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Opinion

Opinion: What speech? Trump and Pelosi drama dominates State of the Union reader reaction

President Trump’s State of the Union address
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempts to shake hands with President Trump at the start of the State of the Union address on Feb. 4.
(Getty Images)

What immediately comes to mind when you think of President Trump’s State of the Union address on Feb. 4? A policy proposal he laid out? The Democratic response by — wait, let me look it up — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer?

If you’re a normal political observer in this abnormal era, what you took away is probably based on your ideology, and it has nothing to do the substance of Trump’s speech. Judging by the reader submissions we received and the subsequent responses to the letters we published, Trump’s opponents were hung up on the president declining to shake House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s outstretched hand, and his supporters were shocked by Pelosi ripping apart her copy of the president’s prepared remarks.

The responses here mostly take issue with a published letter that criticized Pelosi, continuing the incessant “whataboutism” of the Trump era.

Carl Falletta of Yorba Linda produces a list of common grievances against Trump:

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A reader criticized Pelosi for tearing up the president’s State of the Union speech, claiming this act would inflict “confusion and damage” on the children in the gallery.

The fact that Pelosi appeared to be so exasperated by Trump’s lying and rude behavior that she tore up his speech does seem out of character for the speaker. But then again, Trump’s childish refusal to shake her extended hand may have been the last straw for this otherwise mild-mannered politician.

Of course, the Trump cultists remain completely silent about the president’s way of describing women by calling them “horseface,” “fat pigs” and worse; inciting violence at his rallies by saying things like “I’d like to punch him in the face” and “knock the crap out of them”; how he bragged about grabbing women by the genitals; and how he has used vulgar language at his rallies and more recently on national television, just to name a few of the president’s sterling examples of what our children should see and emulate.

There would be no damage or confusion following these wonderful examples. But that darned Nancy Pelosi — shame on her.

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James Rodriguez of Whittier compares Pelosi’s uncivil moment to Trump’s conduct:

It’s really difficult to comprehend how anyone could compare ripping up a speech that only a liar could write to violating the oath to uphold the Constitution that Trump is shredding daily.

Or do we ignore the co-equal branches of government, side with the Russian president over our own intelligence agencies and refuse to comply with subpoenas? Do Trump cultists even read their own writing or search for the simple truth?

Leslie Palm of Laguna Woods detects sexism:

The letter critical of Pelosi was at the top of the page with a photo. Down at the bottom was a brief letter calling out Trump for refusing Pelosi’s handshake.

It was very sexist only to show Pelosi tearing up the papers. Show how Trump disdainfully snubbed Pelosi.

I expect better from the L.A. Times. Be fair.


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