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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The state of the union

What Trump Doesn’t Get About the State of the Union

There’s a level at which — when you consider that the president of the United States has cozied up to a foreign power that tampered with an American election, has repeatedly assaulted the country’s courts and its law enforcement and intelligence agencies, has defended neo-Nazis, has cried “fake news” while provably lying, and has been revealed so credibly to have paid off a porn star that it made news when his own wife chose to attend his biggest speech of the year — it’s hard to believe that the state of the union is strong.

[....]

Despite promising a $1 trillion infrastructure plan a year ago, a phantom plan whose price tag he raised to $1.5 trillion on Tuesday, he has yet to do anything to fix rusting bridges and faltering rail lines. His tax plan will undermine local efforts to make improvements around the country. He has yet to take serious action to end the opioid crisis. (“We have to do something about it,” he said Tuesday night, rather pathetically.) He has rubbed raw the nation’s wounds of bigotry and sexism. Without study or discernment, he has stripped away regulations meant to restrain climate change and to protect consumers. He seems utterly indifferent to improving an education system that is the foundation of the global competitiveness he insists he cares so much about. He’s deepened America’s commitment to Afghanistan with no exit strategy, and he’s raised tensions in the Middle East to no clear end. By gratuitously alienating allies and upending trade deals, he has eased the way for China’s hegemony ...


The editorial board of The New York Times goes on to say that the state of our union *is* strong, not because of Trump but in spite of him.

I agree ... Trump's lies have taught us the worth of truth, his attacks on immigrants have reminded us of our own immigrant roots, his misogyny has brought forth the #Me Too movement, his trashing of the environment has spurred on the green revolution, his racial bigotry has made us see what commonalities we all share, and his faux Christianity has made the US Catholic bishops feel shame at having supported him (a miracle!). The one thing Trump can say is that the economy is doing well, but there's one truth he has never learned - there are things more important than money.

On this day, forty-four years ago, Richard Nixon had this to say towards the end of his state of the union address ...

Mr. Speaker, and Mr. President, and my distinguished colleagues and our guests: I would like to add a personal word with regard to an issue that has been of great concern to all Americans over the past year. I refer, of course, to the investigations of the so-called Watergate affair. As you know, I have provided to the Special Prosecutor voluntarily a great deal of material. I believe that I have provided all the material that he needs to conclude his investigations and to proceed to prosecute the guilty and to clear the innocent. I believe the time has come to bring that investigation and the other investigations of this matter to an end. One year of Watergate is enough.

Seven months later he was forced to resign in the face of impeachment and his removal as president.

Let this be a lesson to Trump.

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