The state of the State of the Union
I don't think I've ever seen a more powerful moment in any State of the Union speech as this...
If you don't hate President Donald Trump, chances are you probably liked the speech last night.
If you hate President Trump, you hated it.
Democrats probably thought they were casting a noble image as they sat through Trump's litany of "good news" and highlights about how well Americans have been doing.
I don't think they thought that through very well, though.
When candidate Barack Obama was stumping in the final days of the 2008 campaign, I noted how he sounded an awful lot like a moderate Democrat. A unifying voice that was almost Reagan-esque in it's call for us see each other as teammates and that our best was yet to come. It helped to make people feel comfortable that he wasn't some radical leftist.
Trumps speech last night had a similar sound.
And Democrats refused to participate in any celebration of unifying good news.
As MSNBC's Joy Reid tweeted:
Church ... family ... police ... military ... the national anthem ... Trump trying to call on all the tropes of 1950s-era nationalism. The goal of this speech appears to be to force the normalization of Trump on the terms of the bygone era his supporters are nostalgic for. #SOTU— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) January 31, 2018
That's a heckuva marketing strategy for Democrats.
The Washington Free Beacon has the montage of all the times the Democrats refused to stand during the speech.
Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard said the most notable thing about the speech is what it left out:
Trump said nothing about the country’s $20 trillion debt crisis. Literally not a word. It was a long, long speech—80 minutes, counting applause breaks—but the president and his speechwriting team apparently couldn’t find any room for a mention of debt and the slow-motion crisis that is upon us.
To which is colleague, Jonathan V. Last, replied:
I love @stephenfhayes but are we really surprised that the guy who declared bankruptcy 6 times doesn't give a crap about the national debt? I'm not being glib: Trump's foundational view of debt is as debtor not as a sovereign and he doesn't know the diff. https://t.co/6fPOLbGTlN— Jonathan V. Last (@JVLast) January 31, 2018
This is speaks to a larger shift in the political landscape. Over at the Libertarian publication Reason, A. Barton Hinkle argues that the Republican Party has become everything they used to oppose. Link
All of this might be funny if not for the menace at the edges. Although mainstream conservatives abjure and even revile them, the elements of the alt-right have gained a dismaying foothold in contemporary politics (see: Breitbart and Steve Bannon). And as the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville this past August shows, the alt-right is willing to resort to violence—for which it will be partly excused by the president.
Indifference to sexual libertinism. Pro-Moscow sympathies. Paranoid conspiracy theories. A violent, radical fringe. Hatred of the G-men at the FBI, along with the rest of The Corrupt Establishment. Four decades ago such markers defined the radical left—and everything about liberalism that conservatives loathed. Now, they increasingly define the American right—all thanks to Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, the biggest winner last night might have been Sen. Marco Rubio - who gave the official GOP response to President Obama's State of the Union - and was roundly mocked for drinking from a bottle of water during his performance.
Because the Democrats brought out a Kennedy to talk about privilege and how the system is rigged.
Hot Air's Ed Morrissey expands on the absurdity of picking a Kennedy to deliver this message, and cites the NY Post on why nobody will probably remember his words.
Congressman Joe Kennedy III gave the Democratic response to the State of the Union — and drew comments both about his policy ideas and for what was dripping off his lips.
The 37-year-old Kennedy family scion — who is the grandson of RFK — appeared to have large, bizarre wet spots at the corners of his mouth as he talked after President Trump’s speech, prompting people to wonder if it was drool or an abundance of Chapstick.
Rubio's performance was dubbed #WaterGate.
Kennedy's is dubbed #ChappaquidickStick.
FBI Chief: Don't release the memo
From Bloomberg News: Link
FBI Director Christopher Wray told the White House he opposes the release of a controversial, classified GOP memo alleging bias at the FBI and Justice Department because it contains inaccurate information and paints a false narrative, according to a person familiar with the matter.
On the one hand, I'd like to believe the FBI leadership when it warns us of this.
On the other hand... of course this is what the FBI would say.
This is what happens when nobody has any credibility.