This is Toby Sumpter with your CrossPolitic Newsbrief for Thursday, February 6, 2020.
Wow. What a week. Where do we even begin?
Iowa Caucus Debacle
Well, let’s go somewhat chronologically: First the Iowa Caucus Debacle happened Monday. Well, actually, it’s still happening as we speak. It’s sort of like one of those America’s Funniest Home Videos where the wedding cake falls on to the bride and groom, who in turn land in an empty wheel chair that carries them down the steps and into a punch bowl full of bright red Kool Aid, and then the sprinklers come on, and someone caught the whole thing on camera and in slow motion. And I mean really slow motion. In Iowa, I think we’re at the part where the Kool-aid is rippling into the air, and you can see the look of terror in the groom’s eyes.
Did my analogy get out of hand? I really don’t think so.
Anyway, a company called ACRONYM built an APP called SHADOW, and it was like we were in some kind of comic book story, expecting Batman to show up any minute. Which is how the Democrats should have known that God was messing with them. The bottom line is that the app failed, and when everyone was waiting around Monday night to get the results, there were no results to be had. Pinko Pete claimed an early victory, as did Sanders, and when it became clear that results would be coming in at glacial speed, everyone gave themselves a trophy and went and celebrated at Chuck E. Cheese like they were in little league or something.
Anyway, as I finish this newsbrief Thursday morning, they finally made it to 96% of the results in, but there are still rumors and reports flying around about reporting inconsistencies, extra delegates, conspiracies to steal delegates from Sanders, and the only clear winner seems to be Trump. But at this minute, granting that everything could change any minute, Sanders and Buttigieg are getting 11 delegates a piece, with Pinko Pete slightly edging out Breadline Bernie in actual votes. Pocahontas looks to be getting 5 delegates, and Sleepy Joe will get zero.
Fire Works at the State of the Union
Next up… Donald Trump gave a razzle dazzle Campaign Speech Tuesday night under the guise of the State of the Union Address, and I mean, who can blame him? And it was fireworks from the get-go. First off, when Trump came to the podium there was a brief interaction followed by Trump beginning to turn around to face congress while Nancy Pelosi extended her hand for a handshake. It’s unclear whether the President saw the offered hand or not. Some pointed out that it is customary for the President to shake the Vice-President’s hand also who sits together with the Speaker of the house directly behind the President at these events, and the President failed to shake Vice-President Pence’s hand as well, even though the Vice-President didn’t offer it. Did the President intentionally snub Speaker Pelosi? The video footage I saw was inconclusive. And it seems to me obvious that in all political matters such as this, NFL instant replay rules ought to apply. If there is no clear evidence to overturn, the ruling on the field should stand. And in this instance, short of clear evidence to the contrary, I’m inclined to think Trump just missed the offered handshake. But moments later, the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi introduced the President by merely saying, “Members of Congress, the President of the United States.” Traditionally, the house speakers have said, Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the President of the United States.” Was this an intentional snub of the President? Call me naïve, but I’m willing to give Pelosi the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t, but on the surface, I would give Pelosi a pass here. So what if she dispensed with flowery formalities? There was still technically an impeachment going on. But honestly, it’s pretty difficult to give her that pass when what followed was over an hour of facial contortions and muttering and paper shuffling that would make a lemon blush.
At any rate, the President’s speech was a political marvel. It really was. It was full of rhetoric and metrics and stories and awards. It was political theater at its best, and I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, that’s just what it was. Now the things I really appreciated about the speech were a number of the people he honored. He honored a 100 year old Vet and his great-grandson. There’s something good and glorious about honoring fathers, no matter whose father it is. He honored a single mother who lost her husband in Iraq. Another young mother was honored with her two children, and then Trump surprised her with the early return of her soldier husband. He honored Rush Limbaugh who has recently been diagnosed with late stage cancer, and gave him a Presidential medal. He honored a young mother with a daughter who was born at just 21 weeks old and survived, and the president stated again emphatically that all children should be received as miracles and every human life is a sacred gift from God. He also called for a bill to ban late-term abortions. We should pray that Trump will become even more staunch and bold and defend unborn life from conception on, but I believe his rhetoric is still far more pro-life than anything I can remember in my lifetime.
He also called public schools “government schools,” and if my memory serves, he did so twice, and this is something I definitely think we should imitate in our President, even if I’m not sure about his school choice plans. Finally, the closing of Trump’s speech was really moving. It was a sweeping history lesson that was “inclusive” if I can use that word somewhat more generically, but it was not the liberal version of inclusive which is actually condescendingly exclusive. Do you know what I mean? The liberal version would be a retelling of American history that ignored Washington and the Alamo, and merely listed the fringe heroes, in effect frowning on our received inheritance, lecturing us for not knowing how paternal and patriarchal our heroes are. But the President did include heroes from every walk of life, every background, but they were largely mainstream heroes.
My questions or criticisms are as follows, just briefly: First off, I have no idea how Trump will pay for everything he claims he is doing or will do. I really wish Trump’s business sense would at least punch through the rhetoric at points. Maybe he can see a way through that I can’t, but if we don’t change things structurally and really gut the bureaucratic swamp, I’m afraid we’ll just get another Democrat in four years who will easily undo any good things Trump has done. And they will do it very easily because all the funding is right there. In order to drain the swamp, you have to drain the dollars. Money feeds the beast. And my motto is: don’t feed the beast.
Finally, Pelosi responded to the whole speech by dramatically ripping up her copy of Trump’s speech. Some thought it may have been her personal copy of the Constitution. Other’s thought it may have been the missing Iowa Caucus results, but when asked about it right afterwards, she enigmatically told a reporter that “it was the courteous thing to do considering the alternatives.” To which America said, “huh?”
President Trump Acquitted
And then if all that were not enough, President Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate on Wednesday of both impeachment charges. The constitution requires a 2/3 majority to remove a president from office, but the vote fell well short of that threshold. The vote went completely along party lines, with independents voting with Democrats, except for Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, who broke ranks and voted for convicting Trump of abuse of power. The final tally of votes resulted in 48-52 on abuse of power and 47-53 on obstruction of congress, a majority acquitting Trump of both charges. Following the outcome, Trump announced on Twitter: “I will be making a public statement tomorrow at 12:00pm from the Whitehouse to discuss our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax!”
This is Toby Sumpter with Crosspolitic News. You can find this show and all the others on the
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