(PoliticalLookout.com) – The current form that the annual State of the Union address has taken is a little bit of a show, for sure. No matter who has been in the office of presidency recently, one of the newer traditions is for people to applaud (sometimes standing) after almost every statement of fact or position during the speech.
In most cases, since our government seems to be so partisan today, that means the Republicans standing and applauding for everything President Donald Trump says, while the Democrats sit in silence. The same happened in reverse for both Democratic and Republican presidents before him, including Barrack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, etc. etc. etc.
You may not like the practice, but it’s what the SOTU has become. It’s fanfare, more than anything else, but it’s certainly not on the level of what MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews suggested recently.
Rather directly, he compared the Republicans applauding Trump’s speech to North Koreans who praise dictator Kim Jong-un.
In his own words, from his show “Hardball” that aired this past Thursday:
“When we look at pictures from North Korea, just an example of a dictatorship, you watch everybody wearing those high peaked hats and everybody smiling in unison or frowning in unison or marching in unison, a goose step. And you watch the people and their so-called assembly, their congress, so-called. They are all so frozen in fear of being seen as somehow out of line, which is a very strict standard in that country.”
“Are Republicans beginning to act like that? Fearful of not showing the right sort of emotion, even in public? You have to be exuberant in this cult when he stands before them, it seems.”
Maybe Matthews is just trying to improve ratings. Or maybe this is the first State of the Union address he’s seen in his lifetime.
Here’s to hoping it’s one of the two — or some other reasonable explanation — because the reaction from Republicans at Trump’s recent SOTU speech wasn’t all that different from Democrats’ reaction to Obama’s speeches from a few years ago.
As if Matthews’ statements weren’t wild enough, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio said the reaction from Republicans was extraordinary.
“I know State of the Union speeches are sometimes like that, but never, ever to this degree,” Sherrod said. “You look across, it’s almost all white men, not entirely. You look across their side of the aisle in the way they stand and cheer for damn near anything that Trump says when he wants them to stand, just in unison.”
It’s obvious that these two people don’t like Trump nor the Republicans, for the most part. That’s OK. That’s allowed in this country. But saying that they are acting like a cult or worse a dictator from a dangerous country, following their leader at every step, is a bit too far.