I cannot get the image out of my mind. It keeps playing back in slow motion, like Joe Montana hurling a football into the end zone to Jerry Rice. But 70,000 fans are not screaming. Instead, millions of Americans are horrified.
Nancy Pelosi is ripping the State of the Union Address to shreds. Slowly. Deliberately. Defiantly. Like a petulant child who didn’t get her way, the Speaker of the House is desecrating the speech which bears the name of the President of the United States.
Never in recent memory has anything like this happened in Congress. At least not in my lifetime. Political opponents have always disagreed, yet maintained a semblance of respect. Tip O’Neal respected President Reagan. Newt Gingrich was able to make good progress with President Clinton. Paul Ryan showed respect to President Obama.
But political discourse took an ugly turn on February 4, 2020 when the Speaker of the House brazenly tore the President’s State of the Union Address. Commentators did what they do best. Political pundits weighed in. Members of both sides the isle chipped in: Liberals offered excuses. Conservatives offered condemnation. This morning, Americans will discuss Pelosi’s latest stunt around the water cooler.
When the smoke clears and everyone has a chance to make their partisan contributions, we’ll still be left with a speech torn to shreds. That speech will likely end up on the desk of a politician – a memorial to the defiance of the Democratic party.
But think about what the desecrated speech really represents. When the Speaker of the House shredded President Trump’s speech, she didn’t merely disrespect the highest office in the land. She disrespected America. She disrespected the hopes and dreams of people.
When Nancy Pelosi ripped the president’s speech asunder, she offered a vote of no confidence to Americans like Army veteran Tony Rankins. She offered a vote of no confidence to Janiyah Davis, a beautiful little girl who was given an opportunity scholarship to attend the school of her choice. Speaker Pelosi dishonored the memory of fallen American soldiers. And she disrespected the most recent recipient of the President Medal of Freedom, Rush Limbaugh.
Today, President Trump will be acquitted. America will move forward. Some Americans will celebrate a vibrant economy, a rock-solid military, and a country committed to the cause of freedom. Others will be left with the fragments of a torn up State of the Union Address. Senator Lindsey Graham remarked, “You can tear up the speech but you can’t tear up the accomplishments.”
Thomas Jefferson allegedly said, “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” Pelosi’s actions do not represent dissent, however. Her behavior was disrespectful and defiant. Her actions represent a new low in American political discourse. Her unprecedented and shameful act will be etched on the American conscience for generations.
On a day when Americans should be talking about a historic speech and hope for the future, the Speaker of the House has managed to turn the spotlight on herself. “Congratulations, Mrs. Pelosi. Your selfish and immature actions have swayed the public discourse.” Is it any wonder that so many Americans are all torn up?