Nancy Pelosi has been the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the past decade. It is one of the most important positions in the U.S. Congress. It is third in line of succession to the presidency itself.
Pelosi, a Baltimore native, is also the highest-ranking female official in U.S. history. She is in her seventh term as a member of the House representing a district in crime, poverty, and trash-ridden San Francisco, CA.
On the evening of Tuesday, February 4th, President Donald Trump gave his third State of the Union Address (SOTU) in the House of Representative before members of the House, the U.S. Senate, the Supreme Court, and honored guests. Giving the address is an honored tradition that now dates back to 230 years.
Two of the esteemed guests at the proceeding were one of the last surviving members of the legendary Tuskegee Airman – Charles McGee – and the mourning family of the ISIS victim Kayla Muller. They were spotlighted in the president’s speech, which was televised to the nation, with about 37.2 million viewers tuned in.
Even if you think President Donald Trump is the absolute pits, and many do and for good reasons, too, the tradition of the SOTU deserves the utmost respect.
You could tell, however, things might go haywire early in the proceedings. When Trump arrived on the podium, he handed copies of his printed speech to both V.P. Mike Pence and Pelosi. When she, in a good-faith gesture, tried to shake his hand, he cruelly snubbed her! This had to be a blow to her pride, especially in light of how her knee-jerk bid to impeach him was doomed to failure from the beginning. More on that issue in just a moment.
In any event, as soon as President Trump finished his SOTU remarks, Pelosi, the daughter of a Baltimore mayor, stood erect and tore up her copy of his speech. She also made sure the congressional audience and television cameras would catch all of her foolish antics.
Pelosi’s action was a silly, stupid and childish stunt that belongs to the TV comedy show – “Saturday Night Live.” In fact, I will be shocked if the program doesn’t reprise it on its scheduled show this Saturday evening, February 8th.
When asked why she ripped up Trump’s speech, Pelosi answered: “Because it was the courteous thing to do considering the alternatives.” Now, folks are wondering, “what ‘alternatives’ did the irate Speaker have in mind?”
Pelosi’s publicity stunt was itself below the dignity of the high office she now holds. It also set a very bad example for other politicos, with a political ax to grind; and for the peoples of our country, too. There are few voters out there, who are just a wee bit unhinged and might want to “express” their resentments about the doings of the U.S. Congress. It could get – ugly!
I think the day may come when Speaker Pelosi will regret her boorish conduct at the SOTU address on February 4, 2020. After the Dems’ debacle at the Iowa Caucus, this is just another blow to the Party in their uphill bid to recapture the White House in the next election.
At this point, let me underscore two positives on Pelosi’s resume: she was a fierce opponent of the illegal and immoral Iraq War, and she also fought the thuggish Bush-Cheney Gang’s attempt to privatize Social Security. In my mind, she deserves a lot of credit for those actions.
Enter the ill-advised impeachment proceedings against President Trump which the Speaker launched in late September of 2019. She had held off initially to the cries to begin such a torturous process, but then, suddenly, she caved.
Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York was a prophet about what would happen if Pelosi took the country down that road. He predicted, “it would go nowhere.” And, he did so because, unlike Pelosi, his feet are on the ground and, more importantly, he knows how to count votes!
Impeachment in the House was possible with only a “majority” vote. The Democrats had the majority to easily accomplish that measure, which they did. They voted along party lines to impeach Trump by a 230-197 vote.
(This also meant the long-suffering American people were subjected to listening for weeks on end to that pompous pinhead Democrat from California – Adam Schiff. It’s fair to also say that anyone required to do so could argue that their Constitutional right to be free of “cruel and unusual punishment” was violated.)
Then, the Impeachment matter moved to the U.S. Senate where “a 2/3 majority” was required for a conviction. With the Republicans having the edge in votes, there was no way, no matter what the pundits said, that in a bitterly contested election year, they would vote for impeachment. In fact, the vote on February 5th, in the Senate was 52 to 48 for acquittal, mostly along party lines. Keep in mind, sixty-seven votes were required to convict.
Cuomo had it right when he predicted Pelosi’s decision to begin impeachment proceedings would “take us down a long and unproductive path.”
Bottom line: The real needs of the American people have gone unattended since September 24, when Pelosi abused her powers by setting in motion the impeachment process. A much needed Medicare-for-all law, fighting crime and restoring our big cities, bringing gun safety laws into reality and protecting our fragile environment, among other measures, have all suffered.
Since September 24th, the U.S. Congress has been absent without leave and the necessities of the people have been ignored. Plus, maybe even more importantly, the target of Pelosi’s flawed impeachment procedure has grown more popular. Trump’s enemies had inadvertently played into his strongest card: Attack Politics!
Finally, they might be laughing soon on Saturday Night Live about Pelosi’s ripping up Trump’s speech. The people of America, however, won’t be, because they may have to pay for it with another four years of a Trump presidency, where the grasping 1 % Financial Gang that dominates our society – thrives.
Bill Hughes is an attorney, author, actor and photographer. His latest book is “Byline Baltimore.” It can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/William-Hughes/e/B00N7MGPXO/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1