Conservatives have thrown a lot of well-deserved criticism at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the childish stunt she pulled at the conclusion of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech. Apparently hoping for a “media moment” that would rival last year’s infamous “clapback,” Pelosi stood up at the end and ripped her copy of Trump’s speech in half.
But while we don’t disagree with any Republican who referred to this as a tasteless example of Pelosi’s unfitness for office, we also see it for what it is: A temper tantrum being thrown by a woman who has been thoroughly outplayed by her greatest political rival. Sure, we were as initially irritated as anyone else, we’ve come to see it (and the Democrats’ general hostility throughout the speech) as the best sign possible that Trump is absolutely crushing their spirit.
Nonetheless, Pelosi deserves every ounce of criticism she gets, and boy, is she getting a lot of it.
“Speaker Pelosi just ripped up: One of our last surviving Tuskegee Airmen. The survival of a child born at 21 weeks. The mourning families of Rocky Jones and Kayla Mueller. A service member’s reunion with his family,” the White House said in a tweet. “That’s her legacy.”
Sen. Ted Cruz said Pelosi’s stunt was “disgraceful” and “disgusting.”
Former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley said that Pelosi should be ashamed of herself.
“Disappointed to see @SpeakerPelosi rip up the speech that mentioned lives we’ve lost and heroes we celebrated at the SOTU. No matter how you feel or what you disagree with, remember others are watching. This was unbecoming of someone at her level in office,” Haley tweeted.
“NEW LOW FOR NANCY PELOSI: She ripped up @realDonaldTrump’s #SOTU speech for the cameras on national TV. This speech was about American heroes and American workers. She decided THAT was worth literally tearing apart. Absolutely disgraceful,” House Republican Whip Steve Scalise wrote.
The New York Times, among other supposedly “even-handed” media outlets, tried to make the case that Pelosi’s treatment of the speech was payback for Trump’s refusal to shake her hand. But even if that were true, it would be a case of double-dipping; Pelosi shorted the president his full honor in introducing him to the auditorium. And anyway, she impeached the guy. “Forever.” Surely that’s snub enough for anyone.
But that’s not how it works in Pelosi-World. She’s so mad she can taste it. Trump has embarrassed her and her party with a smooth impeachment acquittal that actually ADDED points to his national approval rating. Her reputation as a political mastermind has been exposed as a fairy tale, and her party is staring down the barrel of doom in November. She has, to put it briefly, been defeated.
Her tantrum only proves that she knows it, too.