Trump Reduces Nations’s Fears Of A Madman In The White House In Speech To Congress

After just over a month of Donald Trump’s presidency, Americans have very low expectations. His speech to Congress (transcript here) was received very favorably as he did not attack the media, or anybody else, and there wasn’t a single false claim about how large his election victory was. He even managed to wear a good looking tie which was not too long.

The speech boosted optimism. Hopefully that came more for a general feeling of decreased panic over fears that we might have an insane president, as opposed to any true belief in his policies. While the preliminary polls do show support for his agenda, viewers are often initially supportive of the speaker. The devil is in the details, and he gave very little detail as to how his general principles could turn into legislation. As Politico put it, Last night, Trump promised America could have all the cake it wants, and lose weight, too. What happens when he needs to deliver? Unfortunately this point seemed to be lost by many in the media who gushed over the speech, relieved that they were not attacked once again.

Brian Beutler also pointed this out, among several other failings in the speech which the media has paid too little attention to:

He alluded to courtroom convictions to create the false impression that terrorism in the U.S. is principally a consequence of weak vetting and porous borders—a false justification for his Muslim ban, which the courts have enjoined. He cited an increase in homicides in 2015 to foster the impression that violent crime is at a historic high, rather than a historic low. He outsourced to Defense Secretary James Mattis a lie about a raid he ordered in Yemen—which resulted in the death of a Navy SEAL, numerous civilians, and an eight-year-old American girl—falsely heralding it as “a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence.” Hours earlier, Trump had blamed his own military planners and Obama for its obvious failure. He also claimed to support NATO, which he has previously described as obsolete.

Fact checkers, including The Washington Post, PolitiFact, and had their usual lists of falsehoods from Donald Trump. These might not matter with regards to public perception of the speech. The facts will matter when they try to govern based upon fantasy.


  1. 1
    Ray says:

    All this was done was to pull the MSM and the public's attention from Trump/Russia connection. Trump pulls these type of stunts all the time, playing watch the shiny orb in my left hand and ignore the rest of me. Far as his performance making people feel more comfortable about whether he is insane or not. Some of the greatest mass killers in this world when caught were thought to be incapable of being insane by those closest to them. 

    A sociopath can adapt to appear that he has empathy to those around them. Yet in reality they have no idea of what others feel nor do they care. Trump is a Showman first and foremost and anyone doubting that this man is dangerous is dreaming.

  2. 2
    Mike Hatcher says:

    As far as substance and shedding light on what Trump believes in, the speech offered very little. However, even if Trump is as nefarious as Ray would suggest, the speech showed Trump's ability to stay on script and use self-control, and ability he had shown very little of prior to that speech. "…all the cake it wants and lose weight too.." Yep, it seems all politicians promise pie in the sky, but Trump has a way of promising zillions of pies in the stratosphere like no other I have heard.  However, the premise of the Affordable Care Act, that everyone can have quality health care, regardless of whether or not they can pay for it, seems rather pie in the sky as well and seems to defy the laws of economics within our current healthcare system. Prices of health services would have to somehow plummet to ever make that feasible. Otherwise, all the "free" healthcare today is just going lead to more future crushing debt and/or scarcity and rationing of services.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    Mike, nobody is giving "free" healthcare. The Affordable Care Act is about making it possible for people to obtain health care coverage. The plan includes financing and does not lead to "future crushing debt" or any scarcity of resources. Repealing Obamacare would increase the deficit

  4. 4
    John E D P Malin says:

    I am a Radical Liberal, like the great French revolutionary, Marquis de La Fayette.  We are witnessing a coup d'etat or putsch by the Koch Brothers and their financed Radical Reactionary Republicans in Congress.  All legislation of the last 80 years will be removed.  We go back to the early 18th Century, C.E. 1820s.  Barbarism!

  5. 5
    Mike Hatcher says:

    Ron, I was using the word "free" sarcastically. Of course health care is not free, quite the opposite. Candidly my own personal experience baffles me. I really don't see how the insurance companies manage to afford customers like me. I believe my family pays about $500.00 per month for our insurance and the employer, I don't know, matches that? But even, call it a thousand a month, we visit the doctor regularly and pay like 25 or 30 bucks, the doctor bills out $200 or something and the insurance company compels them to take a little less than that, then a minor surgery here for $20,000 and a test for something else for $5,000.  It seems like every year we are racking up in charges way more than we pay in. It seems wonderful, but not sustainable, throw in more people that pay less than I pay, throw in people that normally couldn't be insured because their issues cost way more than our family does, then you can talk about taxing medical equipment all you want, or projections, I just don't believe it won't lead to some kind of ruin. Not identical to Social Security, but ultimately becoming insolvent as SSI is becoming.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    On the other hand, I pay over $1000 a month and my family rarely has claims–it is almost all profit to the insurance company.

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