STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH
WAS A TRUMPIAN TRIUMPH
Surely, The Gipper himself couldn’t have delivered it any more effectively.
But we were hearing it in The Donald’s true voice, with all those resounding Trumpian flourishes and — blessedly — few of his typical emphatic asides (i.e. “so great,” “not good,” “very, very bad,” etc.).
It was a triumph.
The hour-and-a-half performance demonstrated clearly, visibly, undeniably that Donald Trump has taken command of his presidency.
And coming after a year of dazzling economic upturn and his rock-star reception at the Davos World Economic Forum, it showed why “racism” and “Russia” are all his opponents can think to say about this startling political phenomenon from Queens.
The emptiness of the Democrats’ alternative vision was on display as they sat with blank expressions twiddling at their smart phones.
Worst were the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, hunched down bitterly in their kente cloth scarves.
As Trump beamed over the lowest black unemployment numbers in decades, you could read in those rigid faces the cold fear that their constituents have passed them by.
And then came the so-called “Democratic Response,” an achingly craven sop to the Millennial Generation.
There stood Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (grandson of Bobby) looking like Archie Andrews addressing his high school debate club in the Riverdale High School auto mechanics garage. All that was missing were Betty and Veronica in cute little tool belts.
The Donald’s presentation was brilliantly conceived, and his visual aids were a perfect collage of heroism and heart.
The young cop and his wife who adopted an addict’s baby encapsulated American generosity.
The soldier who dragged his wounded buddy to safety under fire and breathed life into him for two hours epitomized courage.
The tearful parents of two murdered black girls said everything about why we need The Wall.
Otto Warmbier’s mom and dad, along with that Korean freedom fighter holding up the crutches on which he fled an inhuman state, suggested the future of Kim Jung Un’s regime.
On top of all that, The Donald comported himself in a way that was positively presidential.
In stark contrast to Obama’s characteristic stream of “I’s,” “me’s” and ‘mine’s,” Trump used the pronoun “we” 129 times, “I” only a handful.
Finally, you couldn’t ask for a more inspired wrap-up to this old-fashioned, flag-waving, God-bless-America speech. In true Reagan style, Trump linked his campaign theme to his first year in office, and nailed his vision of America’s limitless future…
“The people dreamed this country. The people built this country. It is the people who are making America great again.”
(Not to mention that terrific slam at the Democrat’s DACA fixation.)
I watched the State of the Union on NBC, and was amused to hear the post-speech analysis. Consensus among a squirming panel of media deep thinkers was that Chuck Todd of “Meet the Press” had it right: Trump was “speaking to his base.”
Well, CBS’s poll showing a 75-percent approval rating would suggest that Trump’s “base” is now the country.
Yes, the State of the Union is a dog-and-pony show. It’s a chance for the President to brag, and for the out-of-power party to say…
“Oh yeah? What about…?”
The hard stuff comes afterward. And The Donald’s challenge now is reassuring his supporters that he hasn’t sold them out with his compromise, 12-year path to citizenship for the “Dreamers.”
Hey, get real. Nobody was ever going to round up and deport a million people brought into this country as children. And anyway, who’ll care once The Wall is in place?
Now, if we could only shut down that pointless farce of the Mueller investigation and get on with business.
But then…there is that memo.
God bless the President. And God bless America!
The Donald’s triumph notwithstanding, I’ve never much cared for State of the Union speeches. And I especially dislike that the opposition party gets to horn in on what is the President’s event. As I observed in a review of an Obama SOTU back in 2015…
“I think it’s unseemly that a spokesman for the out-of-power faction gets to leer earnestly into the TV camera and say, ‘Liar, liar, pants on fire!’ — which is basically what they always say, regardless of which party makes the SOTU reply.
“Far better if they just stood up and called the President a liar to his face. Like the Brits do, yelling back and forth across that big table on the floor of Parliament (of course it all sounds very gentlemanly when it’s done in a proper, upper-class English accent).”
If you’re interested, check out my thoughts at that time…