I still remember my high school and college government classes. We were taught what the cost of democracy was, oftentimes by a WWII veteran. We learned the reasons for a separation of powers government and the value of casting a ballot. We were taught that government officials were to be respected and that they, in turn, were accountable to the community at large. The terms respect and deference meant something.
The events in Washington over the past year and especially the past week have left me with a feeling of true sadness for this nation. Washington is becoming almost childlike. If you don’t play by my rules and I have the ball, the rest of you go home and its my ball. The academic term is partisanship. A simpler definition would be selfish and childlike. Adults discuss the issues and seek an agreed resolution of the issue. Children simply throw that tantrum and accomplish nothing. Where would you put Washington today on this spectrum?
Republican President Trump tries to run the government as a sole proprietorship wherein he is the only shareholder and all must pay homage to his will. House Speaker Pelosi and her progressive members want to run government as they are the elites and no one else is worthy of their attention. Both entities seem to think the other is beneath their status in life and respect for the other is not in their vocabulary.
The U. S. Constitution allows for a President to be removed from office via an impeachment proceeding. The standard is 2/3 vote of the Senate to convict. It is clear the authors of the Constitution meant for it to be a rarely used remedy and then only for the most egregious acts of the President. The House vote by any definition was a partisan indictment of a Republican President by a majority Democratic House. The Senate will acquit President Trump this afternoon by an equally partisan Republican majority thrashing the Democratic minority in that chamber. Nobody wants to share the ball and play the game. Washington has weaponized the political process and the stench of stagnant politicians is becoming worrisome.
President Trump gave the State of the Union speech on Tuesday evening. This is traditionally a very formal speech in which the President advises the Congress and the nation of the health and well being of the nation. Every President will toot his accomplishments and lay out his agenda for the coming year. Usually both the Speaker and the President politely acknowledge each other and show respect for the other’s equal branch of government. Not this time.
It certainly appears that Trump declined to shake Pelosi’s hand when he arrived at the podium to commence his speech. Pelosi then failed to give the President the formal introduction that reflects his office. Then at the end of Trump’s speech Pelosi tore up her paper copy of Trump’s speech on national television. Trump’s refusal to shake hands was both boorish and lacking in Presidential decorum. Pelosi then tearing up the speech papers reflected a petulant child in the midst of a temper tantrum.
Where were the adults in the room?