Last week, Nancy Pelosi informed Donald Trump that he was no longer welcome to deliver his State of the Union address from the House of Representatives on January 29. In a letter to the president, the Democratic Speaker cited security concerns related to the partial government shutdown. Which is to say, Pelosi made a sly ultimatum: Reopen the government or forfeit your big night in the spotlight.
On Wednesday, Trump pretended to misunderstand Pelosi’s missive. In a letter of his own, the president reassured Pelosi that the Secret Service was comfortable with him delivering the address, and therefore, he intended to honor her original invitation.
Then (in the next chapter of what would surely be the world’s worst epistolary novel), Pelosi promptly fired back another letter reiterating that she will not authorize his presence on her podium until the federal government is back up and running.
Now, Trump is exploring alternative venues for his big speech next Tuesday. This morning, West Virginia governor Jim Justice offered to host the president’s address. If Trump doesn’t feel like making the trek to Charleston, he could deliver the State of the Union in the Senate (which can’t seat nearly as large an audience as the House) or from the Oval Office.
For now, the president is focused on whining about the fact that his insistence on deliberately harming hundreds of thousands of Americans — so as to coerce a coequal branch of government into passing unpopular legislation — has finally had a negative consequence for him, personally.
“She’s afraid of the super-left Democrats, the radical Democrats,” Trump said of Pelosi Wednesday, adding that her refusal to let him speak in the “beautiful” Capitol is “a great blotch on the great country we all love.”
The president went on to claim that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is Pelosi’s “puppet,” and that Schumer is being “dominated” by the House speaker in negotiations.
One wonders what Dr. Freud would make of these remarks.