Reason Roundup

State of the Union: Trump Tells Tall Tales, Dems Walk Out

Plus: Iowa updates, tells cops to buzz off, and more...


State of the Union: Petty. When it comes to the State of the Union (SOTU), Reason's Zuri Davis put it best: "The SOTU is perhaps the greatest example of a meeting that could have been an email." For all the pomp and public spectacle, President Donald Trump's address to America last night was nothing more than a warmed-over collection of Trumpian tall tales.

We heard again how passing one (good but limited) bill in 2018 means Trump pretty much single-handedly "got it done" on criminal justice reform.

We heard about how Trump is "working to finally end America's longest war and bring our troops back home," despite the administration sending more troops to the Middle East.

We heard about how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has arrested leagues of "wicked human traffickers" (sigh) and how protectionist trade policies are creating (dubious) manufacturing jobs.

And we heard about how opposed Trump is to socialism, in between the president praising big government initiatives and promising more of them.

Also, right-wing radio personality Rush Limbaugh received a Medal of Freedom, triggering Democrats and delighting the #MAGA right. At least three Congressional Democrats walked out during Trump's speech and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) tore up the speech afterwardtriggering Republicans (and one very melodramatic White House tweet) and delighting her base.

Pelosi told reporters it was the "courteous thing to do considering the alternative. It was such a dirty speech."

If the whole thing seems stupid, petty, pointless, vomit-inducing, etc.…well, duh. These types of government spectacle always are. At least the waning "civility" fetish on the left and right and their rapidly devolving ability to put on shows about playing nice has left a lot of people beyond libertarians questioning why we even do this in the first place.

(If only they had the power to remember that when their side wins the presidency back…)


Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders inching closer to victory in Iowa, as app-related confusion clears. Democratic voters in Monday's caucuses seem to have favored Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), according to the results that were in as of Wednesday morning.

With a little more than 70 percent of Iowa precincts sending along their final tallies, Buttigieg and Sanders will still be in a close race for delegates, with Buttigieg ever so slightly ahead. (See exact tallies at FiveThirtyEight.)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) trailed slightly behind them, leaving former Vice President Joe Biden in fourth place and nearly tied with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.).

And Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer may have picked up at least a few delegates, but none so far for Michael Bloomberg or Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii).