So I’ve repeatedly called the Trump presidency “the greatest show on earth.” Honestly, it really is. I watched the President’s address. My only objection was having to hear one or two minutes of Shep Smith yammering in the background before the broadcast. But that faded out of my mind right away. One of the first things that struck me was that President Trump was having a good time going through the ritual. He shook hands with Pence and Ryan more than once before he got started. He always added something at the end of a sentence to intensify or personalize what he was reading off the teleprompter. He applauded all of his guests very vigorously and he seemed at certain points to be speaking directly to the Democratic Congress as if to chastise them for their lack of enthusiasm about undeniably patriotic and sympathetic topics. At one point, his expression and his hand gestures seemed to be saying to the Dems, “Come on applaud!” The news said it was one of the longer SOTU addresses but honestly it seems to go quickly for me. And I’m not just comparing it to the torturous Obama addresses. Even W was too long for my tastes. Probably because it didn’t entertain. Trump was fun to watch. The hand gestures, his claims to non-partisan motives and the general appeal to a patriotic agenda were highly effective. I especially enjoyed his rhetorical shot at the NFL Anthem Kneelers right before the Super Bowl. Masterfully done. And, of course there was the kill shot, “young Americans have dreams too.” Gold, Jerry, gold.
I’m sure there were some right wingers who were upset about the 1.8 million dreamers being brought up as a pillar of Trump’s four part plan on immigration but honestly, there isn’t a prayer in the world of Cryin’ Chuck accepting the wall and all the rest of the good stuff Trump loaded into his plan. I look at it as a poisoned pill that the Dems will refuse to touch. What other choice will Trump have than to go to the American people and tell them to give him more Republicans in November to get his job done correctly. I’m guessing a few years ago I would have been one of those complaining about this offer. But I have learned my lesson. Ann Coulter was right, “In Trump We Trust.”
Some of the other facets of the experience were the cutaways to people in the audience. Pelosi was the most consistent. Her expression seemed to be saying, “That egg salad sandwich I just ate must have gone bad.” Honestly she looked like she had to throw up but was gritting her teeth to stop it. Schumer was draped over his chair like it was a recliner. He was just sitting there taking it all in. Some members of the Congressional Black Caucus looked enraged, especially when he talked about historically low black unemployment. One of the highlights was when Trump mentioned the presence in the audience of Congressman Steve Scalise, recovered from the gunshot wounds he received at the hands of a crazed Democratic supporter last year. That was a feel good moment that Trump seemed especially to relish. First Lady, Melania Trump was in the gallery with the guests and looked typically dignified and lovely. I read this morning that CNN claimed that Melania wore white as a protest against her husband’s alleged dalliance with a porn star, although why white would be an effective protest color is beyond my meager understanding. Honestly, these people really have lost what little minds they had. Several of the guests were associated with MS-13 gang related violence. There were the four parents of two murdered Long Island teenage girls and an Hispanic law enforcement officer who ignored death threats to lock up a large number of these gang members. These were highly emotional moments that made a deep impact. However I believe the most charged moment came when Trump said that American heroes lived not only in the past but also today and the Republican audience started chanting USA, USA, USA. At that point Democratic Representative Luis Gutierrez literally got up and walked out of the assembly. Good times, good times. So what else could you ask for? Well, actually, if you remember my recent “Trump vs SOTU” spoof, I included Trump insulting his enemies and having the FBI “Secret Society” members frog-marched out of the House of Representatives in the middle of the address and hauled off to jail. Well, sure that would have been cool. But you can’t expect reality to be as cool as my imagination. But, then again, this is Trump so maybe he’s just saving something for next January.