I have previously written that some Democrats appear to be adopting Trump-like tactics while denouncing Trump for the very same conduct. The trend is spreading with name calling and increasingly outlandish criticisms.
The Democrats will not out-Trump Trump, but they will erase any distinction between them if this trend continues.
That was evident yesterday when Speaker Nancy Pelosi not only expressed pride in shattering decades of tradition in her conduct at the State of the Union, but changing the role of the Speaker at the SOTU from a strictly neutral figure to an openly partisan one — a change that was widely celebrated by Democrats without any self-awareness at the hypocrisy of the position. Pelosi then added an entirely unexplained allegation that the President was drugged or medicated at the address to the two houses. The media again seemed relatively mild in the face of that allegation as well as the unprecedented conduct of Pelosi.
At her press conference (where she was barely challenged on abandonment of long-standing traditions at the State of the Union), Pelosi said that she did not take her action because of the President’s refusal to shake her hand. Instead she said that she extended her hand because she felt sorry for the President:
“It was also an act of kindness because he looked to me like he was a little sedated. He looked that way last year too.”
It was a shocking and disturbing suggestion.
If the Speaker believed that the President was using drugs, she has a duty to address the matter — not intentionally spread rumors or fuel speculation. It raises the abuse of Barry Goldwater by Democrats who spread rumors that he was mentally unstable and being treated for psychological issues.
If Pelosi has evidence supporting this allegation, she should make it public. It is unbecoming to her office and unfair to Trump to use a press conference to spread this rumor and then refuse to answer questions about the basis for the allegation.
Again, the silence of other Democrats in the face of such conduct by the Speaker is deafening. No Democratic member has stepped forward to denounce the Speaker’s demonstration at the SOTU or her obvious effort to spread an allegation that the President is under sedation.
In the end, this will prove costly to the Democrats. While anti-Trump critics thrilled at Pelosi using the SOTU to degrade Trump, they have joined a race to the bottom that will only alienate many swing voters. No one who believes in the need for dignity and civility in government can support — or silently accept — the raw partisan conduct of Pelosi at the address.
I also criticized Trump’s address and his press conference the next day. However, Pelosi has her own obligations as the head of the House of Representatives, Trump’s inappropriate comments does not give her license to her “liberated” from historical or ethical rules of conduct. Those obligations attached to her office and are assumed by her when she took the office. She can either be a true Speaker or she should step down and become a mere partisan in the House.