He welcomed support from conservatives and Republicans as long as they saw it his way without compromise.

Donald Trump’s inspiring speech gave many Americans hope that the country can finally move forward in a positive direction after the bitter election last year. Heck, even ultra-leftist Van Jones gave Trump credit for his message.

I never thought I’d see the day where I felt I could work with Van Jones. But as far as Nancy Pelosi, Keith Ellison, Bernie Sanders and the rest of the Democrat “widow-sitters” are concerned, they’re history. Game over. Turn in your uniform.

The brilliance of Trump’s speech was it brought the sane elements of the country together while exposing the divide between those who possibly can be worked with versus those who can’t.

As far as the latter group is concerned, where do we go from here?

Polls show America liked the new “presidential” Trump and the ratings reflect it

The days and weeks ahead will reveal just how much political capital Donald Trump gained from his presidential and unifying speech to Congress on Tuesday night, but for now the numbers are overwhelmingly positive.

Matthew Nussbaum and Steven Shepard of Politico report, “A CBS News/YouGov poll of people who watched the address found 76 percent of viewers approved of the speech and 82 percent found it ‘presidential.’ Seventy-one percent of viewers — and even 36 percent of Democrats — found the speech ‘unifying,’ according to the poll. A CNN/ORC poll of speech-watchers found about 70 percent made them feel more optimistic about the direction of the country and nearly two-thirds felt Trump had the right priorities.

“Both the CNN/ORC and CBS News/YouGov polls surveyed respondents initially contacted earlier who said they planned to watch Tuesday’s speech. As a result, they don’t reflect the opinions of Americans at large. For example, 39 percent of speech-watchers surveyed by CBS News/YouGov identified as Republicans, but only 23 percent said they were Democrats. The CNN/ORC sample was comprised of 33 percent Republicans, 28 percent Democrats and 39 percent independents.”

So…in essence the Politico writers are arguing the speech might not have been as well received by those who didn’t watch it. It doesn’t take a huge leap of logic to figure that one out. It’s so simple even Senator Patty Murray could understand it.

Judging by the expressions of the Democrats throughout most of Tuesday evening, they looked about as enthused in watching Trump speak for an hour as a junior high kid being forced to view a video on frog dissection in biology class.

But at least no one fell asleep…I think.

Congressional Democrats had already made up their minds before the president even set foot in the room that they weren’t going to go along with anything Trump said and I’m guessing the legions of Hillary Clinton supporters felt the same way at home. That’s life in 2017 America. To be fair, if Hillary Clinton were up there speaking instead of Trump, I would have been similarly skeptical and indifferent.

But I would still feel compelled to applaud for a hero and a widow. That’s a no-brainer.

Meanwhile, the TV ratings from Tuesday night’s program were up 20 percent over last year’s Obama final SOTU speech. The media is spinning the numbers in their hero’s favor, however, pointing out that Trump’s first speech drew a considerably smaller audience than Obama’s initial presentation in 2009.

Big deal. The media has been raising such a fuss lately about Trump’s approval ratings vis-a-vis his predecessors that you would think Obama in his “farewell” message to Congress would attract a much larger audience than the “unpopular” Trump, right?

Trump is also drawing praise for his calm demeanor during the speech. For those who’ve followed Trump since the early days of the Republican primaries, we realize he’s capable of being “presidential” whenever he chooses to be. The man understands the media and he knows how to charm a television audience, just as Ronald Reagan did.

It remains to be seen whether the new “presidential” Trump will pop up more often, but here’s thinking if the president sees it as being worth 8 or 10 points in the opinion polls, he’ll be “calm” almost every day.

Trump frustrates pundits because his issue positions do not change much over time

It was almost humorous listening to the pundits leading up to President Donald Trump’s address to Congress on Tuesday night as they discussed rumors that the new president intended to soften his stance on immigration to gain favor with Democrats and a skeptical public.

While Trump’s speech included a number of items that could be perceived of as anti-conservative or big government, there was no backtracking on his signature campaign issue.

W. James Antle III of the Washington Examiner wrote, “President Trump once again defied predictions that he was going to soften his position on immigration, this time during his first address to Congress on Tuesday night.

“In the hours before the speech, it was reported that Trump told meeting attendees it was time for ‘compromise on both sides’ on the issue. Some even speculated that something like the Gang of Eight, a bipartisan measure from 2013 that contained a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, might be on the table.

“It didn't happen. ‘By finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions of dollars and make our communities safer for everyone,’ Trump vowed.”

Like Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown after she promised for the umpteenth time to let him kick it, Trump drops hints that he might change his mind on immigration and instead solidifies another of his campaign promises.

It's funny how many of the people now hoping Trump will “moderate” his stance on immigration are the same ones who predicted he’d do so during the general election campaign last fall. Even when Trump went to Mexico in August pundits bet he would cave once confronted with a real-life world leader and the vast array of establishment forces who favor a more open-borders policy.

Not so. Trump isn’t “afraid” of alienating any particular political constituency and for a man who many describe as completely lacking any kind of ideological predispositions, he’s been remarkably consistent in his issue stances.

Flip-flop doesn’t seem to be part of Trump’s make-up. No wonder Mitt Romney wasn’t offered a position in Trump’s administration.

Some might claim Trump flip-flopped on his original call to cease all Muslim travel to the United States until (paraphrasing) “our leaders figure out what the hell is going on.” Trump subsequently reworked the position into its current form, the proposal to restrict travel from seven war-torn countries.

But that wasn’t a flip-flop; it was just a honing of the policy to fit within the parameters of the law and the Constitution.

In virtually all other respects Trump’s word has been as good as gold (though it should be pointed out he’s yet to keep his promise to further the cause of religious liberty).

Trump is proving to be a member of a rare species in Washington – a politician who values his own personal reputation enough to keep his word even when the political winds suggest it might not be beneficial to do so. Contrast Trump with spineless one-celled amoeba politicians like John Boehner, a man who couldn’t go ten minutes without breaking a promise to someone – or weeping.

We have definitely entered a new age with Trump, a president who cares enough about the future to try and fix things now. Everyone realizes there are fierce battles to come, but at least we know one warrior won’t be changing sides in the middle of them. He’s probably the best one to follow when things get hot.

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War of Northern Aggression

Tnis country DID NOT split over slavery in 1860. This was just one of many differences.

Meat Headed Azz Ellison

Keith Ellison, The 'Meathead' Needs to Go Away! Faaaarrr Awaaay! AND Never Return! He's a Racist B--tard