State of the Union

Pelosi Moves to Cancel Trump's State of the Union Speech. Good Riddance.

The shutdown may force the government to cancel the State of the Union.


Ron Sachs/SIPA/Newscom

On Wednesday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) asked President Trump to delay his State of the Union address due to security concerns stemming from the government shutdown. Alternatively, Trump could simply submit a written statement in lieu of an in-person speech, noted Pelosi.

If Trump opted for the latter, this would be by far the best thing to come out of the shutdown. The elaborate spectacle of the modern State of the Union speech—a yearly production—is wholly unnecessary. The country would be well rid of it.

As Pelosi noted in her letter, for the first half of the country's history, virtually all State of the Union speeches—formerly known as the President's Annual Message to Congress—were delivered to the House of Representatives and read by a clerk. This became standard practice in 1801 with President Thomas Jefferson, who thought an in-person speech would be too reminiscent of a royal proclamation.

Jefferson's tradition endured until President Woodrow Wilson took office in 1913. Wilson saw the event as an opportunity rally support for his expansive domestic agenda, and subsequent presidents have typically approached it the same way.

One hundred or so State of the Unions later, the executive branch is less constrained than ever before in U.S. history. Wilson's tradition is not the sole or the predominant cause, but it does contribute to a vision of the president as the central and most important figure in the government, rather than one office amidst three co-equal branches. As Steve Chapman wrote for Reason in 2015, "The State of the Union address has grown in step with presidential presumption. It's a conspicuous symptom of a dangerous malady: We expect too much of our presidents and limit them too little."

Trump has not yet responded to Pelosi's letter, and it's hard to imagine him passing on a chance to hoard the spotlight. But if the shutdown somehow ends up forcing the government to cancel the State of the Union, I say good riddance.

NEXT: How Is It OK for CNN to Hire Possible Presidential Contender John Kasich?

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  1. Yes, I’m sure she is worried about his security.

    1. Good point. You can be sure whatever words come out of that hag’s mouth have little to do with her intent.

    2. Pelosi put the hit out and she’s covering her tracks. Both guys in her way in the same place at the same time.

    3. DHS already said the plans were complete and staffing assigned. Security is a false justification.

    4. Trump can do whatever he wants. She has no say.

      1. Not quite true. Congress has the right to determine who speaks in front of Congress, IIRC.

        1. As Longtobefree points out below, the Senate can invite Trump to speak in their Senate chamber and there is nothing Pelosi can do about it.

          I think the SOTU is normally in the House chamber because its bigger.

          1. So, you agree she is victorious, if she wants to refuse him floor time.

            He’d NEVER go to the Senate, which would mean publicly conceding another defeat to Pelosi.

          2. President Trump was elected precisely because he will not back down from a direct challenge.

      2. Trump can do whatever he wants. She has no say.

        Wrong again. She can deny him floor time, which analysts both left and right believe was an implied threat. Why else would they have to “work together” on it? Nuance can be difficult for some.

        She’s been kicking his ass for weeks now, which is why only 1/3 of Americans blame Democrats for the shutdown, which most oppose — because they oppose the wall.

    5. She’s worried about our President inviting the Angel Families to look her in the eye.
      Yes we certainly do have a security problem. And it’s the fault of RINO’s and DemocRats alike.

  2. Pelosi was @Wilson’s 1913 speech.

    >>>by far the best thing to come out of the shutdown

    is the shutdown. stop whining.

  3. For as long as I can remember the SOTU has been a sickening display of worshiping the office of the president.

    1. I agree completely. Nancy Pelosi can be speaker as long as she wants if she gets rid of the SOTU speeches.

  4. Agree.

    In fact, I’d go further. The Presidential inauguration should include a new ceremony – the ceremonial extraction of the tongue. Make it impossible for the President to speak under all circumstances. There’s nothing about their job that requires them to speak – and all modern and future Presidents are assured to not understand the real value of Coolidge’s silence (which he did explain) – and maybe it will break the idiotic desire of Americans to find a charismatic to connect with.

    1. How about a techno gizmo that would be hooked on the new prez & whenever he violated the Constitution, he would get a severe shock?….Heck, let’s hook up the entire FED BEAST GOVT!!!!

      1. Ironically, such a procedure would probably be unconstitutional.


  5. “”The elaborate spectacle of the modern State of the Union speech?a yearly production?is wholly unnecessary”‘

    When else would SCOTUS get to virtue signal for the cameras?

    1. OTOH, if it’s cancelled then RBG’s situation can be hidden longer.

      1. Sure. But I bet the left would love if she was rolled out barely alive to be used as a tool of the resistance movement. See, you better get out and vote and resist any Trump nomination.

