Let Us Not Forget How Much Stacey Abrams Kicked Ass Last Night
If you are like Wonkette, by the end of Donald Trump's poorly written white supremacist snoozefest last night, you were ready to turn the TV off and forget about ALL OF IT. If you stayed awake for Stacey Abrams's Democratic response, though, you were in for a treat. First of all, it was just the right length. She looked happy and hopeful, and instead of using a haunted hell house as her backdrop like a common Bobby Jindal, she delivered the address in front of a group of nice people who looked like America, much like the Democratic side of the House of Representatives looked like America during the State of the Union.
We mention the scenery, because that's important in opposition responses. What's most remembered about these SOTU responses is usually just how pathetic it all looked, and the words are mostly forgotten. But maybe this time is different.
Let's look at what Abrams actually said, and treat ourselves to how much ass she kicked.
Abrams began by telling a bit of her biography, which is similar to so many others who "went back and forth between lower middle class and working class," as she put it. She said, "Our power and strength as Americans lives in our hard work and our beliefs and more," and that her "family understood firsthand that while success is not guaranteed, we live in a nation where opportunity is possible." She was leading up to a point, and it was also the first time she smacked Donald Trump right in his stupid face:
But we do not succeed alone. In these United States, when times are tough, we can persevere because our friends and neighbors will come for us. Our first responders will come for us. [...]
Just a few weeks ago, I joined volunteers to distribute meals to furloughed federal workers. They waited in line for a box of food, and the sliver of hope since they hadn't received paychecks in weeks. Making livelihoods of our federal workers a pawn for political games is a disgrace. The shutdown was a stunt, engineered by the president of the United States, one that defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people but our values.
In other words, Americans are cool. Americans step up. SO WHY THE FUCK IS THE SO-CALLED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HURTING AMERICANS?
Trump may not have mentioned his government shutdown in the State of the Union, but Stacey Abrams remembers, and so do millions of other people.
That was the tone of the entire response. Abrams didn't take thinly veiled swipes, because there were no veils at all. She simply spoke in a matter-of-fact way that said, "America, it's time to move on from our failed experiment in letting a criminal orange loser like Donald Trump squat in the White House." (Not her words. That is a Wonkette Funny Fake Quote, like we do.)
In just a few minutes, Abrams hit just about every note, both swiping Trump for what he's not doing, and also proposing things we should be doing. The contrast between that and Trump's million-hour-long speech, where he proposed basically nothing, was remarkable. She hit the White House for sitting on its thumbs while kids are doing active shooter drills and can't afford college, and said we've got to do serious, common sense gun control and deal with the cost of higher education.
Abrams called bullshit on the Republican tax scam, which is not helping people, and concluded that "we owe more to the millions of everyday folks who keep our economy running." Like, for instance, "farmers caught in a trade war." WONDER WHOSE TRADE WAR SHE IS TALKING ABOUT!
One of the best passages of the response was on immigration:
We know bipartisanship could craft a 21st century immigration plan, but this administration chooses to cage children and tear families apart. Compassionate treatment at the border is not the same as open borders. President Reagan understood this.
Very well done Ronald Reagan name-check, Stacey Abrams!
Abrams pointed the blame for why the Affordable Care Act isn't working as well as it used to directly at Republicans, and shared her own experience of falling into debt paying for her father's prostate cancer treatment. Then she talked about other struggles folks are facing with healthcare in this, the richest country in the world:
In this great nation, Americans are skipping blood pressure pills, forced to choose between buying medicine or paying rent. Maternal mortality rates show that mothers, especially black mothers, risk death to give birth. And in 14 states, including my home state, where a majority want it, our leaders refuse to expand Medicaid which could save rural hospitals, save economies and save lives.
Abrams concluded by saying we can face these problems and many, many more, but you can't do it if THE PEOPLE CANNOT VOTE. She knows something about this, doesn't she! She said she "accepts" what happened in her race to be Georgia's governor, but she "cannot accept efforts to undermine our right to vote," calling it the "next battle for our democracy." Because let's be clear -- if everybody got to vote, we wouldn't be in the situation we're in right now. Abrams even swiped at Mitch McConnell, who recently called House Democrats' efforts to make sure all eligible Americans can vote a "power grab." Yeah, Turtlefuck, it is a power grab. BY THE PEOPLE, YOU DICK.
Oh, and Abrams had something to say about racism and reproductive freedom and LGBT equality too, addressing where we've been, where we are now, and where we must now go. She had something to say about ALL OF IT. We were particularly struck by what she said about reproductive freedom, in light of the news the past few weeks:
America achieved a measure of reproductive justice in Roe v. Wade, but we must never forget, it is immoral to allow politicians to harm women and families to advance a political agenda.
And what are terrible evil assholes like Donald Trump doing when they speak of the reality of so-called "late-term abortions" (which is not a medical term and tends to happen in situations so tragic you wouldn't wish them on your worst enemy) and call it the "execution of a baby," as he did in his speech last night? Harming women and families to advance a political agenda.
We're still pissed about that.
Here, watch the video, and then decide in the comments whether Stacey Abrams should be president or vice president or the senator from Georgia. (Should we just appoint her governor-for-life of Virginia, to stop the madness there?) No matter what the answer is, we have not seen the last of this amazing woman.
Stacey Abrams delivers Democratic response to Trump's State of the Union www.youtube.com
[Transcript via Politico]
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