Fake President, Meaningless Speech

Here’s an annotated State of the Union fact-checking Trump’s remarks. Politifact also rated the speech mostly false. It’s telling that most of the headlines are reverting back to issues surrounding The Memo and the Mueller investigation.

In WaPo’s “winners and losers” column today, one of the losers was “the truth.”

The reason there’s a State of the Union address is that the Constitution stipulates in Article II, Section 3  that the president “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” The first SOTU address was delivered by George Washington. But in the 19th century, many presidents sent a written text rather than speak to Congress in person. It wasn’t really until the 20th century that the SOTU became an annual whoop-dee-doo speech that was supposed to be significant to the whole nation, somehow. And a few SOTUs have been genuinely memorable. But it’s really kind of pointless now, isn’t it?


8 thoughts on “Fake President, Meaningless Speech

  1. Watching Trump do a SOTU address is like binge watching Ice Road Truckers.  You lose IQ points and decrease your information base.  More Pablum for those with inadequate critical thinking skills. 

  2. It is kinda pointless considering that Trump is just a big lying bag of shit. Here's the thought that comes to my mind: 

    "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."

     What makes it more emotionally injurious is watching Pence and Ryan sitting behind him with smirks of satisfaction written all over their faces while he blatantly lies to the American public.

    I'm praying that misery seeks him out and overtakes him.

  3. It was soooo boring.  I also object to emotional visitors who are there simply to display their grief and emotion such as the parents of the guy who somehow died after being released from N. Korea after being tortured.  I feel sorry for them but some things should be private.  They were being used. It was painful just to watch them and I see no  point except to leave the impression that Trump is empathetic which I don't believe. 

  4. Very pointless, yes.

    But the reason the SotU spedch is such a big deal now – especially after WWII, when the war ended, and the nuclear and TV era's began – is that it helps fill the bottomless gaping maw that is our media's need for "news/information/entertainment" – aka:  Infotainment.   

    I can't remember the last one that was either informative, or even entertaining – there were, however, entertaining parts after the speech:  After Obama's speeches, who can forget Jindal's ghoulish walk towards the camera, and Marco Rubio's desperate attempts to quench his thicaner

    Young Kennedy, who gave the official Democratic response, did a passable job.  It wasn't quite Obama's 2004 Keynote Address…  But it was far better than any Republican's response to an Obama SotU speech!  


  5. Nice analysis. I agree totally that this was a “not much of anything” speech.  While the presentation may have more restrained, it was the same old song and dance. Same old empty stuff, same old well poisoning, same bragging, same misstatements and lies, same types of attempts to call out to the base. 


    Like a lot of people, I could not stomach it live. I confess, I have never been able to stand Trump speaking. This goes back decades for me.  So, for the SOTU, I have been hitting the recaps and annotated transcripts. 


    All that said, one phrase stood out to me in particular and disturbed me.  I can’t say it surprised me, per se. I just really thought that his speechwriters wouldn’t write something like that into the SOTU address. 


    “So tonight I call on Congress to empower every cabinet secretary with the authority to reward good workers and to remove federal employees who undermine the public trust, or fail the American people.”


    The implications add weight to the concerns about a willingness to destroy the rule of law.  Further, it uses some rhetorical tricks I recognize from Trump’s other speeches.  His writers will trot out a single sentence that may get some controversy. So they front load the first part of it with stuff that sounds good to distract from the zinger in back end.  And it tends to work with audiences.   I am disturbed to see this trick keep working, allowing questionable stuff to hide in plain sight.  So yeah, the sentence bothers me both in its apparently successful delivery and in sentiment.

  6. God who could sit through two hours of slobbering smirking lies? Not me, I didn't watch one second. It is as meaningless as everything else he says, the man is as Fareed Zakaria so aptly put it: "a bullshit Artist"!

  7. It was a dressed up version of his rally speeches. He attacked federal employees, immigrants and bragged about Janet Yellen's economy and his great tax cut that will put our grandchildren into debt.

    What particularly disgusted me were the repeated human interest asides, showing people there whose anecdotes fit his agenda. Turning the SOTU into a sorry news show that is filled with non news syrupy feel good stories and in his case horror stories that back up his anti immigrant pogrom. It was a disgusting display of exploiting people for an emotional reaction.

    And today Sarah Huckabee Sanders berated Nancy Pelosi for not smiling enough. 

  8. You know the US has become batshit insane today when:

    The answer to endless wars is more wars.

    The answer to the police state is more tyranny.

    The answer to a dead economy is starting a trade war.

    The answer to regulations is more laws.

    The answer to endless debt is more debt.

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