On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump will stand in front of a flock of cameras and rattle off a speech which will amount to little more than a fear-mongering xenophobic tirade. Unless the American television news media decides to develop a moral compass between now and 9 p.m. and refuses air his message, Trump will say the words reportedly written by advisor Stephen Miller and either announce a national emergency—in the hope that it’ll allow him to bypass Congress and move forward with the construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border—or say some shit that inflames the issue and sets the table for that reality.
That is to say, whatever is coming will be awful and terrible, and demands a full-throated response in defense of the migrants Trump vilifies on a daily basis. Enter the antithesis of inspiration: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer announced on Tuesday morning that the pair will air a response message of their own, just moments after Trump completes his speech.
The response to a twisted political battle over a southern border wall, one that triggered the ongoing government shutdown, will not come from any of the other available, less decrepit and actually invigorating Democratic leaders, but instead two white people that are a combined 146 years old, one of whom has been publicly criticized by Latinx Democrats in Congress for being utterly fucking useless.
Standing alongside the woman that called for the creation of a “bipartisan marketplace of ideas” as soon as Democrats reclaimed the House will be the man that stood in front of an Exxon and pleaded with Trump to lower gas prices and genuinely thought it was a good idea; the guy that didn’t have the guts to lay an incredibly lame insult on Trump when he had the chance; the guy that tried to tell reporters that making it harder for Democrats to place Supreme Court nominees was a solid party goal.
Americans just elected Democrats to lead the most diverse Congress in history, and the Democratic leadership hasn’t shied away from allowing junior members to respond to Trump in the past. And, to reiterate: There is a serious possibility that the president could announce a national emergency tonight in order to deal with a fake crisis, one which he has kept the government shut down over for more than two weeks. Was no one else available?
I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been shouted a million times before. The simple facts are these: Pelosi and Schumer have ascended to heights of Washington by doing the necessary schmoozing and back-patting and horse-trading. They are excellent at being exactly what they are, which is a duo of aisle-crossing career politicians. But when it comes to making the case against fascist authoritarianism on national television, it’s hard to think of two people more ill-equipped to rise to the occasion than Chuck and Nancy.
Personally, I’ll be daydreaming about Earth-2, where Pelosi actually lives up to her support of Rashida Tlaib and just calls Trump a motherfucker.