Everyone seems to be discussing Nancy Pelosi’s poison pen letter to the President “suggesting” that he postpone the State of the Union address or simply send it to Congress in written form as many of his early predecessors did. While I’m personally all in favor of doing away with this pointless gala as much as the Constitution would allow (and writing a letter to Congress and issuing copies to the press would be fine by me), Pelosi’s motives are more than suspect. But that’s not the real issue I wanted to bring up.
First of all, this wasn’t a “letter to the President.” It was almost undoubtedly leaked out to the press before Trump even saw it. This was a planned media event. Even so, the new Speaker had to give some sort of justification for wanting the SOTU postponed. As a reminder of what she came up with, let’s go back and look at the key portion of the letter where she explains her “reasoning” for writing. (Business Insider, emphasis added)
The U.S. Secret Service was designated as the lead federal agency responsible for coordinating, planning, exercising, and implementing security for National Special Security Events by Public Law 106-544, December 19, 2000. However, both the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security have not been funded for 26 days now – with critical departments hamstrung by furloughs.
Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th.
It was all about “security concerns” and shortfalls with the Secret Service. I’m fairly sure we all knew that was horse hockey the moment we heard it, to borrow a phrase from Sherman T. Potter. But the DHS Secretary made it official yesterday. Security is already in place and prepared to keep the event as safe as it ever is. (NY Post)
The Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security said they can handle security at President Trump’s State of the Union address — which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants Trump to postpone…
But Homeland Security Chief Kirstjen Nielsen wrote on Twitter that both agencies are good to go.
“The Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union. We thank the Service for their mission focus and dedication and for all they do each day to secure our homeland,” she wrote.
So the Speaker of the House wrote an official missive to the President of the United States saying the security was inadequate due to the shutdown. The people in charge of said security forces are prepared to handle the job. So what does that make Pelosi’s claim? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
This morning I was listening to the talking heads on CNN discuss this matter. Pelosi was described as being “cagey.” Another person called the letter “a power play.” (In fact, when teasing the story, CNN used a picture of Pelosi smiling and the chyron simply said, “Power Play?”) It was pointed out that the Speaker was “robbing Trump of the two things he loves most. His wall and a speech before a huge audience.”
At no point did any of them utter the one word they love most when discussing the President. Not one of them suggested that Pelosi had lied. And yet she did. It’s objectively false to say that the Secret Service isn’t ready to keep the SOTU address secure.
CNN, in particular, loves talking about Donald Trump’s many lies. They regularly trot out Victor Blackwell with a table covered in glass jars filled with gumballs, each one representing another Trump “lie.” Of course, they eventually expand the description to include “false or misleading statements.” Even things the President says which have to be interpreted as opinions are added to the total of lies he’s supposedly uttered. (And to be clear, the President has said some outlandish things which clearly are not true. Whether he was knowingly lying or simply didn’t understand the subject matter is up to the observer to decide.)
If it’s so important to keep a running tally of the President’s lies, wouldn’t the same apply to the Speaker of the House, another person in a position of great power and in the order of succession for the presidency? One might imagine so. But if you listen to the mainstream media this week, you won’t hear a peep about Pelosi lying. It’s all just a cagey power play… when a Democrat does it.