Last week’s political circus reached a new level of Big Top.
Or three rings, as President Donald Trump hosted two Democratic leaders in the White House, debating border security and government shutdown — in public. House Minority Leader, soon-to-be Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) were somewhat uncomfortable with Donald Trump’s decision to hash out their differences in front of the cameras and the American people.
It was quite the comedy. Yet Vice President Mike Pence all but snored. While many pundits once again expressed their frustrations with a lack of solemn decorum from Trump, Pence provided not solemnity but somnolence.
The idea of government negotiations being done out in the open isn’t new. Transparency is good, if rarely practiced. But it did not take long for Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer to express alarm at this foray into Reality TV.
“We’re here to have a conversation the careful way,” Pelosi informed the president, “so I don’t think we should have a debate in front of the press on this.”
In olden days, Democrat President Grover Cleveland practiced political transparency when he was governor of New York (1883-1885), pointedly leaving the door to his office open whenever discussing any subject whatsoever with anyone.*
And let’s tip the hat to Mike Pence. Ridiculed when it came out that he would not meet in private with any woman not his wife, upon the arrival of #MeToo and the Kavanaugh hearings, Pence appeared genius.
If a sleepy one.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
* Cleveland was not so transparent when, during a crisis in his second presidency, he secretly had his jaw operated upon in a boat in international waters.