Prissy Jerk Kevin McCarthy Thinks Badass Pelosi Is Behaving In A Frightfully 'Unbecoming' Manner
Yesterday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Donald Trump not to bother showing his raggedy ass at the Capitol later this month for his lie-addled State of the Union address. This is a bummer for those of us looking forward to watching Pelosi roll her eyes and shoot death stares at Trump from her reclaimed seat of honor. Pelosi articulated very reasonable national security concerns for dis-inviting Trump. It's a tremendous undertaking to ensure the safety of everyone present, and most of the folks who do the heavy lifting are furloughed or otherwise victims of Trump's shutdown. Does Trump remember that he shut down the government?
GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy thinks Pelosi's move is "pure politics." He's apparently never watched "Designated Survivor." Pelosi said they could come up with another date for Trump to demonize Democrats and minorities once the government is reopened. Trump could also just lie to to the public from the Oval Office or even submit his address to Congress in writing (this is also how they should handle this year's Academy Awards). However, McCarthy insists that Pelosi inconveniencing Trump in any way during a domestic crisis of his own making is "unbecoming" of the speaker. Yes, he used the word "unbecoming" like he's Lord McCarthy in a regional production of Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windermere's Fan."
"Unbecoming" is an interesting word choice. Is it "unbecoming" to shut down the government as a negotiation tactic and risk triggering a recession? Even if Pelosi is only playing hardball, that's entirely her right given how Trump himself escalated the stakes. No one will have to pull their kids out of child care because Pelosi has denied Trump a large audience for his Stephen Miller-penned white supremacist screed. The only person affected by Pelosi turning the screws on Trump is the toddler in chief.
We have lots of recent experience of men half-assing the speakership, and "unbecoming" was never used to describe weaselly Paul Ryan or (alleged) day drinker John Boehner. McCarthy is acting like the State of the Union is some grand Victorian-era ball, and Lady Nancy of San Francisco shockingly and rudely rescinded the invitation to Baron Donald of Moscow over some petty slight. Pelosi isn't some common Chuck Schumer. She doesn't have to roll over for Trump. She is a leader from a co-equal branch of government. McCarthy, who lets the president call him "Steve," might not realize this, but Speaker Pelosi both knows it and flaunts it.
There are a record number of women in Congress now, and Republican men should learn how to talk about them as if they are actual fellow human beings. Trump said that Rep. Rashida Tlaib "dishonored" herself and her entire family like she was Lydia Bennett run off with George Wickham. But the motherfucker doesn't wear a scarlet "P" because of his gross remarks on the "Access Hollywood" tape.
Pelosi knows how to manage Trump. It's unfortunate so few of the non-badass women in her caucus do. Rep. Ro Khanna, who wins the "Silly Man" award for today, suggests that letting Trump give one of his hate rallies dressed up as formal address to Congress is somehow vital to our democracy. The very same democracy Trump actively attacks. This is how you "norm" yourself right into fascism.
Trump's single greatest weapon has been the unwarranted deference politicians and pundits want to extend to him because of the office he holds. This only enables the narrative that Trump is owed respect he himself never returns. He has no "divine right of birth." He is a kinda elected president. He is obligated to earn the respect of those he hopes to govern. Cautioning his critics and political opponents to never "sink to his level" while simultaneously asking us to bend our knee to him is profoundly bad advice.
Everything about Donald Trump is "unbecoming." Very little about Pelosi is. It was gracious of her to invite Trump to give the State of the Union address at all. She should've pulled the plug on it because of his endless corruption, pathological deceit, and gleeful abuse of the marginalized. The shutdown was just the last straw. The next and only time Trump should have an audience before Congress is at his impeachment trial.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.