Anybody seen any good speeches lately?

You know, the kind that makes you just want to take a copy of the speech and rip it to shreds?

Back in my high school speech days, there were times I felt like tearing up my own work. But that was thankfully only on a 3-by-5 notecard for extemporaneous speech (where I was a Class D state champion, something I try to bring up as often as Al Bundy mentioned his four-touchdown game for Polk High).

But I’ve never had the urge to tear up someone else’s speech.

I guess that’s a sign of these times.

The State of the Union speech (aka Donald Trump’s 154th campaign speech as president) was playing second-fiddle to a handshake snub and some ripped-up papers this year.

It makes me long for the politics from the days of old where there was gridlock and Washington couldn’t accomplish anything.

Now, it is all about undoing anything the other party has accomplished and showing up the opposition in any grandiose way possible — while still accomplishing as little as possible.

Nancy Pelosi tearing up her copy of President Trump’s state of the union speech certainly got a reaction. Actually, it generated one of two reactions because two 180-degree different views on things is all that we are allowed to have in our divided two-party nation.

The first reaction was that Pelosi committed one of the most heinous, vile acts ever seen and sent out a virtual slap to the face to all of the good people that Trump mentioned in his speech. And the expert analysis of Pelosi “pre-ripping” the pages would make the best football TV color commentator tear up his stat sheets in pure frustration.

The other reaction was that Pelosi had a rather restrained reaction to more lies by a president who has sent insult after insult flying at anybody he perceives as an enemy — five-star generals, Purple Heart recipients, most females.

It makes you feel sorry for the poor minority of moderates who are crazy enough to believe that both political parties have flaws and one side isn’t always absolutely right while the other side is always absolutely wrong.

I suppose it’s to be expected after something as divisive as an impeachment trial for a president. Or should I say as unifying as an impeachment trial for a president?

Good thing I didn’t find somewhere to legally place a bet on the outcome in the Senate. I would have placed $100 to bet that the final vote would be 100% along party lines to have tried to win $1.

Mitt Romney’s historic vote — becoming the first senator to ever say he found a president of his own party guilty — would have cost me. I wonder what will that vote cost him? I’m guessing not sleepless nights.

Some of the Republicans who voted to acquit sounded like they were far from pronouncing that President Trump is an innocent man. Often words and phrases like “flawed,” “actions that are inappropriate” and saying that it should be decided by the people floated around.

Watch out when we have a bunch of high school seniors breaking curfew and household rules now saying that they shouldn’t be punished in their final year of living at home, that their fates should be decided by their colleges.

All of this drama, and we’re only in February of a presidential election year. Who was the wise person who decided that these elections should take place only in leap years so there is even one more day of campaigning — not that it really matters since election season lasts about 3-1/2 years anymore?

And those 3-1/2 years are needed just so that Iowa can figure out who won its Democratic caucus before the general election.

It seemed at one point that it would be more likely that the Iowa Hawkeyes would win a football national championship sooner than we find out who would be awarded the state’s delegates.

Now, to be fair, the Nebraska Huskers seem about as close to winning a national title as Iowa might be.

And if that statement angers you partisan Big Red fans, you now know what to do — take a print edition of this column and rip it like Pelosi.

Dale Miller is a sports writer for the Independent. Once a week he wanders away from the sports department to offer his take on non-sports related topics. Email him at

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