A cyberbuddy, Jacqueline Christiano, posted on her anti-Trump Facebook group a response to Trump’s latest dog and pony show. It’s collectively known as Trump’s speech to the nation on February 28, 2017, through an address to a joint session of Congress.
The sergeant at arms of the United States House of Representatives dutifully announced the president’s arrival with the obligatory: “Mr. Speaker, the president of the United States!”
Then came the turn of a convert to Trumpism, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Paul Ryan. Standing directly behind the president, with the vice president in tow, he delivered his office’s de rigueur opening in true ringmaster fashion: “Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the United States.”
Trump’s appearance in that stately room reduced it to a center ring of a cheap traveling circus. I wrote about the GOP’s circus in my article “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
Here’s Jacqueline’s post:
“45 [Trump] paying tribute to the fallen Navy SEAL [Senior Chief Petty Officer William Ryan Owens] with his wife in front of all of those people and cameras was NOT presidential. As a widowed young woman, I find what he did as despicable. You do not pretend to be a human being while preying on a grief-stricken widow. Absolutely reprehensible. That poor woman is going through horror most could never begin to comprehend. Her husband’s life and sacrifice should have been acknowledged and honored authentically, not as further manipulation. Why wasn’t the rest of his family there? I remember his father speaking to Miami Herald reporters about his outrage. Were sympathies extended to him? Additionally—really, reporters? A man does not get to pretend, momentarily, to behave as a reasonable and empathetic person SHOULD and then get a pass from trampling on the rights and feelings of countless others! The bar is low. Do not be conned!”
I commented on Jacqueline’s post by writing, “Very well stated,” because I could not agree more. She’s spot-on. Just because Trump’s lithium blood levels (my assumption, not fact) have him under control (see my “Presidential Lithium Blood Levels Obtained?” article), that does not mean that we should forget his past, or forget about his potential to strike at the soul of our country. He’s done it before. He’ll do it again. He is a very unstable and unseemly man.
To underscore just how low the political bar is set, just how desperate our nation is for presidential behavior, CNN’s Van Jones chimed in with, “He became president of the United States in that moment, period.” Jones was referring to the fallen Navy SEAL portion of Trump’s speech. Jones continued, “That was one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics.”
Hmm . . . maybe Jones is having a nervous breakdown. It’s not his fault. He’s been working his ass off. His duties as Trump watcher and reporter must be exhausting, mentally and emotionally. Van, there’s no shame in taking lithium. It seems to be working well so far for the president. Hit him up for a tab or two . . .
The minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, remained steadfastly faithful to her disgust of the president’s overall behavior. She wrote that Trump’s speech was “utterly disconnected from the cruel reality of his conduct.” Obviously, Pelosi has no need for psychiatric medications. She’s not delusional . . . she sees Trump clearly in spite of him trying to hide behind his newly minted smoke and mirrors.
I tried to watch Trump’s speech live, but I could not. I watched it in the morning, having recorded it with my DVR. I do that most of the time. Watch him after he speaks. I don’t know why I do that. It’s just something I do. I suppose by watching Trump from recorded videos that I am unconsciously viewing him in a historical context. It’s like watching a horrible chapter from our past and not the live decimation of our nation. Watching a recorded Trump seems to keep me from turning off the TV when he spews lies, or alternative facts, as his capo Kellyanne Conway calls them. As always, there was an abundance of presidential falsehoods in his speech before the joint session of Congress. Let’s review three presidential postulations courtesy of ABC News:
Fact Check #1: Impact of immigrants on employment, wages, and crime
What Trump said: “By finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions of dollars, and make our communities safer for everyone.”
What we know: According to a major report last fall from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, immigrants have “little to no negative effects” on the wages or employment of native-born workers in the United States. On crime, a number of scientific studies conducted over the past several years contradict the idea that immigrants are responsible for a disproportionate share of crime.
Fact Check #2: Number of Americans out of the labor force
What Trump said: “Ninety-four million Americans are out of the labor force.”
What we know: This number, offered by Bureau of Labor Statistics data, is misleading. It includes every person over 16 years old who isn’t working—people who are high school students, people who are in college and people who are retired. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts another number—“number of unemployed persons”—at 7.6 million people.
Fact Check #3: The national debt, manufacturing jobs, and trade deficit
What Trump said: “In the last eight years, the past administration has put on more new debt than nearly all other presidents combined. We’ve lost more than one-fourth of our manufacturing jobs since NAFTA was approved, and we’ve lost 60,000 factories since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. Our trade deficit in goods with the world last year was nearly $800 billion.”
What we know: The national debt ballooned from $10.6 trillion to $19.9 trillion under President Obama, according to the Treasury Department, which is nearly more than all other presidents combined. But the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget notes that all the blame should not be placed on the Obama administration, since some of the debt increases were already projected to occur before Obama took office, and spending and tax decisions are also influenced by action or inaction by Congress.
Thanks, ABC News. And to you, too, readers, “Good night and good luck,” because I am going back to bed with the hope that when I awake, I’ll awake and discover that President Trump was just a bad nightmare . . . and that we instead had elected Hillary. Know that she’s no bargain, either, just barely better than Trump when it comes to truthfulness, but at least we’d be free of Trump’s tweets. Just barely better and free from Trump’s tweets would be good enough for this boy . . .
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