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Assault on America, Day 28: SOTU postponed but Trump will enjoy last word in standoff

Trump tweet negotiations










If this were a normal year (or normal times) President Donald Trump would’ve made the short journey from the White House to the Capitol Building last night to deliver his State of the Union address, the annual occasion where everyone who’s anyone in federal electoral politics gathers for an hour or two to be seen by Americans as a single entity. Depending on the partisan makeup of the Congress -- and the president himself -- one could either expect many standing ovations or cold exhibitions of stone-faced silence from roughly one-half of the chamber at any given moment.

Unity? That’s so 1950’s!

But these aren’t normal times and presumably President Trump marked the occasion by viewing cable news broadcasts in the White House’s family living quarters, watching pundits bloviating about how the speech isn’t taking place as scheduled this year. MSNBC’s and CNN’s liberal cliques no doubt blamed the president and Fox News’s crew pointed the finger (where it belongs) at Democrat leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

In 2019, interest in the address figures to be particularly high, which is probably why Pelosi tastelessly revoked her invitation for Trump to do his constitutional duty and bring folks up to date about the state of the country. Regardless, the “show” will supposedly go on -- at some point -- and people are already adding their two cents as to what Trump should say when his moment does arrive.

Heritage Foundation president Kay Cole James wrote at The Hill last week (before Friday’s announced government reopening), “With the State of the Union now taking place after the shutdown, the date remains up in the air. But whenever it happens, conservatives will be listening closely for ideas and solutions that build on the success of the past two years. Presidents typically use the occasion to talk about two things. First, how their policies have made life better for all Americans. Second, what they want Congress to address to make things better still...

“President Trump has so many successes to crow about, but there is no shortage of problems that still merit attention. One of them is the partisan polarization that separates our leaders. It would be tempting to use the State of the Union and the Democratic response to score political points. However, this could also be an opportunity to reset relations and give our leaders the resolve to work together to overcome the very real challenges facing our nation. This is a fond hope, perhaps, but a hope nonetheless.”

Trump will do his best in this regard, saying all the right things and extending a proverbial hand to Democrats, the vast majority of which will either bite it or ignore it.

Give credit to James for suggesting that American political leaders should see the recently ended shutdown impasse as the perfect restarting point for new and better relations, but reality says one half of the American political spectrum isn’t interested in getting along with the other, no way, no how. Plus, it’s just the beginning of a presidential nomination and election cycle. Democrat candidates are already sharpening long knives for intense intra-party combat, not drying their hands in anticipation of a forgive and forget goodwill handshake with Trump.

In other words, don’t bet on a whole lot of comity resulting from the events of the past several months… years… decades… what have you. For his part, Trump came to Washington as a mostly impartial outsider who wasn’t nearly as interested in scoring political points as getting things done and making America great again after the disastrous Obama presidency -- but non-stop Democrat assaults have turned him into a partisan Republican through-and-through.

Trump’s brash personality and “unpresidential behavior” provides the opposition party and their establishment swamp media pals ample excuse to snipe at him over foul manners and uncouth language in his social media posts, but the #resistance’s relentless barbs wouldn’t have been less pointed if gentlemanly (and boring) Jeb Bush occupied the Oval Office now. Trump’s life history and celebrity status amplifies the mouthings of the hater chorus but the anti-GOP message wouldn’t change if Chris Christie or John Kasich were signing the executive orders.

To Democrats, conservatives and Republicans are bad. So are their voters. Believing in concepts like religion and tradition and time-honored practices doesn’t gel with the progressive times. If you disagree with the leftists’ agenda, you’re a racist, sexist, climate change denying rube who belongs in a circus freak sideshow strumming a banjo, wearing a straw hat and swilling from a jug ‘o moonshine.

If “little” Marco Rubio were president would Democrats give him a pass because he doesn’t look like he could handle the vitriol and haranguing? Definitely not.

In her piece James laid out several issue topics Trump should touch on when he eventually delivers the SOTU (assuming wall funding is approved or an emergency declared). There’s certainly a lot to talk about and be proud of in Trump’s case. The accomplishments list is long… but yes, there is still much to do.

In the meantime Trump should tell Congress (i.e. Democrats) he won’t sign any of their non-budgetary legislation until wall funding is taken care of. No Obamacare fixes, welfare boosts, climate change tweaks or union-bolstering infrastructure handouts. Nothing. We’ll see how Pelosi reacts to the prospect of her legacy going down the tubes before she even gets started on Speaker term #2. Two can play hardball.

One thing Trump won’t be discussing during the SOTU is the possibility of a primary challenge within his own party. Some still insist one (or more) may be coming. Jonah Goldberg wrote at National Review, “The media would lavish coverage on a GOP primary fight. Moreover, once a challenger steps in, the chances that an even bigger name would join the fray, as Robert Kennedy did in 1968, improve, particularly if an unknown starts to show the slightest traction.

“There are other scenarios. If Trump’s approval rating drops even more, because of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe or a faltering economy, it could open a path for a slew of Republicans seeking the nomination to save the party from a 2020 Democratic landslide, which seems increasingly possible.

“We’re not there yet. But if a lot of those older Republicans like winning, they might be convinced to back a candidate with a better chance of doing that.”

As a premier voice of the dwindled-to-practically-nothing #NeverTrump contingent Goldberg sounds hopeful Trump will be abandoned by the base -- especially younger conservatives and Republicans -- to back a “savior” candidate next year. It’s basically a restatement of the same fantasies the National Review writer and his lot advanced in the prelude to the 2016 election.

It didn’t happen then and it won’t happen in 2020 either, no matter how disenchanted millennials remain with Trump. It may not be “cool” to like the president but practically all the influence -- and money -- is with the middle-aged to older voters who’ve been burned by the establishment swamp for their entire lifetimes and see Trump as a conquering hero who rode into town to snuff out the cockroaches and snakes… or lead the rats out of town like the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

And if young folks dislike Trump so much, how come there’s such a hubbub over the Covington Catholic kids and their MAGA hats? Did they look atypical? Or maybe those Kentucky youngins were representative of the way the next generation really feels.   

It’s a shame the State of the Union address did not go on as planned but President Trump is far from ready to capitulate on border wall funding. Americans will eventually see Speaker Pelosi for the unbalanced partisan hack that she is -- and politics as usual may finally be put to rest.

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