Who’s Really Shredding Standards on Capitol Hill?Roundup
tags: Congress, political history, whistleblower
Last week, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said a lot without speaking a word. At the close of President Trump’s State of the Union address, she calmly, deliberately and now famously tore her copy in two and tossed it down with a shrug, declaring her disdain for its contents with aplomb.
This simple gesture sent a strong message. Most speakers are expressionless during State of the Union addresses or they come close; Speaker John Boehner couldn’t quite mask his “micro-expressions” of frustration during President Barack Obama’s address in 2015.
Speaker Pelosi offered a cri de coeur in comparison, as she intended. The speech was “a manifesto of mistruths,” she said during a news conference two days later. “It was necessary to get the attention of the American people to say, ‘This is not true.’” And she succeeded, perhaps beyond her expectations. Violating congressional traditions to make a point is itself a longstanding tradition for good reason.
Republicans heard that message loud and clear, denouncing her incivility, accusing her of shredding “decades of tradition” and demanding her resignation. It was the “most classless act ever conducted in Congress,” Ian Miles Cheong, the managing editor of the conservative website Human Events, charged.
comments powered by Disqus
- Many Holocaust Survivors Are Struggling Amid the Pandemic. Here’s How Virtual Gatherings Are Helping
- 131-Year-Old Confederate Statue Removed From Alexandria Intersection
- All the History I Learned in my Youth Came from the American Girl Doll Books
- Is This the Worst Year in Modern American History?
- Role-Playing Games are Breathing New Life into the History Classroom
- Explaining the Insurrection Act of 1807 and Looking Back on Nixon’s Law & Order Campaign (Podcast)
- Trump Declared Himself the 'President of Law and Order.' Here's What People Get Wrong About the Origins of That Idea
- The Rebellion in Defense of Black Lives is Rooted in U.S. History. So, too, is Trump’s Authoritarian Rule (Podcast)
- Beverly Hills, Buckhead, SoHo: The New Sites of Urban Unrest
- How Today’s Protests Compare to 1968, Explained by a Historian