Can lawmakers all just listen to the president — even for one night?
Recent history is not assuring. Republican Rep. Joe Wilson shouted “you lie!” at President Barack Obama when he was giving a joint speech to Congress in 2009. Eleven years later, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped up a copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech as she stood behind him on the House rostrum.
Partisan tensions have only deepened on Capitol Hill since Pelosi’s defiant act last year, which came days before the Senate acquitted Trump in his first impeachment trial. Since then, the U.S. Capitol has been through the Jan. 6 insurrection, a second impeachment of Trump and another acquittal.