House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) successful effort to cow Donald Trump into postponing his State of the Union address until after federal government workers are called back to work with pay, got a boost from a conservative columnist on Thursday.
Writing at the Daily Beast, conservative commentator Matt Lewis cheered on the California Democrat for showing the president that there are three co-equal branches of the government and how to wield power effectively.
“For a minute there, it looked like Donald Trump was going to bigfoot his way back into the State of the Union,” Lewis wrote before noting the Trump waved the white flag and agreed to Pelosi’s terms while getting nothing in return.
Admitting that “Like the border wall, this State of the Union fight is largely symbolic,” Lewis continued, “Trump operates within a very primal worldview. Had Pelosi allowed him to establish dominance—even over what some might consider a trivial matter—it would have demonstrated weakness (on her part) and ultimately invited future provocations.”
“For those who care about institutions, Pelosi’s stance was a welcome development—a rare example of Congress (or Pelosi, at least) exerting its authority as a co-equal branch of government. This is not the first time Congress has defied this president, but it is the most public rebuke thus far,” he continued before praising the Democratic Party leader for possessing “the moxie to go toe-to-toe with a bully.”
Important to Lewis is the concept of three co-equal branches of government that Republicans seem to have forgotten after bowing to the bullying Trump for two years.
But now there is the newly-empowered Pelosi leading the Democratic-majority House for Trump to deal with.
“Heretofore, Congress has either acquiesced to the president or quietly worked to undermine him. In other words, while Republicans were in charge, they either gave him a public win, or they let things quietly go away (with the exception of health-care reform, when John McCain stuck it to him),” Lewis wrote. “What this means is that we almost never get the climactic moment where he is publicly rebuked. With Pelosi now ensconced in the role as leader of the loyal opposition, the American public (including Trump’s base) may finally see evidence that the executive branch is not omnipotent.”
He then added: “For fans of divided government and checks and balances, this was a very good day.”
You can read the whole piece here.