INTERJECTION: Republicans are already butting into the yet-to-be-delivered SOTU speech
President Joe Biden will give his State of the Union address Tuesday night, but it’s Republicans who seem to be practicing their rhetoric in advance.
From putting words in his mouth to criticizing the president for steps taken for Congressional safety, the GOP already has its collective foot installed in its mouth.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is, unsurprisingly, leading the pack with bad takes.
He’s shared with news media that he gave Biden a warning with regard to the speech — the president is advised not to use the term “extreme MAGA Republicans.”
McCarthy has already made displays of bravado, showing off his illusory sheen of power as House Speaker over a slim majority while the Senate and White House are both in Democratic hands, but this warning is exceptionally toothless.
If Biden calls out extremists, the GOP is going to, what, refuse to work with him, as they’re already doing?
McCarthy has also reached out to his House Members to explain to them that audio recording equipment is capable of recording audio, and that, therefore, any snide remarks they make amongst themselves could very well become public knowledge.
Meanwhile, House Republicans are getting ahead of that warning by making their snide remarks publicly, on social media.
A few have already complained about Biden having fences put up ahead of the speech — despite that decision being both out of the president’s hands, and a matter that protects the entirety of Congress, and guests for the speech.
The official House Judiciary GOP account, also known as Gym Jordan, is also using the opportunity to remind the public that Biden’s legal team found classified documents on his property and turned them over, though notably, the documents Donald Trump withheld for a year while the National Archives repeatedly requested them go unmentioned.
CNN’s Manu Raju shares McCarthy’s assertion that he directed the President not to call out the “ultra MAGA” caucus, because it’s “inappropriate.”
Speaker McCarthy says he told Biden to not use “extreme MAGA Republicans” in his speech. “I don't think that's appropriate comment that the President should make. I've expressed that to him in private and we've had discussions about that as well,” McCarthy told reporters
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 7, 2023
He also notes that McCarthy gave his own party a warning about their words, too.
Speaker McCarthy this morning telling members to be aware that microphones could pick up their conversations and photographers can see what’s on their phones during SOTU tonight — and also telling them that he won’t tear up Biden’s speech as Pelosi did with Trump, per attendees
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 7, 2023
Still, House Republicans are working to push a narrative, particularly regarding government documents, always trying to make Biden a villain while ignoring actual allegedly criminal behavior in their own party.
Will Joe Biden discuss the classified documents he kept in his garage during tonight’s #SOTU?
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) February 7, 2023
Also, have House Republicans really forgotten hiding in a secure location just over two years ago, while Trump supporters invaded the Capitol Building calling for legislators to be turned over for execution?
It seems they have, because they’re really upset about fences being placed for their protection during the SOTU.
Here’s Representative Lauren Boebert, using it as an excuse to attack Biden’s mental acuity.
They’ve reinstalled the fence around the Capitol.
With no reports of increased threats, I can only assume it’s to ensure Biden doesn’t wander off after the SOTU.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) February 6, 2023
Representative Ben Cline referenced the fencing in an attack on Biden’s border policies.
Our southern border is wide open, but Joe Biden made sure to put up a fence around the Capitol ahead of the #SOTU.
Walls work, Mr. President. Why won’t you use it to protect Americans?
— Congressman Ben Cline (@RepBenCline) February 7, 2023
Biden does not make decisions about Capitol fencing, of course.
That duty falls to the U.S. Capitol Police Board, and CBS reminds us that the SOTU is “regularly designated as a national special security event,” and that opting for an abundance of caution in security during the event is actually a normal process.
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Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.