        1. Why not? It worked for Brezhnev and Andropov…

      2. Are you impying some kind of Weekend At Bernie’s situation?

        1. I don’t think she is staying in Vermont although the air is pretty clean even if a bit chilly. Of course if she’s feelin’ the Bern who cares how cold it is outside, amirite?

  6. Trump should send a midget dwarf little person to address Congress with the following message “The President of the United States of America invites you to kiss his ass”.

    1. Democrats could respond by denying Pres. Trump access to the House chamber and filling their half of the Senate chamber with (1) porn stars wearing hideous orange wig and (2) Michael Cohen, who could hand hundred dollar bills to the porn stars.

      1. ^ VICTORY to the Rev.

  7. I agree that the SOTU should be abolished, but I also am forced to note that the Fourth Estate has become a serious threat to liberty, and the SOTU is an opportunity to counter its dishonesty by having the president’s speech projected across the country without the media filter to distort it.

    1. This is not a bad angle.

      The media lies. All of the time. They chop up every word, especially from this POTUS, and spin it for their purposes.

      The opportunity for us to hear every word, in context, is important.

      1. This is the whole point of Trump’s tweets. If he made more televised speeches without the press present they would accuse him of being scared to answer ‘tough’ questions. When he holds press conferences, egotists like Acosta try to showboat and accuse him of lying.
        Personally, I would have defied the judge who told Trump he had to give Acosta his Whitehouse pass back. It was not a 1st amendment issue and the court had zero authority to intervene in the issue. I would have sent Acosta into the wilderness and thereby put the other white house reporters on notice that they cannot make themselves the story and actually conduct an argument with the president of his press secretary.
        They are there to ask questions, not debate.

    2. Please to tell about the glorious era of history when the American press was completely objective and honest.

      1. Pretty sure that was between 3:00 and 3:12 on the afternoon of a Wednesday in 1928.

        1. Sevo remembers.

      2. 9/1/1777-9/5/1777

        1. everyone OOT for Labor Day

    3. There’s no reason the President couldn’t deliver the speech via letter to Congress (fulfilling their Constitutional obligation) while reserving TV time to read the whole thing. It would serve the same purpose without any of the stupid pomp that takes place during these things.

      1. Fox would run that repeatedly, but why would legitimate networks provide time for that rubbish?

      2. and you said the very same about ?bama, right?

        1. Also praised Obama for passing up opportunities to hog the spotlight

    4. Yes, we want to hear POTUS lies uncensored.

      1. after eight years of ?bummer, you should be used to it by now. :-b

    5. SOTU is a requirement of the constitution. The form of that address is not. This year, Trump should definitely stick it to the progtards.

      1. +100

      2. He’s already lost. Bigly. And it’s guaranteed to get worse.

    6. True, but Pelosi’s pretense of canceling it, (She doesn’t have the authority to do that.) might be just the excuse the MSM need to not carry it.

      You don’t have to like a President to be concerned about the media being united in opposition to an elected President, to the point of censoring what he tries to say to the public.

      1. Yeah. This makes the case for a state media arm pretty compelling. I’d like to see a government-run news agency that can be more trusted to deliver the message the president wants to convey.

        1. I’m not sure I would agree to that. The government should not be involved in any press activity.
          However, there should definitely be a press department which fact checks the press. If any of the press propagates lies, they should be made to issue a retraction during prime time periods along with an apology. Far too often companies like CNN lie their asses off and then when this lie is pointed out to them they just ignore any kind of retraction.
          They should also be fined heavily for each lie and how often they repeated it.
          CNN and MSNBC are disgusting propaganda wings of the DNC.
          MSNBC in particular have constantly pushed the lie about Russia collusion without any proof whatsoever. When Mueller’s report comes out and states that there has never been any proof of collusion, I would be very surprised if MSNBC makes any kind of public apology. TBH, Rachael Madcow. should be fired for her constant stream of lies on a daily basis.
          I regards to collusion, on this it is absolutely certain. The disgusting MSN have constantly colluded to push the same talking points for the last 2 years. Even to the point of using the same phrases. This has happened consistently for the last 2 years..

      2. The MSM needs an excuse?

      3. The media censor Trump? Really? Last time I checked, about 50% of all news items revolved around the latest thing he had tweeted.

  8. “Wilson saw the event as an opportunity rally support for his expansive domestic agenda, and subsequent presidents have typically approached it the same way.”

    Well, we have a lot to thank him for, don’t we?

