Brooks is right — Trump could do the State of the Union in the Senate chamber, but there’s a better location
Shutdown politics are far uglier than normal Washington politics. We have seen veterans locked out of memorials by President Barack Obama, we have seen workers miss paychecks and now we have Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi revoking the president of the United States’ invitation to give his State of the Union address in the House chamber.
None of these were necessary, but President Donald Trump has options to circumvent her ploy to embarrass him. He can’t let her do that.
Her goal is obvious: keep the American people from hearing him speak, remove his ability to take his message directly to the people without her allies in the media filtering it. He has to give a speech.
Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) has suggested the president deliver the address on the floor of the United States Senate. This is all well and good as it would send the appropriate message and would show the president will not be cowed by San Francisco’s congresswoman, but it doesn’t go far enough.
If Trump wants to push back against this “hyper-partisan and shameless” move, as Brooks called it, he should deliver this speech from the United States border.
He should not be in an arena with cheering and chanting fans, he should not be wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat and he should not be playing to a raucous crowd with insults and barbs. He should stand at a podium at the Texas desert border wall, with an audience of families who lost loves ones to illegal immigration, border patrol agents and federal employees.
Trump should make a speech laying out the dangers of illegal immigration and explain how Democrats will not negotiate to reopen the border.
He should give a speech that the fact-checkers cannot debunk and the tone-police cannot destroy.
Polling indicates that Americans mostly blame President Trump and Republicans for the shutdown, and after all of the media’s coverage of the shutdown, no one is surprised by this.
More worrisome to the president — a recent poll indicates that only 30 percent of respondents would “definitely” vote for him while 57 percent “definitely would not” vote for him.
Granted it is early 2019, but this has to turn around for him to be re-elected. A “presidential” presidential address during a crisis could start that turn.