First lame joke: White? Wow, racist. Second lame joke: Shouldn't they wear orange? In all seriousness, this seems just about right for a party whose base is obsessed with virtue-signaling symbolism above almost all else. The smug, self-righteous echo chamber is a cozy and satisfying place to be, especially if you refuse to consider the possibility that your tactics are actively undermining your alleged cause. You'd think that Democrats' opposition to Trump would be adequately communicated by their applause choices -- or, you know, their literal presence in the chamber as the opposition party. But hey, maybe this makes them feel like they're accomplishing something. In which case, have at it, folks:
It's not really a protest, says Ms. Popularity, but it sort of is -- as a "statement of values" to contrast with Trump's. It's not quite clear from Pelosi's answer whether only Democratic women will be wearing their white-and-purple values on their collective sleeve, or if the men will also be participating. In any case, it used to be much easier to discern who was clapping for what lines during presidential addresses to joint sessions of Congress because member seating was segregated by party. That tradition was suspended by another well-meaning but factually-misplaced gesture following the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords by a mentally ill man with no political motivations. Incivility and heated rhetoric was not the reason Giffords was attacked, but that's the lesson that liberals settled on (with conservatives to blame, of course), so symbolism again won the day. That new arrangement lasted a few years, but "fizzled" toward the end of Obama's second term; it therefore seems unlikely that Republicans and Democrats will again be co-mingled tonight. Fake feel-goodery may have met its final expiration date anyway in an age Trump, in which Democrats are required to ritually demonstrate their wokeness. If the original tradition is indeed fully restored this evening, it'll once again be pretty easy for viewers to spot the Democrats. If not, it'll be harder, but not impossible: They'll be the ones wearing Northwestern colors and occupying dozens and dozens of fewer seats than they did eight years ago.
Parting thought: If some Democrat is overcome with anger, can't resist the temptation to break leadership's one comportment rule, and pulls a Joe Wilson, what are the odds Trump heckles right back? Oh, and do the Dems set their indignation aside and leap to their feet if Trump calls for, er, amnesty?
Sr admin official: President Trump is eager for a compromise immigration bill, is thinking about adding a call for one in tonight's speech.— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 28, 2017