    1. There really isn’t anything Wilson touched that didn’t turn to shit.

      1. Worst president by far.

        1. Obama was worse.

        2. Wilson was appalling, but Buchanan was the worst.

          1. Worst was definitely Wilson.
            Among other things, he was directly and indirectly responsible for the rebirth of the KKK, the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party, the culmination of WWI as WWII, and FDR.
            Fuck Wilson’s ghost to hell

            1. Pretty much the entirety of progressivism was his legacy.
              Despite his role in leading to a Civil War, Buchanan can’t touch that for lasting damage.

              1. To clarify:
                Wilson begat progressivism’s (including fascism, communism, social democracy, socialism) dominance.
                Buchanan begat the Civil War

                1. You could almost say the Civil War begat Wilson’s Presidency.

    2. We have that rumpswab to thank for the FED.

  9. Trump should say he won’t be there and then show up.
    Minds would be blown.

    1. He be barred from entry, and publicly humiliated buy Pelosi.

  10. “due to security concerns stemming from the government shutdown.

    Yeah, right. So- she’s saying the government can’t secure one building for one night but let’s keep pretending the TSA is doing anything useful.

    It’s like the government consists of overgrown third-graders who aren’t even trying to hide the fact anymore.

    “He’s looking at me!”
    “Am not.”
    “Are too!”
    “Am not.”
    “Are too!”
    “You’re a big, fat poopyhead.”
    “I know you are but what am I?”
    “I’m rubber and you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.”

  11. I’m trying to imagine what it must be like for someone who lives in a world where when they see an “out to lunch” sign on the door of some Beer Label Tax Authority office in DC, they really believe it’s “lights out in America”.

    It must be a tremendously sad existence.

    1. Believing that is far more sad.



      SOTU 140 char at a time.

    2. I love it, it’s EPIC! Besides, it will give all the reporters who normally “live tweet” everything a true sense of being meta.

      1. Also since he doesn’t thread his tweets he could have 100 staffers each enter part of it and blow it all on the net nearly simultaneously.

    3. FoE winf the page trophy!

  13. So Nancy’s not going to compromise on the budget for at least 2 more weeks.
    Interesting virtue signal on her part.

  14. I’m all for reducing the pomp and circumstance of the presidency, and generally having to pay less attention to the president. BUT, if a GOP Speaker of the House has proposed this for a Democrat president, the screaming and howling would be off the charts. I’m only for reducing the influence of the president if there is a shred of sincerity or consistency to it.

    And fuck you Trump and Pelosi for making me defend a Trump.

    1. Umm, why do you ass-ume a Democrat President — or any other Republican — would shut down the government for so stupid a reason … when HE broke HIS deal for $25 million in wall funding (because media conservatives attacked him for caving in on Dreamers)?

  15. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

    1. True, but you have to pay really close attention or you’ll miss it

  16. Replace it with Pelosi having the shit kicked out of her, sell advertising and pay off the deficit. Just a thought.

    1. Losing the culture war to your betters seems to have embittered you, CDRSchafer.

      So long as you continue to obey mainstream preferences, be as bitter as you wish. But toe that line.

      1. and eat your kale!

  17. I don’t think Pelosi thought this one through. Sure, she thinks it is a method for denying Trump the legitimacy of giving a typical SOTU address, thereby diminishing his presidency.

    But since when has Trump been a stickler for this sort of thing?

    Sure, if it had been done to Obama the cries of racism would be deafening, but only because it would have diminished super thin skinned Obama.

    Making Trump the center of this drama is only playing directly into his hand.

    The worst thing about this episode is, even if he doesn’t give the address, it will not alter how things happen in the future. Rest assured that the next person to be POTUS will go right back to the old imperial pomp and circumstance.

    1. If Obama had thin skin, then Trump must have no skin.

      1. If???


  18. You’d think Pelosi would be fine with less security; they have icky guns!

    1. She is fine with security having guns.

      She doesn’t think the guns are icky, just the hoi polloi.

  19. Seems as though that folks who think the SOTU speech is an unnecessary elaborate spectacle should simply not watch it.

    1. Or….we could offer our opinions as it’s our elected officials (who work for us BTW) who are propogating the unnecessary elaborate spectacle.

      1. Tax money, too.


    Pelosi just played Trump and guaranteed he’d make an address in front of Congress! There is no way in hell Trump will NOT show up to sniff his way through a Miller-penned speech.

    She’s playing the long con, and Trump is eating all the bait.

    1. When is she not playing a con?

    2. She’s playing the long cunt? Yes she is.

    3. 13D chess vs 12D chess… sure.

