Owned momentarily, Republicans are genuinely having a conniption- or are merely pretending because they couldn't possibly be this thin-skinned. Either way, Democrats have been given an opportunity.
Show some fight, Democrats. Voters will be shocked- and impressed.
(Lawyer and defense witness in House impeachment trial) JonathanTurley: "Pelosi's act dishonored the institution and destroyed even the pretense of civility and decorum in the House. If this is the Speaker's'drop the mike' moment, it is a disgrace that should never be celebrated or repeated. In a single act, she obliterated decades of tradition."
(Bush 43 Press Secretary) Ari Fleischer: "Pelosi just ripped his speech up. What on earth?! Who does that?"
(Georgia Representative) Doug Collins: "Ripping up the president's speech is a new low, even for Speaker Pelosi. But it doesn't change the facts: America is more safe, secure and prosperous than ever before. #SOTU"
(Former Trump ambassador to the UN) Nikki Haley: "Disappointed to see @SpeakerPelosi rip up the speech that mentioned lives we’ve lost and heroes we celebrated at the SOTU. No matter how you feel or what you disagree with, remember others are watching. This was unbecoming of someone at her level in office."
Of course, Pelosi is merely playing Trump's game, and beating him at it, and not for the first time. Eschewing righteous outrage is the Iowa Republican county chairman, also known as Mr. Meghan McCain:
That was an extremely effective speech. It stuck to Trump's strongest points, set traps for his opponents who were easily baited into them, offered viewers powerful moments, and made for incredible reality TV.— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) February 5, 2020
Reality TV. Bring along a camera and participants on "reality TV" put on the show they want the viewing public to see. The State of the Union was, as Domenech proudly conceded, only a show. And it was truly an "incredible" one- not credible.
Insofar as this reflects his perspective, Domenech is on to something else- that Republicans should focus on the President's message, phony though it was, instead of going into deep outrage over the literal- but insignificant- ripping of a speech. The President's speech is online- Republicans must have heard of the Internet, and it's a good bet that somewhere in Speaker Pelosi's office lies a hard copy of the address.
Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau observed
Seems to me like Pelosi took a page out of Trump’s playbook and stole the spotlight away. No one’s talking about the speech now.— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) February 5, 2020
And Donald Trump, thanks be to God, is helping them, as Wednesday morning he published a tweet about the Speaker and retweeted several others critical of the her. As Wajahat Ali argues (his emphasis), "Democrats, OWN it. Own the fact Nancy Pelosi ripped up that trash speech. Explain why she did it. Craft the message and get it out now. Don't bow down. Don't cave for once. Show some fight..."