Thursday, January 24, 2019

For Every Action

From the Washington Post:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday rescinded her invitation to President Trump to deliver the State of the Union in the House next week — denying him a national platform for the annual speech in an extraordinary standoff between the two most powerful figures in the nation.

Late Wednesday, the president signaled a retreat from the standoff, announcing on Twitter that he will wait till the shutdown is over to deliver the address to Congress.

The cancellation — part of an escalating and at times personal feud between the newly elected Democratic speaker and the Republican president — illustrates the extent of the dysfunction that has gripped Washington and America’s body politic amid the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history.

The imbroglio also underscores the extent of the enmity that has developed between Trump and Pelosi, neither of whom appears ready to retreat in their standoff over the president’s demand for money to fund part of his promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump will come up with something to hit back at Speaker Pelosi, and if his past actions are any guide, it will be something petty and immature that will get the tongues wagging on cable TV and the tails wagging among the base.  He’ll also find some airplane hangar or empty sports arena to deliver a campaign-rally style speech to feed the slavering masses of smirking and shouting Redhats, making it clear that even without the shutdown, it was a good idea on the part of Ms. Pelosi to not invite him over to the House to shit on the carpet and trash the place.

And not for nothing, I take issue with the tone of that last paragraph of the article quoted above.  It makes it sound as if both sides are responsible for the standoff.  That, my friends, is the insidious creep of Broderism, named after the late David Broder, a columnist for the Post who was able to always blame both sides of an issue regardless of who actually picked a fight: “Well, you know, we really shouldn’t blame the Japanese for bombing Pearl Harbor; we bear some responsibility for provoking them.”  (No, he never said that — at least not on the record — but you get the idea.)  The current advocate for Broderism on the TV is MSNBC’s Chuck Todd who seems to be able to find a both-sides-now argument in just about everything.  It’s supposed to be a way to demonstrate fairness and objectivity, but in reality it’s feckless and lazy, and giving Trump and his minions an inch to make their case just encourages them to make their tantrums and rants more a legitimate part of the discussion.  That is bullshit.

I have no idea how Trump will hit back, but when he does, expect the Broderists to call it even.

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