      1. Pelosi doesnt even know how chess works…among other things.


  22. We would be much better off without this annual gala of mindless, blathering propaganda. If the long term elimination of this is the only positive outcome of the shutdown I’d be OK with that.

  23. Seems like she’s offering a favor. Trump is embarrassingly awful on prompter. And that’s leaving aside the utter embarrassment his mere presence on camera is to the planet earth.

    1. He’s better than Obama was whenever he WASN’T on prompter. You just don’t like him because your prgted masters have ordered you not to. Given instructions to the contrary, you would become his biggest booster.

      You’re such a mindless follower.

      1. Do you have eyes and ears? Do they work? Then shut up. Any retard can see what a moronic clown he is.

        1. So you’re saying you’re a retard.

  24. The constitution says “from time to time”, and “deliver to congress”.
    So Trump can decide that now ain’t the time.

    Or Trump could get the Senate to invite him to give the address there, because the Senate is also “the congress”, and leave Nancy sitting all alone holding her breath until she turns blue.

    Or just send a single page letter to both houses saying “the economy is doing well, NK has not launched a missile in a long time, and we are proving that the federal government is over-staffed. Things are fine, just fine.”
    Then he could give a big speech on how he thinks things are going in general and call it the “condition of the USA” speech.

    1. Interesting ideas. The best solution is the one that hurts the democrats the most, while advancing the president’s agenda. Right now he’s the best thing we’ve got to roll back progtarded bullshit and get anything remotely libertarian done.

      1. (lol) You know nothing about libertarians and, indeed, often attack our most cherished values and principles.

        As proof, no libertarian would EVER take a stand for merely tribal purposes. (gag)
        (Paulists are NOT libertarian)

        As we’ve said for “merely” a half-century now: Left – Right = Zero.
        A growing majority of Americans now agrees, just as a majority oppose Trump on both Dreamers and a wall.
        But despots will be despots. Authoritarianism is a compulsion for them.

      2. If that’s your best shot, you are due for major disappointment.

        1. Name a better one.

    2. +100

      Especially the Senate inviting Trump to their Chamber only.

    3. He’d NEVER deliver to the Senate … which would be a public concession that Pelosi kicked his ass again. She’s playing him like a violin.

  25. Fat chance. If Trump wants anything out of the Presidency it is acting the lead in any pomp and circumstance scene, with both a studio and TV audience. The man lives especially for entrances–remember the famous descending escalator? Exiting Air Force One, entering the Oval Office or Rose Garden when cameras are present, and really anytime/anywhere the media will pay captive attention. There will be a SOTU address.

    1. Her purpose was not to stop the SOTU, but to continue her weeks-long victories over him.

      Or did Fox never tell you that Trump’s own Bureau of Economic Advisers says the economic damage from the shutdown could cause a recession. The vast majority of private forecasters also see a likely recession, combined with growing failure of Trump’s wacky trade war with China.

      Sadly. for Trump and much of his core base, belligerent bellowing is a sign of (what they believe to be) manliness.

      Dark days for libertarians.

    2. Remember Obama walking out between the Greek columns to accept the 2008 Democratic nomination? Right before he waved his hand and stopped the rise of the oceans?

  26. I’d be fine with a letter has long as its released to the public as well so we can know when Pelosi is lying

    1. She’s running 8 lies per day below Trump.
      So far.

  27. The word ‘Trump’ should be categorized by Central Committee as hate speech or at least have a trigger warning.

  28. Why doesnt Pelosi shut down her own constant babble? THAT would indeed be the best thing ever

    1. Typical Trumpster Tyrant

  29. Trump could always go full Trump here, and give the SOTU in an arena filled with his supporters, and hand Pelosi a transcript.

    1. As long as the broadcast networks don’t cover it, I’m all for it.

      1. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Jimmy Fish and his Trump Derangement Follies.

  30. Here’s an idea: Forbid security agents from carrying guns. In other words, members of Congress should abide by the same rules for their defense they advocate for the rest of us.

    1. Good luck getting Congress to pass that law. They are our betters and deserve more protection than the chattering masses (h/t Chuck Schumer).

      1. Who needs a law? The Capitol police protecting Pelosi are Executive branch employees. Trump can just order that the ones protecting members who favor gun control go unarmed.

