Monday, January 29, 2018

Is a boycott the new ‘norm’ for political behavior within our Congress?

What’s the difference between political malcontents of the Republican and Democratic political persuasions?
SCHAKOWSKY: Don't want Trump to be the norm

It could be that the former is determined to make a public stink out of the formal events that comprise government activity, while the latter is more than willing to let their silence speak for themselves.

THERE ARE THOSE who will never forget Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., who screamed out “You lie!” at then-President Barack Obama during a presidential address in 2009 when Obama said (rather truthfully) that his desires to provide healthcare reform would not benefit those non-citizens who were living in this country without a valid visa.

Because there are those who are just determined to believe (no matter what reality says) that those “filthy foreigners” are leeching off of decent “real Americans.”

Now there are those people who believe that our current president, Donald J. Trump, is incapable of saying anything truthful, and I’m sure the “you lie” sentiment will be passing through the minds of many in the Democratic caucuses of Congress when they listen to the president’s State of the Union address come Tuesday.

The speech being the annual statement made by the president to give the public a sense of his priorities for the upcoming year. It will be interesting to see how many factual whoppers Trump comes up with to make it appear as though he’s the most productive president this country has ever had.
LEWIS: Not the first time he dumped Trump

BUT WE’RE NOT likely to hear any epithets being barked at Trump during his address. In fact, the most notable part of the atmosphere of the address come Tuesday may be the sound of silence – and no, I don’t mean the old Simon and Garfunkel tune.

I’m aware of at least six Democratic members of Congress saying they’re not going to show up – including Rep. Jan Schakowsky from Evanston and the North Shore suburbs of Chicago.

Schakowsky told the Chicago Sun-Times she thinks Trump’s governmental behavior during the past year has been disrespectful to our society, and she doesn’t want to make it appear as though she regards it as the “normal” way our government should conduct itself. “The American people have been subjected to a year of racist and erratic and divisive behavior, she said.
TRUMP: How wonderful will State of Union be?

Other Democrats who say they’re not showing up Tuesday include Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, Pramila Jayapal of Washington, John Lewis of Georgia, Frederica Wilson of Florida and Maxine Waters of California.

NOT THAT ANYBODY viewing the presidential address on television will notice. The usual atmosphere of congressional applause coming at key points in the speech will continue to be heard.

It just means the Republican side of the aisle will provide all of the clapping noise meant to make it appear as though Trump’s thoughts are garnering wide support from fellow politicos.

Those viewing the event inside the Congressional chambers will side Democrats sitting looking bored, but with large pockets of empty seats – depending on how many members of Congress decide to follow the lead of Jan Schakowsky; who even when she was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives a couple of decades ago was a critic willing to speak her mind even if it disagreed with the official stance her political party (a.k.a., Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan) took.

I wonder if this is going to be something we’ll see in future years – or at least until Trump is dumped from public office.

CONSIDER THAT TRUMP’S presidential inauguration just over a year ago saw some 56 members of Congress refuse to show up to see The Donald take the oath to “preserve, protect and defend” the U.S. Constitution – albeit in ways many consider totally bizarre.
WILSON: He believes Trump

In fact, Lewis – a 16-term congressman and one-time activist during the Civil Rights movement – didn’t show up for that event either.

There likely won’t be any repeats of a Joe Wilson-like outburst on Tuesday, particularly since Trump and his nonsense talk appears to be the kind of president that Wilson himself appears to prefer.

So what is the “State of the Union” these days? Best described in one word – divided.


No comments: