State of the Union and Disrespect

At some point, the liberals and Democrats in this country need to face the fact that Donald Trump won the election and he is the President.  You may not like him and he certainly has some personality issues that would cause people to question him but he is the President.

This week he will deliver his first State of the Union address and traditionally this is attended by Members of the House of Representatives, Senators, Justices of the Supreme Court and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  But this time around a number of liberal members of Congress have decided to show their contempt for the President by boycotting the speech.  This is a dangerous precedent to be set.  What happens if the next President is someone they like but those that don’t decide they will boycott the State of the Union?  I can imagine what names they will be called by the very people that applaud the boycotters this time around.

There is nothing in the Constitution that requires a member of Congress to attend this event and for that matter, there is nothing that mandates that President Trump actually attend and deliver the address.  Thomas Jefferson sent a written statement to the Congress and that was pretty much the norm until Woodrow Wilson decided to deliver his in person.

I have spent 41 years in Washington and if I am being honest I find the State of the Union addresses to be overblown.  The House Sergeant-at-Arms announces in a booming voice:  Mr. Speaker, the President of the United States.  And the President enters and those members that got there early to get a seat on the aisle try to press the flesh and be seen shaking hands with the President.  Then we have the speech itself.  It tends to be long and boring.  Nowadays at some point in the speech, the President will point to some special guest in the gallery that helps him make a political point.  A couple of speeches ago we had Cong. Joe Wilson (R-SC) yell out the famous outburst “You Lie” which only brought scorn to him for breaking decorum.  But all of those in attendance know it is political theater at its best.  The President will make some point and the members of his party will jump to their feet and give him a standing ovation.  The opposition party will be glued to their seats and the camera will show their glum faces with some shaking their heads to show their disapproval.

So now the debate in Washington is whether members are justified in not attending.  I say they are not simply because I don’t want to see this become a tit-for-tat occurrence.  Not matter who is in office they are the President and we must show respect for the office.  Those who oppose him will not have to applaud but they should be there because they were elected to represent their constituents and some of them expect their member to be in the chamber.

And now it is even getting worse politically.  Traditionally the party out of power gets to select a member of their party to give the opposition response.  The networks now cover this and who can forget Marco Rubio needing a drink of water.  But now we have Maxine Waters (D-CA) who is giving her own response on BET.  Of course, she will begin her chant of “Impeach 45”.  Anyone that equated intelligence with Maxine Waters needs to have their own IQ tested.

The latest rumor out of Washington is that the Congressional Black Caucus might either boycott or interrupt the speech with some form of demonstration.  I would be very dismayed if it has come to that and at that point, I would recommend that Trump not deliver any further State of the Union messages during his Presidency.  Send it in written form and let them read it at their leisure.  And if the next President is a Democrat and the Republican still have a majority in the House the Speaker should simply advise the new President and the Democrats in the House that he will not be inviting the President to address the Congress.  Then perhaps some of this childish behavior can be ended by both parties sitting down and laying out some rules of decorum and quit making this such a political show.

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