President Donald Trump is giving a speech to a joint session of Congress tonight, and while I am no big fan of his, I think it’s preposterous that some Democrats are talking about not shaking the President’s hand at the very least, and boycotts of the speech at the worst.
Presumably this will make them out to be folk heroes to their constituents, or something, as if shaking the President’s hand is in any way an endorsement of any of the policies for which he stands. It’s not, obviously, and not shaking the president’s hand shows disrespect not just for the man but for the office (which is more important) and it doesn’t make you some hero.
Of course I’m sure the folks who populate leftist twitter will celebrate this move as some act of courage, just as they will celebrate the invitation of illegal immigrants to witness the speech in the gallery as some act of courage (when in fact the only courageous action being perpetrated is by those illegal immigrants, who are being used as political props).
These are the same people, mind you, who breathlessly declare a need for bipartisan negotiation, and are still scheming for ways in which to have Merrick Garland appointed to the Supreme Court (which, admittedly, he probably ought to be). It’s completely absurd and it’s typical of the rank hypocrisy I’ve seen from Democrats over the past few months. Imagine if a Republican had done this to President Obama. There would have been cries of outrage, and gnashing of teeth, and rending of garments as they struggled to find a reason why someone could so disrespect the office of the Presidency. Now the tables have turned, and the left wants to take their ball and go home.
This isn’t a State of the Union but it’s not hard to see that the state of the Union is not exactly great, and there’s a lot of tension and animosity both intra-party and inter-party. It IS just a simple handshake, but in these trying times small gestures of normalcy take on outsize importance. It’s a shame that Democrats are passing on an opportunity to look like the adults in the room to score a few cheap points with their base. Refusing to shake the president’s hand won’t make you a hero; it will simply make you a symptom of the hyper-partisan blight that is making it difficult for our democracy to function properly.