Democrats’ behavior at the State of the Union was embarrassing

But the Democrats, with their childish protests, took the bait. Symbolic dissent is fine, but this was a cacophony of causes: black clothing (for #MeToo), kente ties and sashes (because of Trump’s Africa insult), butterfly stickers (for the “dreamers”), red buttons (for a victim of racial crime) and the more bipartisan purple ribbons (for the opioid epidemic).

Winners, Losers and the SOTU

Opposition to Obamacare, for example, isn’t coming from people who were falling through the cracks before. It’s coming from people who have seen their cost of insurance go up, or who have had to change doctors, as a consequence of the redistribution scheme that makes it possible to cover the people who were falling through the cracks. These people see themselves as having lost something, and having lost it because the government thought giving a benefit to someone else was important, and that they deserved to pay for that benefit. Similarly, popular opposition to efforts to combat climate change is coming from people who fear they will lose out as a result of those regulatory efforts – for example, people in coal country who see their industry’s very existence threatened by the government’s choices.

.. But there are losers as well as winners in these choices, and those losers are not losing because of “change” – they are losing because of choices. And I suspect it is grating to hear someone who is clearly winning lecture them about how they are losing because of impersonal forces of history that must be accommodated, and that they shouldn’t take out their frustrations on the wrong target. Even if it’s true, it’s a lousy message for reaching those people.

.. Liberalism, at its heart, is about generosity – spiritual and material. This is not a liberal moment in American politics.

.. The frustrations many Americans feel are a response to actual facts, not just misperceptions.