Thursday, February 6, 2020


President Trump’s State of the Union address showed me more than ever that Democrats are losing — not because of the successes he touted or the tantrum Nancy Pelosi threw at the end by ripping up the transcript, but because of the actual reactions of the Democrats.  

Instead of a typical SOTU watch party, I chose to attend Rep. Maxine Waters’ State of the Union screening and watch with young Democratic Party staffers to gauge their reactions and see what moved or didn’t move them. 

The night started with a speech from Ms. Waters. She came in with her impeachment friend, Rep. Al Green, and gave a brief talk about why she wasn’t going to be sitting in the U.S. Capitol for the speech. She stated that she wouldn’t give an impeached president the respect of sitting through his speech in person — as if she ever gave him respect at all. The hour before this, she had given friendly interviews to the Huffington Post, The Root and other liberal publications that somehow still find her repetitive statements newsworthy.

I was seated in the middle of staffers, interns and an “activist.” The activist, who was the only interesting person in the building, had been arrested multiple times and was happy to brag about it. This had become their career — getting arrested on Capitol Hill and paying the $50 fine over and over again to be released. The “last time,” I was told, the chief of police looked at them and said they were “too much of a headache to process” and they were immediately let go. I high fived them and said “life goals or something amiright?”

When Mr. Trump entered the House chamber, the crowd in the viewing room predictably booed — and continued talking for a bit then settled in. Some of the reactions, like that one, were easy to predict, but it was the follow-up stories from the president’s speech that either silenced the crowd or made them show their true bigotry.

When Mr. Trump discussed the booming economy and low unemployment rate, there were predictable mutters about how it was still somehow President Obama and that he didn’t do it on his own — the activist told me that this was caused because African-Americans somehow weren’t able to sign up for unemployment because of Mr. Trump’s racism. I was somehow able to keep my mouth shut and listen to that insanity.

When Mr. Trump spoke about combatting sanctuary cities, the crowd was raucus and booed, but when he mentioned the innocent people murdered by released criminals, they quickly went silent — apparently Democrats can boo the concept of shutting down a safe haven for criminals but not the actual act of one of those protect criminals murdering an American.

School choice was booed, but when Janiyah Davis, the fourth-grader from Philadelphia was given a scholarship, the audience didn’t know how to react. Silence befell the room, except for a few voices saying that Mr. Trump is using black people as props. Similar comments came when Mr. Trump honored Tuskegee Airman and retired Brig. Gen. Charles McGee. The crowd slightly cheered for the hero, then more comments about how the president uses African-Americans as props.

It was at this point that I had to bite my tongue. The indoctrinated crowd I was surrounded by had no idea that what they were actually saying was that these honorees who the president were lifting up weren’t smart enough to not be used — that every African-American should automatically be a Democrat and that by allowing themselves to be highlighted in the State of the Union they were somehow lesser human beings. It was incredibly disturbing, but coming from a party run by a congresswoman who encouraged the physical and verbal harassment of Republicans, it wasn’t shocking.

Oddly, the same crowd that claimed Mr. Trump was using African-Americans was silent when he touted his giving record federal funding to historically black colleges and universities.

The biggest boos of the night came when Mr. Trump honored longtime talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. “Are you kidding me?!?” exclaimed the activist — the people around me jeered throughout the process.

And when Mr. Trump discussed taking out terrorists, the activist stated and staffers agreed that “Soleimani was there for peace talks.” To which I loudly broke my silence with a “WHAT?!?!” and asked what the source was for that news — no one knew, but they swore they knew.   

There were some reluctant cheers from the crowd, especially when Sgt. Townsend Williams was reunited with his family, but the biggest pop of the night was when Nancy Pelosi tore up her transcript of the State of the Union. Why? Because in the face of a booming economy, with record job numbers for women and minorities, and Americans finally being put first — that’s all Democrats have left — a toddler’s tantrum.

• Tim Young is a political comedian and author of “I Hate Democrats/I Hate Republicans” (Post Hill Press).

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