The Corner

White House

Pelosi Should Cancel the State of the Union Pageant

I very much enjoyed Jay Cost’s excellent essay on congressional supremacy earlier in the week. The urgent need for Congress to rediscover its institutional self-respect — as opposed to its swollen self-importance — is a frequent theme of Charlie’s and mine in Mad Dogs & Englishmen, and elsewhere. If the United States wishes to halt its slide into desultory monarchy, then Congress is going to have to assert its powers and privileges.

On that subject: Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, has asked the president to delay his State of the Union address until after the government shutdown is resolved. The political calculation there is too obvious to merit much comment. But here’s a thought. Irrespective of anyone’s views on the individuals serving as president and speaker at this time, it would be an excellent thing for the republic — a genuine civics lesson — if the speaker were to simply tell the president that he is not welcome in the chamber on January 29 and to instruct the sergeant-at-arms not to admit him. The hideous State of the Union pageant would not be much missed, and the American people would be reminded in a dramatic fashion that the president is the chief administrator of the federal bureaucracy, not a ruler, not an ersatz king, and not the personification of the nation.

Republicans offended by that notion should think about what their party is called and why it is called that.

Most Popular

Elections

In Defense of the Electoral College

Senator Elizabeth Warren has joined a growing chorus within the Democratic party in calling for the abolition of the Electoral College. Speaking at a forum in Mississippi on Monday night, Warren said that she hoped to ensure that “every vote matters” and proposed that “the way we can make that happen is ... Read More
Elections

Stick a Fork in O’Rourke

If, as I wrote last week here, Joe Biden may save the Democratic party from a horrible debacle at the polls next year, Beto O’Rourke may be doing the whole process a good turn now. Biden, despite his efforts to masquerade as the vanguard of what is now called progressivism, is politically sane and, if ... Read More
National Security & Defense

In Defense of the Iraq War

Today is the 16th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and Twitter is alive with condemnations of the conflict -- countered by precious few defenses. Yet I believed the Iraq War was just and proper in 2003, and I still believe that today. When Donald Trump condemned the war during the 2015 primary campaign and ... Read More