President Trump addressed the nation Tuesday, providing sustenance for his base on the issue most important to them: the wall.
Sen. Schumer and Speaker Pelosi felt compelled to follow but shouldn’t have set foot anywhere near a television camera that night.
One man conspicuously absent from this act of political theater was Mitch McConnell.
Besides the president, no other Republican wields more power than the Senate Majority Leader.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, McConnell’s counterpart, showed why he’s destined to remain in the minority.
Ed Rollins explains:
Someone asked me why Chuck and Nancy didn’t thave two podiums — why they stood behind a podium made for one? I answered saying they can have anything they want. The Capitol is their building. One half is all in her control, and Mitch McConnell will let Chuck sit or stand anywhere he wants. He might not let him get his bills on the floor of the Senate for a vote though, and that really was what the show was about.
Usually, or actually always, the president gets to make his speeches (except for State of the Unions) without a TV rebuttal from the other side.
The rebuttal went like this: We don’t like your wall, it’s immoral, and we don’t like your statistics. Lies, lies, lies. They also said: Open up the government and we will deal with the border issues later and we promise you’ll get a fair hearing. That again is on the wall, which Democrats say we don’t want and won’t spend a penny on and it’s also immoral.
The president, on the other hand, is reminded of two former Republican presidents. The first being Ronald Reagan who signed a bill giving amnesty in 1986 to millions with the promise of additional border security later. The later never came. The second president was the recently deceased George H.W. Bush who promised “no new taxes” when running in 1988. He broke that promise and 27 percent of Republicans (his base) didn’t vote for his reelection.
President Trump made his wall the centerpiece of his 2016 campaign.
His base wants a wall. Tuesday’s speech reaffirmed the president’s commitment to his supporters and, more importantly, American sovereignty.
Sen. McConnell understands that and will continue to quietly shepherd the president’s agenda through Congress.
It’s something Sen. Schumer and Rep. Pelosi, between their constant bloviating and predictable talking points, have yet to learn.