Trump’s State of the Union

Here’s just a few thoughts on Trump’s third State Of The Union speech:

Trump is an underrated public speaker.  He may not be “quotable” as some of our other Presidents but he’s a showman.  Tonight’s SOTU was a show from beginning to end.

Undoubtedly, the very online left love it when the Democrats glare and frown through one of Trump’s speech.  What they need to consider, though, is that Trump is not giving the State of the Union to reach out to them.  Instead, he’s giving his speech to reach out to the undecideds.  When you refuse to applaud good economic news or when you refuse to give a standing ovation to the last Tuskegee Airman just because Trump was the one who introduced him, it makes you look petty.  A better response would be to applaud the good news and then release a statement acknowledging that things are good but suggesting that they’d be even better if we had a president who wasn’t obsessed with picking fights on twitter.

The Democrats seemed demoralized tonight.  Last year, they were high off the fact that they had just won back the House and they were looking forward to the Mueller Report and impeaching Trump.  This year, they just looked pissed off.  Again, it’ll play well with their base but no one else.

Pelosi ripping up the speech would have been more effective if she had done it while Trump was looking at her.  Instead, she just ended up looking like Dean Wormer reacting to Flounder throwing up on his shoes.

Of course, I’m not sure any of this matters.  By Friday, we will all probably have moved on to something else.

No Front Runner?

On one of the cable news channels, I saw a headline that read: “No Democratic Front Runner?”  Apparently, that’s what Cook Political Report is currently says about the state of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.  With Iowa and New Hampshire rapidly approaching, it’s still anyone’s race.

I don’t know if I agree with that.  I think the race right now is Bernie vs. Biden and none of the other candidates really seem to have a realistic chance at getting the nomination (or, at the very least, winning the nomination through the primaries.  A brokered convention would be another story).  It’s true that the media still loves Elizabeth Warren but her campaign peaked a while ago and has been struggling ever since.  Much like Michele Bachman in 2012 and Ben Carson in 2016, Pete Buttigieg had a moment but that moment seems to have ended.  He’s strong in Iowa and New Hampshire but his campaign seems to be destined to flounder after those two states.  Amy Klobuchar could pick up some momentum if she finishes well in Iowa but it’s again hard to imagine it lasting for too long.  Bloomberg and Steyer have proven the power of money in politics but both seem destined, at best, to play spoiler roles at the convention.

Right now, it’s a Bernie vs. Biden game.  It’s hard to believe that, with Trump as their opponent, the Democrats can’t seem to do better than the grumpy old men but that’s the way it looks.  Maybe it’s not so much that there isn’t a clear front runner as it’s just that nobody wants to believe that, in 2020, we’re going to have to choose between Trump, Biden, and Bernie.  Surely, we can do better than that, can’t we?

About that CNN clip

“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”

Believe me, I absolutely hate that I’m starting today by quoting Nietzsche.  Making it even worse is that I’m use the same Nietzsche quote that everyone else uses whenever they talk about people becoming the thing that they claim to despise.  So much for originality.  Still, it’s an appropriate quote for today’s “outrage.”

There’s a clip floating around social media this morning.  It’s from CNN and it features Rick Wilson and, to a lesser extent, Wajahat Ali mocking Trump voters as being (to quote Wilson) “boomer rubes” who don’t know how to read a map or anything else.  While Wilson and Ali speak in mock hillbilly accents, Don Lemon giggles like a schoolgirl and then ends the segment by saying, “I needed that.”

Needless to say, there’s a lot of pissed off Trump supporters on twitter right now.  There’s also a lot of pissed off people who don’t necessarily support Trump but who know that the clip is basically a dream come true for the Trump campaign.  Not surprisingly, Donald Trump retweeted the clip this morning.  (Wajahat Ali responded by tweeting that his “friends fear for my safety.”)

Here’s the clip in question:

Personally, I think a lot of the outrage about the clip is performative.  Ali is an outspoken Trump critic and Rick Wilson has been doing his “anyone who disagrees with me is a rube” act for so long that I find it hard to believe that anyone was shocked by what they said or even by how they said it.  Don Lemon is another matter, in that he at least pretends to be a journalist.  But again, this is nothing that people haven’t seen in the past from Lemon.

Instead, what I find interesting about the clip is just how much those who claim to oppose Trump will act like Trump in order to make their point.   I guess the argument would be, “Trump acts like a jerk so we’re justified in acting like jerks too.”  I understand the argument but I think it misses an important point.  I have not met a single Trump voter who doesn’t think that Trump can be a jerk.  I’m sure there’s a few who worship him as blindly as Rick Wilson seems to think but the majority of Trump voters know that Donald Trump is hardly a perfect person.  Trump’s campaign has even cut ads praising Trump for willing to be a jerk.  To many people, it’s a part of his appeal.  They consider it to be a sign of his authenticity.  It also helps that Trump is someone who can say, “Yes, I’m a jerk but I’m the jerk who is presiding over the strongest economy in recent memory.”  That’s an accomplishment that, for many people, will make it easier to justify voting for someone who they may not like personally.

