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Opinion: Watching temper tantrums

Watching the end of President Trump’s State of the Union speech — the part where Rep. Nancy Pelosi started tearing up the copy of the speech Trump had given her as a courtesy — was a tragedy. It showed Pelosi’s true nature to the rest of us, and frankly it was more the nature of an angry child than that of one of the leaders of the free world.

She is a woman who has spent her life getting her way, and if she doesn’t have things her way, she throws a tantrum.

It would be a libel against Democrats to say that’s how they all are when things go against them, but Pelosi’s behavior was not unlike that of Hillary Clinton when things went against her — especially toward the end of her run for the presidency.

Books about Hillary Clinton’s run for president show her to be nasty-tempered, especially toward members of her staff, and also towards her husband.

Pelosi is not that kind of woman — or at least we didn’t think so. It was a surprise to see her fly off the handle when Trump was acquitted — exactly the opposite effect she wanted.

Pelosi seemed to be at war with Trump, especially after her dramatic declaration that she would seek to impeach him, but her case against him seemed weak from the beginning.

When the impeachment attempt was over, she had experienced what may have been her worst moment in Congress — and very probably the end of what until then had been a distinguished career as Speaker of the House.

She started tearing up the copy of Trump’s State of the Union speech that he had given her and other distinguished leaders after he had started speaking. The only thing that would have shown poorer manners would have been if she had torn it up and handed it back to him before he started speaking.

In one night, she went from being one of the most respected leaders to being a laughingstock. She will be remembered for that gesture long after anything she has done as the country’s principal legislator is forgotten.

She hurt herself more than she hurt Trump ... something she probably will always remember.

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