Carnes: Sorry, State of the Union (column)
Words are important, but so is punctuation.
Remove the comma in the headline above, and it goes from an apology to a description. The problem is I’m not sure which is more relevant at the moment.
I am truly sorry it appears we might not have the regularly scheduled State of the Union (SOTU) address next Tuesday night.
I am also truly sorry for the sorry state our union appears to be in at the moment.
The sorry state of our union is, of course, much more important in the long run than a potentially postponed boring and completely predictable speech involving Dear Leader patting himself on the back while subtlety attacking his perceived enemies with mispronounced words.
(In his defense, however, the words are probably misspelled on the teleprompter to begin with, as he writes most of his own speeches)
But the act of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi taking it upon herself to “strongly suggest” the president consider postponing the speech being met head-on with Trump placing a flaming bag of dog poo on Nancy’s doorstep and then ringing the doorbell and running away took this entire tit-for-tat childishness to the next level.
Or maybe it was because he canceled her government plane to visit the troops in Afghanistan.
Either way, the president made a strategic move last weekend (a convenient distraction from hundreds of Women’s Marches nationwide the same day) of dangling a 3-year DACA carrot as a compromise for an American-tax-funded down payment on a border wall.
It was strategic in that he knew Pelosi would immediately reject the offer, thus hopefully painting the Democrats as the reason the government is still shut down.
But then the real leader of the GOP, Ann Coulter (usually in lockstep with Rush Limbaugh), slammed the proposal as “amnesty” for illegals, so perhaps his strategy has backfired.
Speaking of strategies, I also believe Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham are playing the long game, pretending to back Trump publicly, yet privately positioning themselves for what they see as an inevitable “changing of the guard” in the near future.
It’s all tactics for future elections, sadly nothing directly for the American people.
While SOTU is basically a meaningless exercise in narcissism, our sorry state includes the RumorMill website (aka Buzzfeed) making claims that were refuted to the point of the White House suddenly praising Captain Witch Hunt, Robert Mueller, the president claiming “Mission Accomplished” six weeks before ISIS killed more Americans, and his own lawyer (not licensed in D.C., by the way) claiming the oft-used legal answer to collusion questions, “So what?”
We have an Acting Chief of staff, Acting Interior Secretary, Acting Attorney General, Acting EPA Administrator, Acting Secretary of Defense and now evidently an Acting President.
Pretty sorry state of a union, if you ask me, but I still know some around here claiming, “No, more Trump!”
No more Trump.
See, punctuation is important.
Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.