February 28th, 2017

Open thread: State of the Union

You can talk about it here.


I’m purposely listening to CNN post-speech, because I’m curious what they’re saying and how critical they will be.

The content of Trump’s speech was about what I expected, but I thought that Trump’s delivery was surprisingly good. Trump is great at the casual, funny, ad-lib (or seeming-ad-lib) speech. It’s not easy to switch from that mode to giving a speech off a teleprompter to a joint session of Congress, but he had a measured tone, an ideal pace, and some very emotional and compassionate moments.

The real surprise is that the panel on CNN agrees.

Anyone who thought Trump would implode tonight was sadly mistaken.


Is this the guy who’s the new face of the Democratic Party? Steve Beshear??


I think the Democrats are going to have trouble with this one. One of the problems with continually saying a person is a fool or Hitler or a clown is that if that person sounds pretty good and also like a decent human being—both of which Trump did tonight—it’s the criticizers who end up sounding like fools.

They can pick apart details of what he said—how can he pay for it? why did he say “Islamic terrorism”?—but I don’t think that will resonate with most people at all. Trump did something in the speech that has often been the province of Democrats: used the human interest story in a powerful way to illustrate and underline policy proposals he’s making.

26 Responses to “Open thread: State of the Union”

  1. Ymarsakar Says:

    What Union…

  2. Physicsguy Says:

    My God, how much more crass can the Dems be? Their behavior is beyond contempt. They all bolted out before he barely finished. I wonder how that will play in Peoria?

  3. neo-neocon Says:


    They’re not playing to Peoria.

  4. Oldflyer Says:

    Dana Perino summed up my reaction with the comment that it was the best speech of the type (to a joint session) that she had ever heard.

    It is hard to imagine how anyone of reasonable intellect, and objectivity, could not have been impressed.

    He was Presidential in his tone and demeanor–and he pulled no punches.

    I commented recently that anyone who thought there would be no learning curve was not thinking realistically. I also suggested that he was capable of learning quickly. I think he proved me right.

  5. Physicsguy Says:

    “is hard to imagine how anyone of reasonable intellect, and objectivity, could not have been impressed.”

    Apparently the Democrats were not impressed. So I guess we can make a conclusion on their intellect.

  6. Llwddythlw Says:

    The Democrats’ attitude to is summed up nicely in King Lear.

    “Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile;
    Filths savour but themselves.”

  7. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The talking heads are disingenuously wondering how Trump’s going to pay for all this… like that has ever been a concern on the left. Then there are the blatant lies, “conservatives on both sides of the aisle”… as there are no conservatives on the left…

    Sedition by any other name.

    They’ve taken free speech and weaponized it.

  8. AesopFan Says:

    Just finished reading the transcript (had to be out during the actual broadcast).
    Sounded pretty good to me.

    BTW, based on media events the last couple of months and especially the last couple of weeks, whatever you read quoting Trump and then “analyzing” it for you: go read the transcript instead.

  9. Liz Says:

    OK – I was a sucker for the Navy Seal part of the speech. I did call my Rep and a Senator to find out where i could send a thank you note to the widow.

    I lost both of my parents suddenly, I can really relate to her look up to the heavens. It hit me and I am still tearing up.

    It was a good speech.

  10. J.J. Says:

    Astounding! This man, who is no politician, just delivered a wonderful political speech. It had content, it had policy, it had soaring rhetoric, it had patriotism, it had appeals to our better nature, it offered more social justice than the Democrats ever have, and it all hung together beautifully. Gobsmacked, I am.

    How do we pay for it all? 3-4% GDP growth will pay for it. Gotta get off our duffs and get things growing again. Trump’s policies will allow that.

  11. parker Says:

    Watched on Cspan. A very BIGLEY good speech. I was YUGELY surprised. Keep it up djt and make me a fan as I was a fan during the RR years.

  12. F Says:

    Agree with everything you said, Neo.

    The Fox TV camera returned to Joe Manchin (D-WV) 4-5 times. He was about the only D who applauded, and when DJT talked about putting coal miners back to work Manchin was on his feet applauding. Sadly, coal will only make a partial comeback at best — it is 19th Century energy. Finally, Manchin made a point of standing at the aisle and shaking hands with DJT as he left the Congress. I Know he is up for election next year, and without knowing who his (R) opponent will be, I wish him well. I would not be surprised if he crosses the aisle.

  13. Oldflyer Says:

    J.J., I agree wholeheartedly. Maybe because of the expectations; and maybe because of the examples of the past eight years, it was a surprising and refreshing experience.

    Sorry Liz, but I disagree. It was painful for me to watch. I agree that sacrifice should be appreciated, although not sure how one is singled out over another. More specifically, I think that grief is a private matter, and privacy should be respected.

    So to me, that part which has admittedly become a staple only distracts from the message.

    The message was exceptional.

  14. T Says:

    I offer that tonight’s address serves as the capstone of the introduction of Donald Trump as POTUS. Since taking office, the flurry of executive orders and activity (which his opponents reveled in describing as chaos) were, IMO, designed to establish the first impression of the Trump administration, i.e., that he acts on issues and that he keeps his word.

