I would like to close out this week with some thoughts on the State of The Union and decorum in our nation.
The shouting out of “liar” and other things during the address has certainly gotten media coverage, and shots of Rep. Greene standing and angrily shouting have been all over the news.
Coverage of that has not been an issue and the condemnation was earned.
However, it didn’t start there, and if you are condemning her, well I hope you found these other acts as offensive, because they preceded her and were at least equal to it.
Last year we had Rep. Boebert (Republican, Colorado) heckle the President about the U.S. service members killed during the chaotic military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
He was speaking about veterans exposed to “toxic burn pits,” and as he said that could cause cancer and might “put them in a flag-draped coffin,” she shouted: “You put 13 of them, in coffins” referring to the service members killed in the terrorist attack at Kabul airport.
She later was joined by the same Rep. Greene to shout “build the wall” as the President mentioned the border.
Deplorable actions by these two Republican congressional members for sure. However, it didn’t begin with them.
In the 2020 SOTU by President Trump, the House Speaker (Nancy Pelosi), made that disgusting act of tearing up the speech on camera for all the world to see as he finished the address.
In the same speech, the Speaker applauded the President mockingly with outstretched arms when he proposed rejecting the “politics of revenge” just days after his first impeachment.
This was THE SPEAKER of the House setting a tone and example. She didn’t get the condemnation she deserved for this. Leadership sets examples, and this was failed leadership.
In the same speech Reps. Tim Ryan, Rashida Tlaib and Bill Pascrell Jr. (all Democrats) walked out during the speech. At least 10 other House Democrats boycotted the address. (As many did the inauguration, you may recall).
Ms. Tlaib later described Mr. Trump’s speech as “beneath the dignity of the office.”
Back in 2009 when Rep. Joe Wilson (Republican), shouted “You lie” at Mr. Obama when the president said Obamacare coverage “would not apply to those who are here illegally,” there was great shock and condemnation that an elected official would do this.
Things quieted until 2020 and the hatred of Donald Trump brought whole new levels of disrespect.
In 2022 and 2023 we see a threat it could become normal.
It must not.
The partisanship of the speech is seeing viewers leave (down 15 million this year); let the marketplace decide.
At least Speaker McCarthy had the dignity to try and quiet his caucus and not mockingly clap or tear up the speech.
We must do better and our leaders must set the example. Hold them to it.