Gotta love Senator John Kennedy (R-LA)! That guy gives some of the best down-home and folksy interviews ever delivered – and complete with a Deep South accent, to boot. But don’t let his accent or manner fool you – he is really one smart SOB. To wit, he was interviewed by Martha MacCallum Wednesday after the Senate voted to acquit President Trump on both of the sham articles of impeachment. Her first question had to do with Nancy Pelosi’s lowlife and characterless act of tearing up her commemorative copy of the President’s State Of The Union (SOTU) address on Tuesday night. We pick up the Q&A here:
MacCallum: What was your reaction to the shredding of the speech last night? Kind of a jaw-dropper.
Kennedy: It was over the top. I’m not sure though that Speaker Pelosi cares about a top. I thought it was juvenile. You can only be young once, but you can always be immature. I know some have said well, the President started it, as if they were two kids in the back of a minivan.
MacCallum: Did it bother you that he didn’t shake her hand when she extended it? It’s hard to really tell exactly what’s going on …
Kennedy: I couldn’t tell whether he saw her extended hand or not. If he did, and if I had been the President, I would have shaken her hand, but if the President did see her hand and didn’t shake it, I’m not surprised. The President is not a turn-the-other-cheek kind of guy. He thinks if you turn the other cheek, you just get it in the neck. And based on Speaker Pelosi’s behavior for the last 90-120 days, he’s right.
MacCallum: It seems … Chuck Schumer weighed in that it was a sad moment for democracy last night … it was demagogic … it was undignified … what was your take on the speech?
Kennedy: I thought it was one of the best speeches I’ve heard the President give. It was a good strong balance between a celebration of our accomplishments and new ideas for the next year or two or longer. I liked his thoughts about school choice. In America, we can unravel the human genome; we can take a diseased human heart and replace it with a new one and make it beat. We can send a person to the moon and bring him back, but we can’t seem to teach our kids how to read and write, and we have 18 years to do it.
MacCallum: In the 2018 Florida governor’s race between Santos and Gilliam, they say that was one of the bid things that swayed a lot of voters who otherwise might have voted for Gilliam, so I think that’s an issue to watch. What did you think about your colleague Mitt Romney’s decision to vote to convict on one of the articles of impeachment?
Kennedy: When my colleagues ask my opinion about a vote, and they ask me how they should vote – doesn’t happen often, but it happens on occasion – this is what I tell them. I say follow your heart, but take your brain with you. Now, Senator Romney is entitled to his opinion. He’s entitled to his vote. Martha, that’s a fact. It’s between him and the people of Utah. I disagree with him, but I can’t tell you I was totally surprised.
MacCallum: So you are saying that he let his heart lead and not his head?
Kennedy: Well, you’ll have to ask Mitt that, but I think it is telling that every other Republican in the United States Congress – House and Senate – saw things a different way. I’m not going to second-guess one of my colleague’s motivations when they say they’ve prayed about it and they’re heartfelt. That’s between the Senator and his people back home, but to me, all we did was take a proxy vote on Donald Trump and his policies, and it was an abuse of a serious process. We don’t settle our differences in America through impeachment; we settle them through elections. And this was the first partisan impeachment in the history of this country. I think Speaker Pelosi really hurt this country. She tried to normalize impeachment as a routine political weapon, and that’s not what our Founders intended.
MacCallum: She said, “Because of the Republican Senate’s betrayal of the Constitution, the President remains and ongoing threat to American democracy with his insistence that he is above the law and that he can corrupt the elections if he wants to.”
Kennedy: That’s what I mean. It’s so over the top. I mean this idea that if we don’t stop the President, he will fix the next election; if we don’t stop the President, he will sell Alaska; the world’s Western civilization is coming to an end. And yet the Speaker held on to the articles of impeachment for one, what? Three or four weeks? Many of the folks in Washington, including the Speaker, think the American people are morons – that they can’t see through all of this.
End of Senator Kennedy’s remarks. I just love him for his clarity and subtle humor! To summarize:
- Speaker Pelosi acted like a juvenile in tearing up the SOTU speech (a perfect description!)
- Regardless of whether the President saw Pelosi’s extended hand or not, he was entirely within his rights not to do so based on Pelosi’s own statements and actions over the past 3-4 months
- Contrary to Schumer’s denigration of the SOTU speech (as well as every other Democrats’ characterizations of it!), Kennedy believed it to be one of the President’s best speeches ever – for the reasons he cited
- Romney was entitled to his vote to convict the President on the first article of impeachment and needs to answer to Utah voters, and Senator Kennedy disagreed with his decision
- Kennedy implied that Romney made an emotional decision (implying profound dislike for the president)
- Pelosi hurt the country by forcing a partisan impeachment while trying to “normalize it as a political weapon”
- The Democrats’ claims about predicted future actions by the President are crazy
He nailed it!