Nancy Pelosi urged the president to write his State of the Union due to security concerns; he cancelled her delegation’s flight to NATO and Afghanistan.
What began as a legitimate national security concern has spiraled into yet another petty game for the president, who is already holding hundreds of thousands of Americans’ paychecks hostage over a project that won’t fix a problem that doesn’t exist.
And, in the process, the president revealed a previously undisclosed destination for the delegation — Afghanistan — repeating the same potentially fatal blunder he committed on his last-minute visit to the troops in December.
It all began when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declined to invite the president to the House for the State of the Union Address.
Traditionally, the invitation from the Speaker is a formal and somewhat superfluous gesture, but Pelosi has weaponized it to hit the president where it hurts: his endless desire for public attention, exposure, and headlines.
When the State of the Union (SOTU) occurs, it means that nearly every single member of the government — from the House to the Senate to the Cabinet to the Supreme Court — are all in one building together.
As you can imagine, that poses a tremendous security risk, which requires a fully staffed, fully focused, fully motivated security team — not one that is shortstaffed, unpaid, and whose morale is low.
Based on this logic, Pelosi recommended that the president deliver his SOTU by writing to the American people, which presidents used to do for many years, or to reschedule the address once the government has been reopened.
Naturally, deprived of an opportunity to be on national television, the president attempted to get back at Pelosi by cancelling a military flight that would have transported Pelosi and a congressional delegation to NATO in Brussels, and saying that the delegation could take commercial flights instead.
This, of course, poses a security threat in and of itself, and would have been bad enough alone, but to make matters worse, the president also revealed that the delegation was supposed to visit troops in Afghanistan, making not only the delegation but the troops vulnerable as well.
To top it off, his order came at such a late time that it literally forced the delegation’s bus to turn around while on its way to the airport.
This kind of childish tit-for-tat strategy simply cannot be tolerated, especially at a time when the longest shutdown in the country’s history has nearly reached a month in length, crippling everyone from government employees to Native communities to air traffic control and security.