We’ve survived two years of Trump and a massive government shutdown — but can we survive the SOTU aftermath?
The president gave a pretty good facsimile of a normal speech the other day, during which he presented 5540 of his best words using his indoor voice. He didn’t rattle unhinged or erupt into paroxysms of fire-breathing rage or seem blinded by paranoia. Well, not too much, anyway. He even got clapped at by Nancy Pelosi. But what of the SOTU aftermath?
Indeed, he did boast of inflated accomplishments, made grandiose predictions and not less than a couple of exorbitant claims, but that’s all part of the grand tradition of the State of the Union Address. That’s what a SOTU is. Time to preen and strut and prance and flounce. Everybody does it. Even Jimmy Carter.
What everybody normally doesn’t do is threaten the opposition party by saying that the authorization of any “partisan investigations” might cause the country to go to war. Sounds more than vaguely like an extortion threat. Obviously something he picked up from his good buddy, the publisher of the National Enquirer. Or maybe something he taught the unfortunately named David Pecker.
It was the same-old, same-old, he says something and all the members of his party stand but the other party doesn’t, sort of thing. While behind him, the frosty tension between Vice-President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi could have been cut with an al dente strand of spaghetti.
At one point, the 45th President of the United States bragged about more women serving in the 116th Congress than ever before, ignoring the fact that out of 127 female representatives, 106 are Democrats. Most of them clumped together wearing white, to symbolize the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment being passed. A stark visual contrast to all the white men on the other side of the aisle.
One of his least controversial moves was coming out against childhood cancer. Wow. Really going out on a political limb there, eh? Can’t wait for your next position paper on flesh-eating bacteria. He talked a lot about kids, but not one word about putting them in cages.
Other things he failed to mention were the Government Shutdown. Vladimir Putin. Mitch McConnell. Maria Butina. Jamal Khashoggi. Michael Cohen. Paul Manafort. Kim Kardashian. $2 trillion added to the national debt. Handing the EPA over to oil and coal industries. Fox News pulling his strings. His paternity of a resurgent white supremacy movement. School shootings. Global warming. Subpoenas. Pardons. Tax returns. And the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Dropping a preemptive strike onto the 2020 Democratic campaign, the former real estate developer lashed out against socialism somehow linking Bernie Sanders to the economic meltdown in South America. And he’s right. Venezuela and Vermont do have a lot in common. Well, they both start with V. He may or may not make America great again, but using communist scare tactics indicates he’s certainly attempting to make America the 50s again.
Finally, he called for civil discourse. You read that right, Donald Trump called for civil discourse. The guy who refers to Representative Adam Schiff by replacing the “F”s in the man’s last name with “T”s called for civil discourse. Which is like a man working in a sewer all day complaining someone spilled coffee on his shoes. Or a rabid wolverine telling the rabbits they should dial it down.