Donald Trump's first State of the Union address was by every meaningful measure a huge success for the president, with Trump more presidential and unifying than he's ever been and polls showing overwhelming approval from viewers, including Independents, 72% of whom loved it. Then there's the evidence from the left-leaning media, who really had to work hard to figure out how to spin the speech negatively.
While the night was a smashing success for Trump, it was also a crashing train wreck for Democrats, who made the politically disastrous decision to sit on their hands for basically all of it. The Daily Wire's Ben Shapiro describes the Democrats' bad behavior this way (formatting adjusted):
They didn’t just sit, actually. They grimaced. They groaned. They booed and hissed. And it wasn’t just that they disapproved of Trump on policy. It’s that they refused to stand for things they supposedly believe in because they hate Trump so much. Paid family leave? They sat. Infrastructure spending? They sat. Amnesty for 1.8 million illegal immigrants? They sat. And then they sat some more. They sat when Trump touted the American flag. They sat when Trump touted American freedom. They sat when Trump touted low black unemployment rates. They sat when Trump cheered American opportunity. They sat because the Democratic Party has become a party focused on one figure and one figure only: Donald Trump
In no particular order, here are the top 5 moments the Democrats probably wish they could get back from Trump's first State of the Union:
1. Democrats Refuse To Back America NOT Financially Supporting . . . Our Enemies
Judging by their actions Tuesday night, the Democrats are in favor of providing financial aid to America's enemies and not so thrilled about providing financial aid to our friends. Or something.
"That is why, tonight, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to friends of America, not enemies of America," said Trump — a line that any politician in their right mind would applaud, at very least for the optics.
But no. Like for most of the evening, a vast majority of the Democrats sat, hands in their laps or on their cell phones, no doubt texting snarky comments about the "unfit" Commander-in-Chief and how his "bigger button" is more dangerous than Kim Jung-un's littler one.
2. Democrats Sit For Record-Low Black Unemployment
In a moment that raised a lot of eyebrows, the Democrats didn't stand or even applaud Trump's celebration of record-low African-American unemployment.
The optics: Democrats don't really care much about black Americans having jobs — not a great look.
3. Democrats Not Enthused About Clamping Down On The Murderous MS-13 Gang
When Trump told a heart wrenching story about two young girls killed by MS-13 gang members — their parents were in Trump's box and sobbed softly — he said: "Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminals, to break into our country. We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and support our ICE and Border Patrol Agents ... so that this cannot ever happen again."
The camera panned the room: One side clapping, the other side, nothing. In fact, boos and groans were heard when Trump began his story.
"Tonight, everyone in this chamber is praying for you," Trump told the parents of slain girls. "Everyone in America is grieving for you. And 320 million hearts are breaking for you." Were the Democrats among those 320 million? From their tepid reaction, viewers were left unsure.
Regarding immigration, Trump also dropped this doozy that has Democrats reeling: "My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans — to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too."
4. Democrats #TakeASeat For National Anthem Respect
Every time Trump mentioned standing to honor the flag and the national anthem, the Democrats made clear that they had collectively determined to #TakeASeat.
The apparently anti-anthem party even sat for this line: "Preston's reverence for those who have served our Nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem."
5. North Korean Defector Lifts Crutches In Defiance Of Regime Dems Are Running Scared From
Perhaps the most moving moment of the night came when North Korean defector Ji Seong Ho stood up and held the crutches he used to travel "thousands of miles on crutches across China and Southeast Asia to freedom."
Democrats did stand and applaud the courageous survivor, but the moment drove home one of Trump's key foreign policy messages in a way that's devastating to his naysayers: Never back down, or "lead from behind," when it comes to tyrannical regimes. That autocratic regime Ji Seong Ho fled is the same that Democrats and leftwing media figures have been running scared from while Trump has unflinchingly called Kim Jung-on's bluff.
Here's the powerful moment (via Fox News):
Trump also recognized Otto Warmbier, the young American who died after being detained by North Korea. "Tonight, we pledge to honor Otto's memory with American resolve," said Trump.