Looks can be deceiving.
As you watched the president deliver what may have been his best speech ever, you thought you saw Democrats acting like a pack of disrespectful juveniles.
While President Trump recited a long list of economic successes, Democrats appeared to be wearing pained expressions on their normally cheery faces. They were unable to rise to their feet, let alone applaud in acknowledgment of the litany of great news for our nation.
The self-described champions of free speech openly groaned as the man who reinvented talk radio was recognized for his contributions to our ongoing national debate. Some may think they were simply jealous of Rush Limbaugh’s massive audience. After all, far more people listen to Rush than watch CNN and MSNBC…combined. Maybe they don’t welcome his contributions to the national discourse. As the First Lady fastened the Presidential Medal of Freedom around his neck, an unknown member of Congress could be heard shouting, “We love you Rush!” While we don’t know if that was a Republican or Democrat, we can be confident that it wasn’t AOC. She was back in her office working hard, blogging her thoughts (such as they are) concerning the State of the Union.
As the President recited the incredibly good news concerning minority and female employment, you may have seen a large contingent of Democratic women wearing white costumes looking lost and forlorn, sitting on their hands, right?
Permit me to offer a plausible explanation for some of this bizarre behavior. Bear in mind, the Iowa caucuses were held the night before. Whether they have announced publicly, members have favorite candidates. So most of them likely participated in an Iowa caucus results party. They stayed up very late expecting returns. Rumor has it that a party was hosted by the Hispanic Caucus. Consider the possibility that someone overloaded the chili with too much jalapeño. Party goers may have consumed one too many adult beverages as well.
The grim faces we saw may have had more to do with severe stomach cramps than any disrespect for the president or a decorated 100 year-old Tuskegee airman. Those of us who have felt that unmistakable gurgling in our lower tract can understand this. In deference to the close quarters, remaining glued to their seats was the prudent thing to do.
So you see, those impolite Democrats you thought you saw staring blankly, refusing to acknowledge even the joy of the reunion of an Afghanistan vet with his young family, were likely suffering from sleep deprivation and acute gastritis.
You might have looked a little cranky too.
Then there was Chairmen Nadler and Schiff sitting together on the House floor. Anyone could plainly see that they were doing their level best to avoid looking as if they were gloating. Gloating over their brilliant presentation of the impeachment case in the Senate. After all, they had taken a handful of rumors and second-hand opinions and turned them into a full blown impeachment vote.
No small task.
That wry smile on Representative Schiff’s face was not a smirk. He was likely anticipating Trump’s announcing the sale of Alaska back to the Russians. While that announcement never came, Schiff remains confident that it’s only a matter of time.
What you may have seen as Queen Nancy’s petulant and angry mutterings behind the president may have actually been her praying the Rosary. As a devout Catholic, she is incapable of hate. She was simply praying for our beloved President. And lest we judge too harshly her ripping of the president’s address, remember that she is a fastidious, tree-hugging environmentalist. She recycles all waste paper. At her advanced age (and late hour) she may have simply forgotten that the signed, engraved copy was intended for the National Archives.
Finally, Senator Pierre Delecto may have been directed by passages in First Nephi of the Book of Mormon. Nephi wanted the brass plates held by his rival Laban. The Holy Ghost instructed Nephi to kill Laban with his own sword. Trump has something Delecto really wanted and believed he deserved. So, Senator Delecto was justified and moved by his deep faith.
Like objects in our rearview mirror, things may be different than they first appear.
Gil Gutknecht is a former Republican Congressman from Minnesota.