But then you have the people in this clip.  What are they going to say if someone accuses them of being a jerk?

Don Lemon: “Yes, I’m a jerk but I’m the jerk who is currently in last place in the cable news ratings.”

Rick Wilson: “Yes, I’m a jerk but I’m the jerk who helped run Evan McMullin’s  unsuccessful presidential campaign.”

Wajahat Ali: “Yes, I’m a jerk but I’m the jerk that most people have never heard of.”

Which brings us back to the Nietzsche quote.  To oppose Donald Trump, it’s not necessary to become Donald Trump.  In fact, it’s probably best that you don’t because Donald Trump seems to be the only one who can pull that off.

As for the clip, there will be something new to be outraged about tomorrow.

Drama For Nothing

The impeachment soap opera continues.

The House has impeached Trump but now, they’re not sure whether or not they’re going to send the article of impeachment to the Senate because they feel they won’t get a “fair’ trial.

Which is another way of saying that they know the Senate is not going to remove Trump and they want to keep the “impeached” talking point going through November of 2020.

In other words, all of yesterday’s sturm and drang was for nothing.

This is the third day in a row that I’ve written about impeachment.  Unless Pelosi is actually going to send the articles to the Senate, I’m done talking about it.  If the House Democrats really are just going to sit on this, then this performative drama has been an insult to not only everyone who thinks the President should be removed but also to everyone who thinks he deserves acquittal.

This is not the way to run an impeachment.

Who Would Have Guessed Impeachment Could Be So Boring?

Today, the House is impeaching the President and never has the process felt more tedious.

6 hours of speeches, none of which are going to move the needle on impeachment.  More than 6 hours of breathless coverage from CNN, MSNBC, Fox, and all the other news channels.  The more excited they get in Washington, the less anyone seems to care about it in the rest of the country.

Supposedly, we’ll get to the vote sometime this evening and it’s a foregone conclusion that the Trump will be impeached, on party lines.  It will then eventually make its way to the Senate, where Trump will be acquitted.  Never has a “somber moment” in American history felt more pointless.

Why I Haven’t Said Anything About The Biggest Story In America Right Now

I haven’t said anything about impeachment because I think this whole thing is a waste of time.  20 Republicans are not going to join the Democrats in voting to remove the president.  It’s not going to happen.  (And, considering that Joe Manchin and Doug Jones are in the Senate, it would probably be more of a case of needing 21 or 22 Republicans to vote to remove.)

If you want to get rid of Trump, concentrate on nominating a candidate who doesn’t turn off voters outside of New York and California.  Nominate a candidate who will actually campaign instead of taking the election for granted.

If anything, all of this impeachment nonsense appears to just be making Trump a stronger candidate in 2020.  The Democrats are worrying so much about keeping the online left happy that they’re setting themselves up for second Trump term.

Bloomberg’s In (Maybe)

After previously saying that he would not run for President in 2020 and would instead devote his efforts and money to supporting whoever the Democrats did nominate to run against Trump, Michael Bloomberg has filed for the Alabama Democratic Presidential Primary.

Alabama has an early filing deadline so it’s possible that Bloomberg only filed to keep his options open.  He may not have yet officially decided to run for president but, by filing, he can make sure that he appears on the ballot just in case he does decide to make it official.  When you’ve got as much money as Mike Bloomberg, a wasted filing fee or two is not going to set you back.

According to the New York Times, Bloomberg’s reconsidering his decision not to run because he doesn’t think any of the current Democrat contenders would be strong candidates in the general.  He may be right but I don’t know that Michael Bloomberg would be much better.  Joe Biden may be too old but he’s actually a year younger than Bloomberg.  Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg might be out-of-touch elitists but Michael Bloomberg hardly speaks the language of blue collar populism.  Bernie Sanders might be preaching the politics of authoritarianism but Michael Bloomberg is best known for banning large sodas in New York City.  It may be that Michael Bloomberg took a look in the mirror and realized that, at his age, this is probably his last chance to run.

Could Bloomberg, if he somehow won the Democratic nomination, beat Trump?  At this point, I feel like only Trump can beat Trump and that often seems to be exactly what Trump seems to be intent on doing.  Bloomberg could very well could be our next president but first he’d have to win the nomination and that would mean convincing the increasingly pro-Socialist Democratic grassroots to support a  billionaire.  (That’s not even taking into consideration the disturbing strain of antisemitism that has been growing on the Left like a cancer.)

Bloomberg is not the only one rethinking an earlier decision.  Apparently, Eric Holder is thinking about jumping into the race as well.  Just when you thought the field was getting winnowed down, it’s starting to fill up again.