    There will be obstacles and bumps in the road as his administration moves forward but with this 40 day activity and especially with this address tonight, what people will remember, regardless of those bumps is that he acts and he keeps his word.

    Succinctly phrased tonight by Chris Wallace: “Tonight Donald Trump became the President of the United States.”

  15. Cornhead Says:

    Given all of the times I saw candidate Trump on the stump, his improvement has been nothing short of remarkable.

    I am just ecstatic with his start. Now the GOP better back him 100% in Congress and pass his bills. Don’t backstab him.

  16. Cap'n Rusty Says:

    Maybe my kids will listen to me now.


  17. M J R Says:

    Mrs. Carryn Owens . . .

    24 The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
    25 The Lord make his face shine upon thee,
    and be gracious unto thee:
    26 The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee,
    and give thee peace.

    [ KJV Numbers 6:24-26 ]

  18. Esther Says:

    In the kitchen cooking, while the speech played on tv, which is faraway in the living room. Over the oven exhaust fan, the tone sounded like a normal presidential speech. The grouchy, somewhat liberal spousal unit on the sofa was relatively contented. We argued later over an unrelated wood finishing project!!! Awesome!

  19. Yancey Ward Says:

    Steven Beshear giving a response was hilarious, and I didn’t even watch or read it.

    For those who don’t know (I grew up in Kentucky and follow the politics even after leaving)- Beshear was a career politician in Kentucky whose rise to the governorship was stopped in 1987 when he couldn’t even win the Democratic primary, or finish second. After that, he made a run at McConnell’s Senate seat in 1996, but lost by double digits even with Clinton carrying the state at the top of the ticket.

    He finally won the seat of governor in 2007 and was reelected in 4 years later. I am sure he was selected to give the rebuttal because he is the one that pushed the expansion of Medicaid and full implementation of the ACA in Kentucky, a state that nationally leans strongly Republican. During his terms, the Republicans basically swamped the Democrats who had controlled both houses of the legislature for almost a 100 years.

    A bright new face for the Democrats who is older than Shelob Clinton.

  20. JWD Says:

    I watched the NBC post-speech discussion and while they grudgingly praised the speech, Tom Brokow had to put in a liberal dig that ‘the fact checkers’ would be busy on the speech.

    Don’t remember Brokow or any of his fellow lefties making this comment once in 8 years, despite the promises to lower the oceans and keep your doctor, period.

  21. Frog Says:

    Sen. Manchin is a manly man, in Harvey Mansfield’s definition. Trump is another. Manly men recognize and respect one another, even when opinions differ.
    There are no other manly men in the Democratic party at the Beltway level, or at the state level, as best I can determine.
    Lieberman was manly. We saw how he was treated by his fellow Dems.
    Democrats currently in office are in haste to evolve themselves into lower life forms. In the name of Progress, of course.

  22. Cornhead Says:

    I am so, so sick of the criticism of Trump and ankle biting by the media. NBC says mission in Yemen yielded little useful intel. Trump cites SecDef in speech and says mission was successful. Just stop it!

    And watching Debbie and Keith remain seated during the tribute to the Seal widow made me sick. True colors. Crush the Dems.

  23. mollyNH Says:

    So,so moved by that unfortunate widow ”s tears, crying along with her and even upset that nobody had a fresh hanky to pass along to her. She comes across as brave and a person who will find some comfort in her faith.

  24. Richard Saunders Says:

    Yancey Ward — amazing that the former Kentucky governor spoke about Obamacare and not about jobs. In essence, he said put the whole state of Kentucky on welfare — “Jobs, we don’t got no stinkin’ jobs. We don’t need no stinkin’ jobs!” The Dems still don’t get it, and based on Tom Perez, Keith Ellison, and Stephen Beshear, they won’t for a long time, if ever.

  25. Brian E Says:

    This is the most significant political re-alignment in my lifetime.

    President Trump sounded like a Democrat for much of the speech, with a heaping dose of economic nationalism.

    It was fairly visible during the campaign, given his platform, but it was striking listening to it from the House podium.

    Even with 4% gdp growth, there is no way this can all be paid for. I understand that Presidents propose, often grand visions of spending. But if the Republicans can’t muster the courage to enact the core of his agenda– health care reform and economic job growth– whether it comes from tax/regulation reform or protectionism (or a smattering of both), the euphoria will be short lived.

    When the Democrats rammed through the ACA, several of their members had to have known it was going to cost them their seats, but they did it for ?the cause?

    Do Republicans have the spines to do what they know is best for the country? I’ve read that Obamacare’s 10 year cost projections were off by $1 trillion. You can shuffle the deck chairs, but I’m not sure how they’re going to keep the elements of the ACA and at the same time trim $100/year in cost savings.

  26. charles Says:

    Well, I started to watch it. But only three minutes in – and Trump hadn’t yet entered congress – I shut the tube off because the idiot talking heads were going overboard with their anti-Trump stuff.

    You know, things like:

    “He is first the President to ever give a first speech with such low poll ratings.”

    “Normally, congress men and women line the aisle where he will come in, but, not this time! No one wants to be near him the crowd is so thin.”

    yada, yada, yada.

    Good lord – do they even hear themselves?

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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