Trump, Pelosi both at fault for childish State of Union antics

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Shame on both of them!!
President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi both took the low road during Tuesday’s State of the Union address, sending a troubling yet not surprising message about the actual state of our union, at least within the realm of Washington politics.
This annual event has become extremely partisan in recent years, but the spotlight burned brighter than usual this time because of all the drama now unfolding in real time. An embarrassing Democratic caucus in Iowa the day before, an acquittal vote on impeachment pending the very next day and the start of a year-long 2020 presidential campaign set the stage for can’t-miss television.
Trump took full advantage of the opportunity, as expected, taking credit for anything and everything that’s going well, which meant he had a lot to talk about. He was clearly exaggerating points of progress that needed no embellishment. That’s his style and it’s not going to change.
There were celebratory moments in the 90-minute speech, to be sure, including touching tributes to military heroes, families who have made the ultimate sacrifice, a Medal of Freedom recipient and a young girl who saw new doors of educational opportunity open before her while a whole nation was looking on. That’s the kind of feel-good, unified support, message of hope we want and expect to see during the State of the Union.
All of that was overshadowed, unfortunately, by some junior high antics that could have and should have been avoided.
It’s been well documented that Trump and Pelosi despise each other, as apparently do many party leaders. That’s simply no excuse for Trump not extending a courteous hand to set the tone for the evening. Here's a chance to take the high road and send a message to a watching nation that manners, civility and respect do matter, especially when tensions are high. His actions were deliberate, and he clearly does not care to even pretend that he respects the Speaker of the House, either the person or the position.
As for Pelosi, her demeanor was just hard to watch. Her disapproving facial expression spoke volumes throughout the night, but her stunning decision to rip the president’s speech in disgust at the end hit an all-time low, even for her. It was a take-your-breath-away kind of moment that will forever be part of her legacy, one I think she will at some point regret.
Both should be smart enough to know that Americans would spend more time talking about their childish behavior than the high honors and vision for our nation, which should have been the focus of the evening. While there are indeed many, many, many reasons to celebrate our great nation, some of which our president deserves credit for, their incivility reflects a sad state of our union and the start of a dreadful campaign year to come.
Kurt Johnson

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