OPINION: Democrats Cope With State Of The Union By Acting Out

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Charlie Kirk Contributor
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Even liberals cringed with embarrassment at the behavior of congressional Democrats during the 2018 State of the Union address. This year is shaping up to be even more outrageous.

Last year, President Trump called for bipartisanship on issues such as criminal justice reform, healthcare, and infrastructure, but the Democrats were having none of it.

The opposition party made it clear that there would be no compromise in 2018 by staying seated during parts of the speech that would have prompted bipartisan applause if they came from almost any other president.

For instance, when President Trump announced that black unemployment is the lowest ever recorded, the Democrats couldn’t even wipe the contempt off their faces for a second to acknowledge the good news.

Things were so bad that Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin had to take a shot at members of his own party who refused to stand when the president entered the House chamber, describing their behavior as “disrespectful.”

Even The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank said the Democrats’ theatrics were “embarrassing.”

“I take a back seat to nobody in decrying President Trump’s cynical and divisive performance … but the Democrats, with their childish protests, took the bait,” Milbank complained. “Symbolic dissent is fine, but this was a cacophony of causes: black clothing (for #MeToo), kente ties and sashes (because of Trump’s Africa insult), butterfly stickers (for the “dreamers”), red buttons (for a victim of racial crime), and the more bipartisan purple ribbons (for the opioid epidemic).”

The Democrats’ histrionics are expected to be even more intense this year, now that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will be sitting directly behind President Trump at the podium.

Scores of female House Democrats, for instance, are expected to wear white to show solidarity with suffragettes, echoing the black-clad representatives at last year’s address.

Liberal media outlets, meanwhile, are already beating the war drums, calling for Democrats to “not give in to Trump’s hateful speech.”

“Donald Trump says his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening will be about ‘unification,’” Robert Reich wrote for The Guardian. “But Trump discussing the state of the union is like pyromaniac discussing lighter fluids. His goal is, and has always been, disunion.”

The temptation to act out will be particularly strong for those Democrats who have announced their intention to run for president in 2020, who are already vying with each other for the support of their Party’s radical activist fringe by adopting extremist policy proposals such as “Medicare for All” and instituting a 70 percent wealth tax.

This year’s State of the Union offers them a golden opportunity to separate themselves from the pack and show just how much they despise President Trump.

Disruptive antics and political stunts at the State of the Union are no way to attract moderate voters — as mortified liberal pundits pointed out last year — but with so many Democrats needing to prove their anti-Trump bona fides to potential primary voters, don’t expect them to practice restraint this time around, either.

Charlie Kirk is the founder and executive director of Turning Point USA, a conservative nonprofit advocacy group that seeks to encourage student civic engagement.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.