Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Trump stayed on a troubling script

Trump's address to Congress began by citing "a great sense of renewal sweeping the country" and ended with the statement that in the future we will remember that "a new chapter of American greatness began today."  He clearly was saying that this was all because of him.

Those thoughts can all be debated of course, but they do frame the dimensions of Trump's view of grandeur.  It is what he thinks and what his handlers Bannon and Miller think he should say.

From this perspective, the two low points of his speech were the three extended examples of the killings of citizens by illegal immigrants, with their relatives in attendance and put on camera.  It is obvious what he was doing and it is obvious what minority group he was talking about and the effect he intended.  The second was the highlight of the wife of the serviceman killed in the questionable Seal's raid in Yemen.  As Trump led the applause, clapping on his amplified set seemingly forever, the woman cried and cried. What a rotten example of exploitation to address an issue where he has received criticism.

The Democratic response to the speech by Steve Beshear, a former Kentucky governor, was one of the best of that lackluster genre ever seen, meaning well done.  Overall, the evening could have been worse, and many were probably relieved by what they heard.  There were snippets of good news like the endorsement of NATO, as if that were an achievement.  In any event, that was a relief.  The calls for unity were frequent but, unlike in the afternoon conference with news anchors, there was no mention of "both sides needing to compromise".  There was more of a dark side to his unity, more of a demand.

We will see.


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