In Friday's piece entitled, "And the Oscar for the Most Overrated Performance by a So-called President Goes to..." I gave my take on Donald Trump's performance last week as he addressed Congress and the nation.
It looked to me like he was stoned. He wasn't ranting and he had his suit jacket buttoned, but nothing is remarkable about the President of the United States acting presidential.
"Acting" being the operative word.
The substance of Trump's address was remarkable in other ways, none of them good. It was a combination of half truths, misdirection and an all out assault on democracy, the environment and non-billionaires.
Trump started his speech with a disembodied nod to Black History Month. He went on to mention the threats against Jewish community centers, vandalism in Jewish cemeteries and the shooting of two Indian people in Kansas City, all in one sentence.
If this was his way of addressing concerns of American Jews about the coincidental rise of Trumpism and anti-Semitism, it was too little, too late.
Trump's reflexive tweets to Nordstroms, Saturday Night Live and Arnold Schwarzenegger reveal his priorities. His six weeks of virtual silence since the explosion of anti-Semitism spoke volumes.
When Trump attacked the Khan family, I thought it unforgivable. Gold Star families should be treated with extreme reverence. The same applies to Carryn Owens, widow of fallen Navy SEAL, William Ryan Owens.
It can be hard to separate our feelings of respect, compassion and sorrow for Carryn Owens, though with the way she was cynically used during Trump's address. For him, it's all about his image and the applause.
He commented on the length of the 2-minute ovation as if it were a reality show. While the moment was deeply touching, the shamelessness of it left a bitter taste as Trump, once again abused the grief of a Gold Star family member.
If you read my piece entitled, "Donald Trump Squandered The Life of a Hero for His Own Personal and Political Needs," you know how I feel about that mission. As more information becomes available, the more I think this guy should not be making life or death decisions about America's bravest.
One of Tuesday night's big lies is one Trump repeated throughout his campaign. He insists there are between 92 and 96 million Americans out of work. This is a gross exaggeration and if he doesn't know he's lying, then he's an idiot.
According to Pulitzer Prize winning Politifact, "Once you strip out full-time students, senior citizens, the disabled, and those who have chosen not to work to take care of their children, a more reasonable estimate of "out of work" Americans is somewhere in the neighborhood of 21 million, or less than a quarter of Trump’s figure."
Trump pretends he walked into the worst mess since the Great Depression. That distinction actually goes to President Obama. The facts show that Trump inherited a pretty sweet deal, comparatively speaking.
Chuck Todd once told Kellyanne Conway that "alternative facts" are "falsehoods." Todd was being polite. Trump's and Conway's and Spicer's "alternative facts" are lies. They are liars.
Trump promised that his administration is going to work for clean air and water. Clean air and water. Imagine that.
So far, Trump's dubious body of work includes executive orders to allow oil companies to accept bribes from foreign governments and coal companies to dump toxic waste into drinking water.
Now that oil company spokesman and anti-environmentalist, Scott Pruitt is head of the EPA, what do we have to fear? Except for the fact that they are gutting that agency into oblivion. They're even cutting funding for the satellites that keep track of Earth's climate.
Remember "America first"? How about that promise to build the pipelines out of American steel? When you weren't looking, Trump exempted the Keystone pipeline and we'll buy the steel from the oligarch who bought Vladimir Putin a $35 Million yacht.
I wish I made that up. This one slipped in under the radar while we were chasing Trump's imaginary wiretapgate.
Can't wait to see what rabbit he'll pull out of his hat for the next distraction.
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