By Robert A. Vella
I didn’t watch last night’s State of the Union speech by Herr Trump and I’d expect that you didn’t either. From: TV Ratings: State of the Union Early Broadcast Numbers Slip From 2019
President Trump’s State of the Union address is on course for a smaller viewership than in the previous three years of his presidency.
Across the four major broadcast networks, his speech on Tuesday drew 15.9 million viewers according to early estimates, a 21% fall from last year. CBS scored the largest audience for the SOTU with 4.6 million viewers, swiftly followed by NBC with 4.4 million. ABC and Fox were close together in third and fourth, with the former garnering 3.6 million viewers and the latter 3.4 million.
The cable news and other network numbers will be added as they come in later in the day, but so far it doesn’t bode well for this SOTU speech compared compared to previous years.
From all reports, it was predictably a reelection campaign speech filled with red-meat for his base supporters; however, he reportedly didn’t mention impeachment at all which is rather surprising. Or, maybe it isn’t surprising considering the harsh criticism Republican senators have been receiving over their blatant partisan cover-up of witness testimony and documentary evidence in his trial which can now only be described as a sham. It is quite clear that the GOP is running from the “I” word like a fugitive running from a crime scene.
The SOTU speech was also an acrimonious event between Republicans and Democrats, and especially so between President Trump and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. A large number of Democratic congresswomen wore white as a symbolic protest while a few Dems walked out in disgust. Considering the intense cultural polarization in America today mirrored in the nation’s politics, I wonder why Pelosi would compel her caucus to attend this charade and to sit there in silence. Congressional decorum was rudely discarded by Republicans during the Obama presidency, and no gesture of politeness will restore it anytime soon. This country is at war with itself, and a cascade of boos directed at the de facto Dictator Donald Trump would only have expressed how fully one-half of the American people feel about him.
During World War II, American soldiers commonly used the acronym “SNAFU” (i.e. Situation Normal, All Fucked Up) to describe the dreadful circumstances they often found themselves in. It would be fitting for rank-and-file Democrats to use that phrase in regards to Monday’s Iowa caucuses, the results of which still haven’t been finalized. The Democratic Party leadership reminds me of Lieutenant General Lloyd R. Fredendall who commanded the U.S. II Corps during the 1943 Battle of Kasserine Pass (Tunisia) in which German Field Marshall Erwin Rommel inflicted a crushing defeat upon the American army. Fredendall’s command was so inept that he was quickly and unceremoniously replaced by the tactically skilled battlefield commander Major General George S. Patton Jr. Back then, America was fortunate to have upper-echelon strategists who reacted to the command problem in time to avoid further disasters. I wish I could say the same today about the Democratic Party’s strategists, but alas I cannot.