  31. George Washington, “First Annual Message to Congress on the State of the
    Union,” (January 1790)
    The interests of the United States require that our intercourse with other nations should
    be facilitated by such provisions as will enable me to fulfill my duty
    in that respect in the
    manner which circumstances may render most conducive to the public good, and to this
    end that the compensation to be made to the persons who may be employed should,
    according to the nature of their appointments, be defined by law, a
    nd a competent fund
    designated for defraying the expenses incident to the conduct of foreign affairs.
    I saw with peculiar pleasure at the close of the last session the resolution entered into by
    you expressive of your opinion that an adequate provision for
    the support of the public
    credit is a matter of high importance to the national honor and prosperity. In this
    sentiment I entirely concur; and to a perfect confidence in your best endeavors to devise
    such a provision as will be truly with the end I add an
    equal reliance on the cheerful
    cooperation of the other branch of the legislature. It would be superfluous to specify
    inducements to a measure in which the character and interests of the United States are
    so obviously so deeply concerned, and which has re
    ceived so explicit a sanction from
    your declaration.

    1. Relevance?

    2. And pay yer fuckin whisky tax, you damed hillbillies.

  32. Study: Most Innocent People Need to Hire Thirty-Five Lawyers at Some Point

    (The Borowitz Report)?… thirty-five is the “bare minimum” number of lawyers that an innocent person should have on retainer in the event that he or she becomes the subject of an entirely unjustified criminal investigation.

    “An innocent person who has absolutely nothing to hide should do everything in his or her power to avoid answering questions from investigators,” he said. “Thirty-five lawyers can really help you do that.”

    “Nothing says ‘I’m innocent’ like hiring thirty-five lawyers.”

    “If, for example, one of your lawyers goes to prison, you will still have thirty-four,”

    “Legal bills for thirty-five lawyers can be very expensive, unless you’re a person who doesn’t pay his bills.”

  33. I’m fairly sure a majority of Americans would prefer regular TV programming rather than all four broadcast networks (plus assorted cable/satellite channel coverage) showing the exact same feed of the President spouting lies and applause lines, while members of the other party quietly sit on their hands.

      It’s a form of masturbation.
      By both sides.

      Left – Right = Zero

  34. Trump should do the state of the union from a McDonald’s.

  35. Well, as the queen of the house she has a right to do just that. If any one does not like they can work to get her kicked out which is not likely to happen.

    1. Actually, no. He can give the address over at the Senate chambers, they usually do it at the House chambers because there’s more seating. Or a private venue. Or, (This is fun!) every time she tries to take a vacation he can call the House back into session. He has that power, according to the Constitution.

  36. Well, as the queen of the house she has a right to do just that. If any one does not like they can work to get her kicked out which is not likely to happen.

  37. I liked Trump’s previous SOTUs.
    Can’t think of any pep rally moment that rivals the North Korean kid holding up his crutches in triumph. I guess if Sean Payton brings out a Lamborghini, $250k cash, and the Lombardi trophy to the 50 yard line just prior to kickoff Sunday… that might do it.
    And the looks on D faces allow us all to enjoy their misery.

  38. Were I advising Trump, I would recommend make an announcement that “for too long the State of the Union Address has favored the House over the Senate by giving the speech in their chamber, giving them ‘home field advantage’. To remedy this, I will give the speech in the Rotunda, and invite the members of both houses, as well as the members of Supreme Court to attend.”

    “For security reasons”, and because of limited space, I would not permit the members of Congress, Supreme Court (except perhaps for Ginsberg, if she needs assistance), or members of the cabinet to invite guests or staff to attend (although I may suggest Trump invite a small number of guests on his own). I would also recommend providing a single audio/video feed to be openly shared by anyone wishing to view it (the media would use this source as well).

    1. “because of limited space … everyone will have to stand the entire time.”

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  40. A batshiet crazy witch can’t dictate government policy.
    Our President is going to have the Angle Families present to expose the DemocRats to the American public, for the open borders, American hating, Commies they are.

  41. Disagree. If Pelosi is for this then it is wrong.

  42. Reagan cancelled the State of the Union speech in 1986 in the wake of the Challenger disaster.

    Instead he gave a 4 minute address to the nation. It is a remarkable speech and worth a view. He manages to bring in all of the right elements and address the nation as a whole.

    Trump, Pelosi, none of them seem to be capable of getting the message across.

    Now we say words do not matter. They do. Words are the instrument and basic tool of politics.

  43. Trump should deliver the State of the Union via a Twitter rant with a URL to the full text of his speech.

  44. Is the SOTU something sacred?

    1. It’s not about the SOTU. It’s about who gets to tell whom what to do, when and how. IOW, it’s the battle of the swinging dicks, and Pelosi may not be outmanned

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  46. All this nonsense in the battle to dethrone Trump as the Marxists are still boiling over their losses in 2016, really depicts the true state of this nation. Behind the curtain or under the hood, it is a sorry and sad state of affairs.

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