Today is one of those days that only political nerds like me circle on their calendars – the State of the Union address. In fact we have our own acronym for it: SOTU. Traditionally, early in the speech, the president will utter the phrase “The State of the Union is strong” (or some very slight derivation thereof) and the chamber will erupt in applause. Suppose that statement was untrue? Let’s explore.
Who knows exactly what President Trump will say? He is liable to use some superlative since he thinks he is the greatest president in American history and everything he does is the best. It couldn’t be further from the truth!
Under Trump we have a Justice Department that doesn’t care about Justice, an Education Department that opposes public education, a State Department that doesn’t support its diplomats or our foreign allies, an EPA that doesn’t care about the environment and a Commerce Department that thinks a global epidemic is an American jobs program.
Not only is our president corrupt and incompetent he has surrounded himself with incompetent and often corrupt sycophants.
The Boy Blunder, son-in-law and Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, rolled out a Middle East Peace Plan last week. He has been working on it for three years. The plan supposedly is a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli dispute. Kushner’s plan lacks one crucial element – Palestinian participation. Need I say more?
Tomorrow the Senate will allow a corrupt president to remain in office. 96 of the 100 votes are certain as of this writing. Only the votes of Democrats Doug Jones of Alabama and Joe Manchin of West Virginia along with those of Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah are in doubt as of this writing. Trump’s worst case scenario is a 51-49 “win”. That opens the door even further than Citizens United did to foreign interference in our most cherished democratic function – free and fair elections. It also establishes that the current Senate and Justice Department will not hold the president accountable for his actions.
While we haven’t reached the point of total dictatorial media control yet, we took another step toward it last week. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (caused by his personal incompetence) got angry at NPR in the person of its reporter Mary Louise Kelly. In retaliation he dropped NPR reporter Michelle Keleman from the scheduled press delegation to accompany him on a trip. Some people think others and I are alarmists when we compare Trump’s regime to some of those of 1930’s Europe; I think we are simply students of history and find the move toward state controlled media alarming.
I’m certain at some point(s) Trump will brag about how great the economy is. Last week the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirmed that the budget deficit has exceeded the $1 trillion mark. A deficit of over $1 trillion in a year without a major global conflict, recession, depression or major infrastructure project is criminal mismanagement! By far the largest factor leading to the record deficit is the Trump Tower Tax Cut. I’m a liberal Democrat. With that in mind, one of the aspects of the pre-Trump conservative Republican agenda was fiscal conservatism. I saw holes in it but the basic idea had a lot of appeal to me and I was far from alone. Obama warned of spending through the tax code and Trump put it on steroids.
One of, if not the, president’s primary jobs is to keep Americans safe. He caved to Putin in the Middle East which will lead to the resurrection of ISIS or whatever its successor will be called. While Trump ridiculously claims to be in love with Kim Jung-un and to have solved the Korean nuclear threat nothing could be further from the truth (on the latter anyway). Kim is going full speed ahead on his nuclear program while we gave unreciprocated concessions to North Korea.
Speaking of nuclear, we had an imperfect but functioning agreement on Iranian nuclear development until Trump unilaterally blew it up and put several of our allies in a tough spot in the process. Sans the agreement don’t you think Iran is advancing their nuclear weapons program? I certainly do!
Let’s judge people by the company they keep for a paragraph. In late January the United Nations called for an investigation into Trump and Kushner’s buddy, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, better known as MBS, for his involvement into the hacking of Jeff Bezos’ phone. MBS has previously been linked to the torture and murder of the Bezos owned Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi. You connect those dots.
Here is my summary of the speech before it has been delivered or I see a draft: Trump tells a bunch of lies. I serious doubt I will have to print a retraction/apology and since I’m speaking of the American president that is frightening!
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