President Donald Trump is preparing to address the nation with his version of the State of the Union (SOTU). Democratic lawmakers might be planning a surprise for him. Of course, if he would read a real news article every now and again, it wouldn’t be a surprise anymore.
What and Why
To highlight and bring attention to the problem of sexual assault, some Democratic House members have discussed inviting victims to the SOTU address. An aide to Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla) said, “Some members will be bringing survivors of sexual assault and advocates as their guests.” The aide requested to remain anonymous.
Frankel has been a vocal advocate for women and sexual assault victims. She is the leader of the Democratic Women’s Working Group in the House of Representatives. NBC News interviewed two Democratic congresswomen on Thursday who stated: “that there had been discussion about bringing women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct to the nationally televised address but that the idea was scuttled.” Neither would put a name on the person that put the brakes on and ended the discussion.
Why Even Consider This for the SOTU?
During a press conference, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) feels that such a move would politicize the matter too much. She has stated:
It’s not all about Donald Trump. I don’t think that that would be helpful in terms of what we need to do for the American people.
Women have accused now-president Donald Trump of sexual abuse, sexual assault, and sexual misconduct. There are at least 13 active cases against the p***y-grabber-in-chief. Trump has denied the claims. There is reported to be a string of evidence and eyewitness reports that support many of them.
For people with short memories of why this is even being considered:
It was Trump who organized a news conference with women who had accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct right before a 2016 presidential debate with the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, the former president’s wife. One lawmaker who spoke to NBC said Democrats would be “no better” than Republicans if they retaliated in kind at the State of the Union.
Frankel has been holding sessions on sexual assault via the Democratic Women’s Working Group. Members of the working group are still planning on wearing black to the SOTU. This will be a unified effort to show solidarity with the victims of sexual assault. The Frankel aide, on Wednesday evening, stated:
The consensus of the Democratic Caucus, and Rep. Frankel’s strong belief as well, is to focus these hearings on women across all industries — from workers on factory floors to hotel rooms to restaurant kitchens. Rep. Frankel is hopeful they will be productive and is working to make them a bipartisan effort.
Democratic Representative Jackie Speier of California is encouraging both men and women of both parties to join in this demonstration of solidarity:
This is a culture change that is sweeping the country, and Congress is embracing it.
White Pantsuits for All!
It does appear that the Democrats, following Pelosi’s lead, will not step out of their comfort zone. That means no blatant demonstration to rub his past actions in Trump’s face. It really is a shame. Personally, I think the entire Democratic roll ought to wear white pantsuits to the SOTU. Now THAT would make a statement.