State of Disunion

State of Disunion

Some would argue that it occurred long before the night of Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2018. Some might even say that they can’t point to a specific milestone or event that signaled the demise of optimism and sane, diplomatic national political discourse.
But we can.
On Tuesday, Queens native and President of the United States, Donald Trump, delivered his second State of the Union address to the nation—and ignited a powder keg of partisanship that this country has not endured.
Until now.
As expected, Trump was all over the place. He initially tried to strike a bipartisan, patriotic, even kumbaya tone—before taking a sharp left into the negative and bizarre.
“If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way,” Trump said.
Predictably, Democrats pounced—on that checks-and-balances gem and more.
“Sorry, sir. But Article 1 of the Constitution is the legislative branch. And it has the responsibility to exercise oversight of the other branches of government. We would be delinquent in our duties if we failed to provide the necessary oversight,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gleefully tweeted.
“President Trump has had years to bring this country together, but instead he has chosen to divide the country across every single line he can imagine,” said 2020 presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) “If President Trump wants to convince the country that he actually cares about bringing us together, then he can start by no longer using government workers as political pawns, reuniting the families that his administration ripped apart at the border, and stopping with political wedge issues like telling women they can’t make their own health decisions in consultation with their doctor.”
Fellow member of Congress, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), added, “President Trump addressed the American people this evening and spoke of a new era of bipartisanship coupled with lofty policy goals. I believe Democrats and Republicans can and should work together on issues like rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and lowering the cost of prescription drugs. But the President will need to match words with deeds, and we will see if his desire for bipartisanship will align with his actions after tonight. I stand ready to work with the President. But I will not stand for attacks on hardworking middle class families, immigrant communities, and young people, and I will continue to fight against any proposals or policies that seek to harm them. In addition, the President’s selection of ‘Choosing Greatness’ as the theme of his speech was curious because America was great before his administration and will be great after his administration.”
On Wednesday morning, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) tweeted, “Last night, Trump suggested that congressional oversight of his administration will hurt our economy. That’s false. But corruption will. Rooting out malfeasance is vital to our democracy and prosperity. Know what else hurts the economy? Ridiculous government shutdowns.”
Who knows — maybe some day in the near future we’ll look back on this fraught national moment and laugh…if only to stave off the tears.


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