Allahpundit covered this earlier but I wanted to tag onto it as well because it seems pretty clear from the left’s reaction that what’s happening here is just more de-platforming of Trump. At the Washington Post, opinion writers Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman make this explicit:
Only several weeks ago, we had a national debate over whether Trump should be given a prime-time platform by all the major networks, simply because he asked for one. This was admittedly not an easy decision. It’s hard to say no when a president asks for time in the middle of a difficult national moment, which the shutdown very much is. But every producer and executive knew full well that Trump would not say anything new about the shutdown or utter anything designed to reassure the country. Instead, they all knew Trump would use their airtime to lie and demagogue relentlessly to the American people in service of a deeply polarizing policy goal — the wall — that he has never seriously justified, and that (again, we all know this) is really about keeping his base riled up for the coming legal battles he faces…
Until the shutdown is over, we shouldn’t pretend that we’re not in the midst of a crisis of the president’s making. The president will get to deliver his State of the Union sooner or later. But until he ends this crisis — or until Senate Republicans put it out of its misery for him, since he doesn’t appear to see any way out — he shouldn’t be afforded the opportunity to rub our faces in all the lies and bad faith once again, making it all that much worse.
In other words, to the degree it’s possible, don’t let him speak. And yes, that’s exactly what another Post columnist was suggesting last week when Trump asked for TV time. Maybe there’s something in the water over there?
As often happens at the Post these days, opinion writer Jennifer Rubin has a piece which sort of says the same thing. Her version is headlined, “Facing Trump’s tantrum, Pelosi takes away the TV.”
She fact-checked him in the Oval Office on live TV and passed spending bills to reopen the government, thereby reinforcing Trump’s responsibility for the shutdown. To top it off, she’s taking away the president’s TV. More precisely, in response to Trump’s nearly month-long temper tantrum, she has told him he won’t get his prime-time State of the Union address on Jan. 29…
You wonder why in the world Democrats ever considered replacing her. She knows she has power, she willingly and skillfully deploys it, and, as she has said, as a mother of 5 children, knows how to handle a toddler’s meltdown. She also knows what Trump craves most — attention and TV cameras.
All of the Post’s left-wing opinion writers seem very enthusiastic about this plan to take away Trump’s platform. That’s not really a surprise if you’ve been paying attention to the left’s behavior for the past couple of years. De-platforming is all the rage with college revolutionaries.
Of course, Pelosi doesn’t actually have the power to stop Trump from speaking. The president can hold a State of the Union-style speech anywhere he wants, minus the trappings and the Democrats. He could hold a speech it in the White House or at the San Diego border for that matter. But give Pelosi credit for trying.
If Trump were smart he’d lean into this resistance. Holding the speech in the White House in front of a select audience that applauds everything he says will feel canned and inauthentic, like a sitcom laugh-track. He’d be better off selecting a public venue and letting the resistance fill it with trolls in pink hats. Let the Democratic base finish the job Pelosi started. Let them scream and interrupt to their heart’s desire. Granted, Trump probably wouldn’t be able to finish his speech but the spectacle of him being shouted down would remind a lot of Americans what the far left is about these days.