WASHINGTON – Why should one wait to hear the State of the Union speech from Donald Trump before giving a reaction?
Some anti-Trumpers were not bothering to do so.
Take the PICO Network, which describes itself as “a national network of faith-based community organizations working to create innovative solutions to problems facing urban, suburban and rural communities.” Oh, and “non-partisan,” too.
Hours before the speech took place, PICO had this to say in a news release: “After promoting a tax giveaway to Wall Street and the wealthy, partially repealing the Affordable Care Act, working to detain and deport DREAMers, undoing Obama-era policies that reduce mass incarceration, President Trump today delivered yet another hate-filled, xenophobic and racist speech.”
The release quickly pivoted to add: “While President Trump has yet to deliver his first State of the Union address, if past is prologue, this is the introduction we’ll write after President Trump’s address.”
Mmmmmm. No doubt.
“President Trump’s State of the Union address is likely to be one more in a long string of abhorrent and hate-filled messages that scapegoats people of color and persons living in poverty,” said Bishop Dwayne Royster, political director for PICO National Network, the largest network of faith-based groups in the country. “We are urging grassroots groups to pursue every opportunity to remind their neighbors that this administration, aided and abetted by Republicans in Congress, stripped healthcare away from millions of families to fund tax breaks to the wealthy and to Wall Street.”
The release claimed that the GOP tax bill killed health-care benefits for “about 3.2 million additional U.S. residents,” and that the “uninsured rate rose the most among young adults, Blacks, Latinos and people with low incomes, according to a Gallup-Sharecare poll conducted in late 2017 of 25,072 adults nationwide.”
“We know there’s a better way,” added Royster. “It’s never too late for Republicans and Democrats in Congress to work collaboratively to ensure our democracy works for families. They can do this by passing sentencing reform, raising wages, ensuring paid sick and family leave, stopping the deportation machine and taxing the rich to improve public education. These are not just lofty ideals; their mandates. We cannot ascribe to a higher power who we cannot see, yet pass policies that make it harder for individuals and families to care for themselves and their families.”
Before he gave it.
“Let me throw down the gauntlet NOW. If anyone comes on my TV tomorrow night after the sotu saying whatever speech Trump READS somehow makes his (sic) sound good/presidential/unifying, I’m turning you off and never listening again,” said liberal New York Times columnist Charles Blow.
Michelle Goldberg, also from the Times, added, “I’m begging my fellow pundits not to get too excited should Trump manage to read from a teleprompter without foaming at the mouth or saying anything overtly racist. No matter how well Trump delivers the lines in his State of the Union, he will not become presidential.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had suggested Democrats behave during the speech, so that the attention would be on the president, whom she described as “his slobbering self.”
Two sources told Politico she said, “Let the attention be on his slobbering self. If you want to walk out, don’t come in.”
The report continued, “She added that expectations are so low for the unconventional Trump, he’s likely to get good reviews from pundits for doing the bare minimum. ‘If his nose isn’t running and he isn’t burping, he did a great speech,’ Pelosi predicted.”
Watch President Trump’s State of the Union address:
Not with MY illegal alien
The Examiner reported a social media confrontation erupted after Republican Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., asked the Capitol Police and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to check if any State of the Union guests are in the country illegally.
Today, Congressman Paul Gosar contacted the U.S. Capitol Police, as well as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asking they consider checking identification of all attending the State of the Union address and arresting any illegal aliens in attendance.
— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) January 30, 2018
His request came after Democratic lawmakers boasted they would be bringing illegal aliens to the speech.
He added, “Of all the places where the Rule of Law needs to be enforced, it should be in the hallowed halls of Congress. Any illegal aliens attempting to go through security, under any pretext of invitation or otherwise, should be arrested and deported.”
Then Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly threatened to “put up a fight” if police acted on Gosar’s request.
“No one threatens my guest,” Connelly, a Democrat from Virginia, blustered. “You’ll have to go through me and break my bones first.”
A slow roll
Heather R. Higgins, chief of Independent Women’s Voice, said she expects 2018 to be just “a slow roll” of 2016.
“A look back at President Trump’s first year as commander-in-chief shows how serious he is about keeping his promises, how much he has achieved, upending expectations even when everything seems to be going against him, and how he runs rings around conventional wisdom,” she said.
“Trump is changing America’s course as he puts Americans first and implements many of the major policy reforms he promised during his campaign. He understood what too many economists don’t – that it isn’t government stimulation by omniscient bureaucrats that matters, but dispersed private action, that lower taxes and deregulating regulation run amuck really does affect the economic growth, and that confidence in the future matters.
“As his focus on restarting economic growth continues to pay off in the coming year, conventional wisdom will once again get rolled by President Trump as he accomplishes even more, and wins grudging approval of his successes by many of his current detractors. Think replay of 2016, just on a slow roll.”
When President Trump asked for lawmakers to put aside political differences and work together, Grabien reported, there was one who looked unhappy.
In fact, the report said, “She seemed to be the only lawmaker in the entire chamber who did not rise. Even the senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, stood to applaud. ”
The report continued, “When not visibly frowning, [Nancy] Pelosi instead appeared focused on cleaning something from her teeth.”
“Safe, strong and proud”
Jenny Beth Martin, the chairman of the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund, applauded the president.
“Tonight, President Trump reminded the American people of the record-setting successes we’ve seen during his first year in office and laid out important priorities that will help us to continue build a country that is safe, strong and proud. Good things happen when leaders actually keep their promises to the voters. The president’s tax cuts and extensive deregulation efforts have unleashed prosperity by reducing the burden of government in our lives after eight years of big government and bigger spending under former President Obama.”
She said, “This new agenda driven by President Trump has helped create an economic environment that has led to millions of jobs, larger paychecks for workers, driven markets to record highs and expanded opportunities for all Americans. His promise to put American citizens first has led to fairer trade policies that stop other countries from taking advantage of us.”
Critics lash out
But critics of the president’s plans and projects lashed out in anger.
Vanita Gupta, of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human rights, claimed Trump “actively seeks to disadvantage, divide, and discriminate against women, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, those aspiring to join the middle class, and so many more.”
Gupta continued, “Moreover, Congress, led by Republicans, has continuously put party over country. Lawmakers have been unwilling to enact much-needed reforms on a range of civil rights issues including the Dream Act, and have failed in their responsibility to serve as a check on the executive. Most ominously, Congress is also rubber-stamping Trump’s biased and unqualified judicial nominees, allowing him to reshape the courts in his image.”
Gupta promised to continue fighting Trump.
Tony Perkins, the chief of Family Research Council, pointed out that Trump’s speech was evidence of “something rare” in American politics.
“Fulfilling campaign promises.”
“The president spoke from the heart about our shared values as Americans. One of those values that binds us together is reflected in our motto; that we are one nation under God. President Trump understands that our freedom to unite under God has been under steady assault – and he’s spent the last year reversing this devastating trend. The reality is that if Americans don’t have the freedom to live according to their faith – whether it’s in the home, in the workplace, or in school – then we really can’t be free.”
He continued, “The president tonight noted his ‘historic actions to protect religious liberty.’ This president knows that religious liberty isn’t found in political proclamations, but in the policies they inspire. That’s why this president who has not wavered in his determination to preserve freedom for those yet to be born.”
Fox new analysts pointed out that Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., delivered a very dark outlook on the country in the Democrats’ response.
“Many have spent the past year anxious, angry, afraid. We all feel the fault lines of a fractured country. We hear the voices of Americans who feel forgotten and forsaken. We see an economy that makes stocks soar, investor portfolios bulge and corporate profits climb but fails to give workers their fair share of the reward,” he claimed.
And continued, “A government that struggles to keep itself open. Russia knee-deep in our democracy. An all-out war on environmental protection. A Justice Department rolling back civil rights by the day. Hatred and supremacy proudly marching in our streets. Bullets tearing through our classrooms, concerts, and congregations. Targeting our safest, sacred places.”
He blasted the Trump administration for not pursuing … everything.
“We choose a better deal for all who call this country home. We choose the living wage, paid leave and affordable child care your family needs to survive. We choose pensions that are solvent, trade pacts that are fair, roads and bridges that won’t rust away, and good education you can afford. We choose a health care system that offers mercy, whether you suffer from cancer or depression or addiction. We choose an economy strong enough to boast record stock prices AND brave enough to admit that top CEOs making 300 times the average worker is not right.”
He did not explain how any of the mentioned programs would be paid for.