Where Trump uses a bulldozer, Nancy Pelosi uses a scalpel.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked President Trump on Wednesday to scrap or delay his Jan. 29 State of the Union address amid the partial government shutdown, an extraordinary request that escalated the partisan battle over his border wall even as bipartisan groups of lawmakers pressed him to reopen the government and make room for compromise.
In a letter to Mr. Trump that underscored how the shutdown fight has poisoned hopes of bipartisan comity at the start of divided government, Ms. Pelosi cited security concerns as her reason for proposing that the president postpone the annual presidential ritual of addressing a joint session of Congress in a televised speech during prime time — or perhaps submit a written message instead.
Security aside, her move would deprive Mr. Trump of one of the brightest spotlights of a president’s year, intensified this year by Democratic control of the House and the drama of the longest government shutdown in the nation’s history.
“Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government reopens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has reopened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on Jan. 29,” Ms. Pelosi wrote.
The best part is that Trump can’t just show up on Capitol Hill to deliver his bloviating stream-of-consciousness ramble; he has to be invited. And Speaker Pelosi just told him, and very politely, “Sorry, you can’t come.” And there’s nothing he can do about it.
Aside from the Democrats wresting control of the House from the GOP, this is my favorite result of the election of 2018: we know have a grown-up in charge of at least one part of the government. (Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell has been doing everything he can to lie low and let the government shutdown go by as if he’s got nothing to do with it. Which, of course, he does.)
But perhaps the best part is that the more Trump carries on with his tantrums, the calmer and cooler Speaker Pelosi becomes. And that just drives Trump even more crazy, as if there’s a limit. He’s so used to getting his way and having the bluster and ranting win, but he’s never been forced to deal with someone who doesn’t rise to the bait.
We may get our first SOTU delivered by Twitter.