Let’s get one thing straight: The ONLY thing remotely presidential that Donald Trump achieved in his first address to Congress was the ability to read a teleprompter. There was no consistent message in the speech, it sounded like it was written by every power player in the White House including Bannon, Pence, Miller and Priebus; A little bit of Paul Ryan was in there too. Donald Trump is a con-artist and a media personality, he knows how to turn it on when he needs to and that’s all he did.
The amount of people that bought into this bullshit, namely Van Jones, is sickening. And then Trump uses “positive reviews” as an excuse to “delay” the new travel ban, which in reality was the same as the old travel ban, minus visa holders and Iraq and STILL would have been torn apart by the courts? Come on. I can only touch on some of the lunacy in Trump’s first speech to Congress, but I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid.
There were so many gross inaccuracies of the speech like the disproven and misleading “94 million” jobless claim, the false narrative about a higher crime rate, not to mention the blatantly fascist creation of an agency to publicize crimes committed by immigrants. The very idea of creating VOICE is wholly un-American and the audible groan from the Democrats was certainly warranted. I’m not going to fact-check everything, but it’s easy to tell you that facts did not have a great night.
Donald Trump is a con-artist and a media personality, he knows how to turn it on when he needs to and that's all he did.
A tweet I sent about the Trump rescinding the Clean Water Rule went sort of viral, so a standout moment to me was when he’s talking about clean air and water, you know, the same time he’s gutting the EPA and rescinding the Clean Water Rule?
There was also, as Senator Chris Murphy pointed out, Trump’s brilliant plan to replace Obamacare with the Affordable Care Act. The ineptitude of the Republican Party is on full display in the healthcare fight and it is one they will ultimately lose. When you start to buy into this nonsense because the former scripted reality game show host can read a script, it just continues to enable him.
For example, take a look at his opening statement about anti-Semitism. What a great delivery, but sorry, I didn’t forget that earlier in the day the president insinuated that the attacks were false flags. I haven’t forgotten the Holocaust statement earlier this year, and I certainly haven’t forgotten the Nazi-esque “international bankers” line from October. Lop that in with the horrific shooting in Kansas, and this was purely a statement he had to make under intense pressure. If Trump and the Republicans have learned anything over the past disastrous 40 days, it’s that governing 330 million diverse people is hard.
Naturally, the Trump gave some extra emphasis to the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.” And it’s a good thing he did because today, the Islamic State laid down their weapons and surrendered. Of course they didn’t, and it was even reported earlier in the day that new National Security Advisor McMaster tried to change this part of the speech. It’s amazing to me that Trump has this fetish for generals, but refuses to listen to them when it comes to things like the difference between “Islamic” and “Islamist,” or the retired generals’ pleas not to cut the State Department because they know diplomacy works.
When you start to buy into this nonsense because the former scripted reality game show host can read a script, it just continues to enable him.
Then of course, there was the bit about the Navy SEAL and his widow. Look, I know how the cookie crumbles when it comes to politics and presidents highlighting the sacrifices of the families of the military in these big speeches. But this particular display was especially troubling. Earlier in the day, Trump deflected all the blame from the Yemen raid - which all evidence points to being a failure - first on the Obama administration and then blamed the generals for the death of Ryan Owens. The gall on this guy is astounding. As Commander in Chief, the onus for these operations is on you, Mr. Trump. But it’s been pointed out that you weren’t even in the situation room and that you were tweeting while the raid was underway. I’ve previously compared this raid to Operation Eagle Claw, and I still believe it should be investigated further.
Trump made sure to point out how long the standing ovation was for Owen’s widow. It was a nice moment sure, and the incredible strength and presence of Mrs. Owens being there was touching. I’m a staunch supporter of Special Operations Forces and the Owens family absolutely deserves bipartisan, American and human respect, but the president doesn’t. This bit of political theater once again deflects from the real issues surrounding the circumstances of the raid and Trump’s comments earlier in the day about where to lay blame. It doesn’t change that Owens’ father refuses to meet with the president and is - rightfully so - demanding an investigation into the raid.
Based on numerous reports, no significant intelligence was recovered, the primary target escaped, numerous women and children were killed, a $70 million aircraft was destroyed, four SEALs were wounded and one killed in action. Why was this raid greenlit? The look on the faces of the typically apolitical generals spoke volumes in terms of disapproval.
Trump’s first 40 days can only be described as a “hot mess.” He needed this speech and he needed to divert the media - which he did for the most part - because the real story is still out there and gets more and more scrutinized by the day.
The real story of the Trump presidency and the Republicans is Russia. The influence of Vladimir Putin, Russian military intelligence and Russian oligarchs continues to call this president’s legitimacy into question. The Republicans refusal to seek Trump’s tax return and their continued denial of a special investigative commission puts the stink on them as well. If there’s nothing to hide, go for it, right?
This has all been one long con by both the Trump and the Republicans and this speech was just another part of it. So many pundits and media outlets bought into it, but there was no pivot, just a sedated tone. The bar is so low for this president that now his ability to read makes him presidential. But this is not the story. This does not change who this man is.
In the words of a famous rebel pilot known as Red Leader, “stay on target.”