How Many State of the Union ‘Responses’ Do We Need?
There’s a disturbing new trend in politics that needs to come to an abrupt end: multiple State of the Union responses from the opposite party.
How many of last night’s State of the Union responses did you sit through?
For some of us, just watching the president’s address was more than enough. But over the past few years, the tradition of the opposing party giving its official response has matasticized into multiple responses.
And it’s thoroughly unnecessary!
Rep. Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts was selected by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to give the official response to President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress.
But there were at least four others planned, including one by Sen. Bernie Sanders. The Washington Examiner referred to the multiple responses as “a sign of a healthy appetite among the left to rebut Trump on his big night.”
Well, that’s one way to look at it.
But after a presidential speech that will itself last nearly an hour, I have to wonder how many Americans will even sit through it, much less four or five additional speeches that seek to do nothing but contradict everything the first one had to say.
To be fair, the Republicans started this foolishness back in 2014 when a total of four Republicans — including Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who gave the official Republican response — rebutted President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.
No matter which party is doing it, it’s ridiculous.
Both parties love to accuse each other of dividing the country. Of course, it’s the party not in control that thinks the other is doing all the dividing.
Yet in this practice, it’s more than clear that the party that isn’t in control can’t even unite within itself well enough to provide one single united response that tackles the key issues. It’s a shame that both sides now apparently think it’s better to splinter off and hope that individual messages from separate factions get heard well enough to make an impression when a more unified front would seem to be a better option to getting their point across.
Surely an opposing party can, within itself, come to agreement on what they disagree with. And if they can’t, it seems they have a lot more problems to worry about than what a sitting president has to say just one year in office.