What struck me watching the State of the Union Address last night was how the Democratic caucus is so visibly split. The thing to watch for is applause (especially standing ovation). The Republican side did this every minute or two during the speech. The reaction from the Democrats fell into three camps:
- Standing ovation. IIRC, this happened twice on the Democratic side. I can't remember what it was for but it sure didn't happen almost ever.
- No applause at all. The Democrats sat silent, not clapping, about half the time.
- A split caucus, with some clapping and others not. This was the interesting bit. It looked like about half of the time some Democrats would sit without applauding while others applauded with vigor. Some of that applause was standing.
That last one is the tell. The Democrats have been impressively united for the last couple years (particularly Nancy Pelosi's impeachment farce), but this looks like it is over. Dramatically and visually over. This must frustrate the Democratic leadership, and we saw Nancy Pelosi lose it last night.
I can't remember a major political figure act in such a petty and, well, useless way. She did nothing to help her political situation by ripping up the printed copy of the speech, and likely damaged her ability to bring together a divided Democratic caucus.
And Trump did this. Four years ago during the campaign I remarked here that I didn't know if Donald Trump would make a good President or not but that we were fixin' to find out. It's kind of amazing to see this unfold before us.