January 31, 2018 by gregrabidoux2013
Being the opposition political party at a televised State of the Union address is inherently a risky proposition. Look too enthusiastic and your loyalists wonder if you’ve jumped ship. Look too unenthusiastic even furious at good news in America and some Americans may just wonder if you’ve jumped countries.
As far as optics, last night was not a good night for most of the Democrats who chose to be present in the well of the US Capitol building for the president’s SOTU. The ones who skipped it completely, well, I’m on record that I have no respect for either party who pulls that nonsense.
As President Trump touted his tax cuts, talked of companies like Apple investing some $350 billion back into the US market with plans to add some 20,000 jobs here and ticked off the names of companies who have given their employees $1-2,000 bonuses it was hard not to miss Dems like House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi in the audience. She seemed to have a look of utter disgust and revulsion perpetually frozen on her face during the whole evening. Perhaps, she was again thinking that this money was simply “crumbs” as she publicly characterized these tax cuts and worker bonuses just days before. Maybe it was the botox injections.
As the President talked of a roaring stock market setting record highs, noted several manufacturers, foreign based and domestic announcing plans to come back to the US and open factories, as he noted the arrests and deportation of violent thugs like those of the notorious MS-13 gang members, as he shared anecdotes of small business owners experiencing unprecedented growth in the wake of his pro-business agenda and the fact that African-American unemployment is at historical lows and gainful employment at historical highs (neither of which we experienced under former president Obama) it was impossible to miss the visceral, utter hostility in the faces and body language (they refused to stand or clap) of the Congressional Black Caucus Members.
They didn’t want to be there and were hell-bent on refusing to acknowledge any good news over the past year of this Administration. Even if that good news was actually historically positive for their caucus, for those they were created to serve and advance.
All of which leads to the question-Have the Democrats who seem genuinely and non-stop furious and outraged 24/7 painted themselves into a political corner from which there is no escaping?
I don’t know about you but I find being enraged and furious constantly to be well, really and utterly exhausting. And on those rare occasions when I have been genuinely furious or enraged any thoughts of compromise or rational thinking seems impossible. However, once the extreme emotion dissipates then once again clear headedness returns and solutions that seemed to be evasive or invisible seem rather obvious and within reach.
In short, I found at a rather young age that being enraged or furious or extreme in my thinking or behavior does me no good. In fact, it only seems to harm me and those around me. So, I chose very early to put such nonsense aside.
Maybe the Dems need to choose to put such feelings aside too. It seems to be preventing them from truly being able to join in to accomplish great things for all Americans. This non-stop, ’round the clock rage may just be proving to be self-defeating and harmful as it so often is in real life.
But the sad reality of political life in America, especially in Washington DC as I learned when I worked there for several years is that rage and fury and hatred gets funded. Compromise, rational thinking and clear headedness does not.
And this is the political corner that many Dems have painted themselves into by their non-stop, often irrational hatred for a president that they long ago decided (about the time the mythology of Hillary Clinton’s electoral invincibility was destroyed) is a loathsome, sexist, racist embodiment of evil.
Tough to work with, compromise or even acknowledge someone that you or at least your supporters and especially those that fund you believe or have convinced themselves is about 50 shades of more evil than say, Darth Vader.
How do you backpedal from that position? How do you go back to your zealous loyalists who demand blood and say well, wait a second, maybe we can work with this guy on a few items that may actually benefit us all?
In short, if you have bought into painting the opposition as a complete and utter cartoon character of such wildly evil and malevolent proportions then even as good news for all Americans rolls in, or tales of genuine American bravery is told you must sit on your hands and stew in silent rage. Even as proposals are offered that would in the words of former US House Speaker and Democrat Top O’Neill get your party at least “half if not the whole loaf of bread” then you clearly must remain unmoved as your blood boils.
Meanwhile, the optics remain bad. Really bad. And pointless.
This all-consuming, continual hate against Trump and everything he is, proposes, accomplishes and stands for is already proving to be limiting. Even Dem Rep. Maxine Waters’ non-stop “Impeach 45” is no longer drawing crowds or cash.
The Democrats are fast approaching a political cross-roads, either they hold their collective noses and work with this president on items that will truly benefit them and their constituents or continue down the dead-end path of irrational, non-stop hatred.
The former at least allows them as a minority party to be at the table and help ensure that what is served is not completely distasteful. The latter may just find them completely outside looking in.
But characterizing every proposal, every policy, every speech, anecdote, trend, fact and idea as racist, sexist, loathsome and evil will not advance their party forward nor ensure even small victories for their loyalists. Or their funders.
Sometimes politically speaking, holding your nose is better than sitting on your hands.
Or, in the words of Tip O’Neill who was the top Dem during the Reagan years, “Hating the opposition does no one any good. Anyone can hate and do nothing. We are here to work with whomever the American people put into the Oval office.”
If it’s truly a good fight they want then it’s time for the Dems to get out of the corner and get back into the ring.