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Is this Trump’s best week in office?

BY Freddy Gray,

Trump’s impeachment has fizzled out — the dampest of squibs — with his inevitable acquittal. The whole saga has made him look invincible and the Democrats foolish. The American economy keeps defying gravity, and Trump’s approval rating just hit 49 percent, his highest score so far. Barack Obama was on 46 percent towards the end of his first term. On Tuesday night, Trump delivered a very upbeat State of the Union address. ‘The American age, the American epic, the American adventure has only just begun,’ he said. ‘Our spirit is still young. The sun is still rising. God’s grace is still shining.’     [...more]

Nancy Pelosi should resign


The House has its share of infamies, great and small, real and symbolic, and has been the scene of personal infamies from brawls to canings. But the conduct of Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the State of the Union address this week will go down as a day of infamy for the chamber as an institution. It has long been a tradition for House speakers to remain stoic and neutral in listening to the address. However, Pelosi seemed to be intent on mocking President Trump from behind his back with sophomoric facial grimaces and head shaking, culminating in her ripping up a copy of his address.

Her drop the mic moment will have a lasting impact on the House. While many will celebrate her trolling of the president, she tore up something far more important than a speech. Pelosi has shredded decades of tradition, decorum, and civility that the nation could use now more than ever. The House speaker is more than a political partisan, particularly when carrying out functions such as the State of the Union address. A president appears in the House as a guest of both chambers of Congress. The House speaker represents not her party or herself but the entirety of the chamber. At that moment, she must transcend her own political ambitions and loyalties.     [...more]

Trump’s 2020 State of the Union address was nothing less than magnificent

BY Roger Kimball,

One of the many things that F. Scott Fitzgerald said that sound good but isn’t true is this: ‘There are no second acts in American lives.’ Consider the life of Donald Trump. Five years ago he was a dubious real estate developer and professional celebrity. Now he is not only president of the United States, but he is, three years into his first term, the most ostentatiously successful president in memory. Donald Trump is a walking refutation of what is perhaps Fitzgerald’s second most quoted line.

Possibly Fitzgerald’s first most quoted line is this: ‘The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.’ That isn’t true, either. On the contrary, espousing or embodying contradictory ideas is generally a mark of pedestrian intelligence, on the one hand, and defective character on the other. In this context, uncharitable people might be inclined to adduce people like Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff, and Eric Swalwell (remember him?). They spout certain platitudes about the importance of Constitution, the rule of law, etc., but then do things that utterly betray their fine sounding sentiments.

Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address tonight brought both of Fitzgerald’s sayings to mind. The announced theme of the evening was ‘the great American comeback’. And the president indulged in a litany of what that comeback has encompassed. But as in his 2018 and 2019 State of the Union addresses, a major theme of his remarks was unity: the importance of working across the aisle to achieve what is good for the whole country, not just one party. In 2018, in a column called ‘Trump restores the We’, I wrote that a major theme of the evening was the call to put aside ‘the partisan passions that divide us in order to go forward as a people united in the goal of making a better America’.   [...more]