Enjoying the many humorous, often sarcastic (rightly so) commentary on Republican response to SOTU speech, as well as the more complimentary assessments of the speech itself. Personally, I realized something not so humorous, but interesting to me, if you care to read on:
Courage to me, in this case, is standing face-to-face before a crowd among whom are many, many detractors (and outright haters), delivering numerous impassioned appeals to their humanity (an ideally shared humanity), to their potential for integrity and dignity, the integrity and dignity bestowed inherently (or expected) via the offices occupied through the trust of those who believe officeholders will govern sensibly, with the best interests of the many over those of the few, the few who actually have no concern for the interests of the many. Stand before them knowing that many among those you face have wanted and still want (or fantasize about) nothing more than not only your failure, but your and those who support you's complete disempowerment (or worse). Stand before them with your own dignity intact despite their perpetual attempts to distract others from, distrupt, undermine and obstruct any step you take as leader. Continue leading anyway, and continue to hope for, and urge, their assumption of the roles that an oath taken before their professed higher power requires of them, because this is what your oath and your integrity require of you.
Cowardice would then be standing before cameras after the speech, or in a studio surrounded by similarly motivated, well-compensated propagandists for those same few to whom you truly answer, appealing to the basest character traits among the people whom you are supposed to serve with dignity and integrity but upon whose constantly stoked resentment, paranoia, and reactionary temperament you depend to maintain the charade your paymasters have constructed. Peddle more obstruction, fear, and hate against him who stood before you, face-to-face, appealing to your humanity. Do this out of his sight, so that his individual voice and reason cannot reach you, so that his appeal to your potential dignity and integrity is no longer within your hearing, if you ever listen, or can anyway. Re-enter the delusionary world in which through obstruction and deception you attempt to undermine his leadership. Good show.
Unfortunately, I have read significant parts of the book upon which you lay your hand to take the oath to execute your office with integrity. In that book, more than once, the message is that cowards cannot prosper.