The reaction to Trump’s speech has been just comical. Many – especially Democrats – are saying that Trump’s Inauguration speech was harsh, MEAN! But his address to Congress was gentle, it was PRESIDENTIAL! HOGWASH! The only people who care about TONE are those who run their lives on EMOTION, not FACTS. That would be Leftists, Liberals, and Democrats. The two speeches were to two different audiences at two different times for two different reasons. One you are addressing the American people and the other you are addressing lawmakers who will be working on legislation with the Administration. Let’s not fall into the – if it feels good it is right – syndrome. It is the old Liberal case of SYMBOLISM over SUBSTANCE.
Trump’s Address: Us versus the Establishment
Establishment Washington breathed a sigh of relief on Tuesday night. Donald Trump sounded presidential in his address to Congress. Leave it to the Establishment and the mainstream media to emphasize sound over substance. Or, if you like, over theme. However, the president sounded, his thread was unbroken: His will be a change presidency. Not inconsequential change, mind you, but big, beefy change. Historic stuff is the stuff that Trump is aiming for.
Declared the president near the close of his speech: “The time for small thinking is over. The time for trivial fights is behind us.” Note well the modifier “trivial.”
The Washington Post’s Dan Balz typifies the establishment’s infatuation with externals. Wrote Balz in a post-address analysis:
The President Trump who spoke to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night bore only passing resemblance to the President Trump who spoke from the Capitol’s West Front on Inauguration Day. Some of the words were the same, but the tone was utterly different. Therein lies the contradiction — and — challenge of his presidency.
“Tone” is a favorite word in D.C. You know, how you present ideas and an agenda changes both. Tone “signals” (another favorite D.C. word) a willingness to modify or discard goals. Putting the lie to that silliness is Barack Obama, whose tone in 2008 was centrist. In fact, the former president’s tone was always measured. Yet Obama pursued the hardest left agenda in the nation’s history.
So what did Balz and the establishment expect, that Trump would enter the U.S. House likeBill the Butcher? Trump, an evil glint in his eyes, knives drawn, challenging Democrats, Never Trumpers, and gelatinous GOP lifers to a fight to the death?
This from Balz’s article:
In his inaugural address, Trump spoke of American carnage and as the tribune of the forgotten American. To the assembled members of Congress seated behind him that January day, he offered a rebuke and the back of his hand. On Tuesday, he made repeated appeals for national unity and cross-party cooperation. Looking out across the House chamber, he seemed to offer an open hand to the same political establishment he had pilloried just weeks ago.
While we don’t want to detract from Balz’s penetrating complexity, we must. Trump was speaking in different venues to different audiences at different times. It’s that simple. The inaugural principally spoke to the president’s core constituencies and the American people. He also spoke indirectly to the gathered establishment grandees — if they bothered to listen.
On January 20, the president pledged to make good his campaign promises. He made it abundantly clear that the nation has serious problems aplenty; the establishment wasn’t going to stop him from fixing things. He laid down unambiguous markers.
On Tuesday night, the president elaborated his agenda to Congress. He called for action from Congress. And he made a no-brainer call for cooperation from Republicans and Democrats.
“Here’s your chance to get on board,” said Trump in essence. He also inferred, with ample precedent, “If you don’t, my train will run over you.”
For Balz, the establishment herald, “Trump as president must attempt a perpetual juggling act.” This is novel to presidencies? What was FDR’s presidency but a “perpetual juggling act?” The New Deal coalition wasn’t a harmonious collection of interests. It was a gathering of often clashing factions that FDR managed skillfully, for the most part.
But let’s leave Balz with an admission — of sorts — and balderdash:
It is no longer a question of which is the real Donald Trump but more the question of whether he can build a successful presidency out of this split political personality.
The Donald Trump at the podium in the U.S. House on Tuesday evening evinced no “split political personality.” Balz can’t seem to discern the thread in the president’s pronouncements. He doesn’t appreciate a master at work; a shrewd, practiced, and accomplished businessman varying approaches, negotiating obstacles, and dangling carrots or brandishing sticks, as required. But always — always — with his goals in mind. Always driven to succeed, largely on his terms.
Donald Trump hasn’t changed, from his announcement of candidacy in 2015 to his speech Tuesday night… to his executive actions in the opening weeks of his presidency. But once again, the D.C. establishment demonstrates why it’s no longer fit to lead. For all its emphasis on tone, it’s proving to be
tone-deaf. It seeks to apply old definitions and worn out templates to a man who, at every turn, defies the conventional wisdom. Pigeonholing Donald Trump is easier and more comforting than reckoning with the flesh and blood man, his movement, and his moment.
The establishment’s inability to grasp Donald Trump is very likely a fatal flaw. President Trump will work overtime to make sure of that.
Now to get on to some content, here’s Rush:
But he said something last night — he had a lot of really, what I consider profundities, little one-line statements that didn’t get a whole lot of attention. They got some applause, but in the aftermath and the analysis discussion, I didn’t hear too many people talk about these. One of them I mentioned, where he said that once again the world can relax and take comfort in the fact that the United States is here again to lead.
We haven’t been leading anything. We have been blamed the last eight years. The United States has been nothing special about us. American exceptionalism was mocked and laughed at. Well, I’m sure they feel like they’re exceptional in Great Britain, too, or they feel they’re exceptional in Egypt, said Obama.
The American experiment, the United States in the past eight years was not considered worthy of leading, because we had committed too many transgressions. We didn’t have the moral authority to lead anybody because we had too many injustices in our past and too many discriminations and too many thises and thats and so forth. We were not worthy of leading, and we had been leading for too long in all the wrong directions. It was really, I think, despicable.
So Trump saying the United States is here again to lead, the Republicans bolted out of their seats and applauded it. Democrats stayed bolted to their chairs. And the president then referenced the fact that the world is a safer and better place when the United States is leading. And there’s no question about it. The other thing he said that was like this, that drew raucous response I’m sure all across the country among the television and radio audiences watching and listening to this.
When he said, “My job is to represent the United States of America. My job is not to represent the world.” And for people who don’t understand why people support Trump, much of it is wrapped up right in that phrase or that saying. It’s an anti-globalism statement. The idea that any president represents the world, by definition the United States must be diminished for that to happen.
For the world to supersede the United States and for the United States to become subservient to the world, which is the United Nations in practical application, just rubs people the wrong way. Because the United Nations is nothing but a fleece organization, fleecing our money, under the guise that we owe it because we’ve committed so many injustices and transgressions. And so this was a real restatement of America’s purpose as founded and America’s place in the world. There were so many little profundities throughout.