Democrats must be suffering from multiple personality disorder. By press time, no less than six politicians have announced separate rebuttals to the State of the Union address, and there is no guarantee that more won’t pop up before President Trump starts talking tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.
The multiplicity of responses underscores, among other things, just how bad the divisions are inside the Democratic Party.
The establishment and the progressive responses are the most high-profile and most divisive. Officially and bizarrely, Democrats have deputized Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III of Massachusetts to connect to the everyman in flyover states. And although that Kennedy speaks fluent Spanish, party brass asked a little-known delegate from the Virginia House of Delegate, Delegate Elizabeth Guzman, to give the Spanish-language rebuttal.
Had those two been the only ones, the party could make a decent show of unity. But Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, will also jump in with his own address. Anyone bored with the rantings or ravings of that socialist can switch over to the BET Network to listen to the unsanctioned bootleg response of Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.
For a more indie feel, former Rep. Donna Edwards will speak on behalf of the Working Families Party. Later, the president of NARAL-Pro-Choice America, Ilyse Hogue, will give a narrow and more extreme response in defense of abortion on demand.
Resistance a-la-carte: Viewers can pick and choose, mix and match to cater to their own preferences. Republicans responded to Barack Obama four different ways in 2014 with Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers giving the official response and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., giving the Spanish-language version. Afterward, Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky squabbled for the right to represent the Tea Party.
But that disunity didn’t last. Two years later, Trump would consume the disparate voices into his own. Each of the different flanks collapsed ahead of an amorphous populism. Democrats risk the same fate if they don’t settle on an identity.