I’ve been hearing from a few disgruntled Dems that my defense of Trump is flawed and one of them (Joe), sent me Eugene Robinson’s critique of the President’s address to the joint houses of Congress last week, as evidence I was missing something — and I have agreed to respond.
By Eugene Robinson, from the Washington Post
Robinson — What I heard from President Trump in his speech Tuesday night was a greatest-hits compilation of campaign promises he has no earthly way to keep.
Spain – Trump will keep, and has already kept more of his campaign promises than Obama and Bush combined. Bush was side tracked by 9/11 and the war; Obama just couldn’t get it done. He promised to close Gitmo and never succeeded, he promised you could keep your doctor and your health plan — and was found out to be a liar on this point — he not only didn’t keep his promise, he knew the promise was a lie. The Obama promise of transparency was a joke, his top advisor; David Axelrod signed a multi-million dollar consulting contract with the foreign government/new leader of Nigeria, hours after leaving the White House.
Trump has already signed a lifetime ban on his people doing what Axelrod did. Eight years of Obama overregulation has been wiped out ALREADY by Trump. Trump will get tax reform this year, and Obama never got close in 8 years of trying. I could go on and on but you get the message, Robinson’s opening was weak.
Robinson — Gleaming new roads, bridges and airports will magically materialize.
Spain — This was sarcasm on Robinson’s part, but I actually agree with him on this point, Pork spending is hard to control, and harder to get results from. But that would be true no matter who the President was.
Robinson — Health care will be better, cheaper and available to all.
Spain — More sarcasm from Robinson here — but writing this down in defense of Obama and/or to attack Trump — is not very smart. These are not only very Obama-like health care promises; they are ALSO the ones Obama was proven to lie about, directly to the American people. Calling Trump dishonest here is a painful reminder to people that Obama fooled them.
Robinson — Terrorism, crime, poverty and even drug addiction will cease to plague our soon-to-be-great-again land.
Spain – Robinson evidently loves sarcasm — the refuge of the weak argument — but this again, makes no sense in this context. Why remind voters/readers what a horrible, horrible, job Obama did on terrorism, crime, and even drug addiction? Does Robinson think Obama or the Dems hit any home runs here over the last 8 years?
Robinson — What I didn’t hear was anything to reassure the nation that its fate is in competent hands. Trump’s speech won praise for being “presidential,” but only from those grading him on an absurdly generous curve. It should not be remarkable that the highest elected official of the richest and most powerful nation on earth managed to get through an hour-long speech without foaming at the mouth.
Spain – Robinson is at his worst when he is guttural, racist, and disceptive, and this paragraph is all of that and more.
The stock market did not surge 300 points the day after Trump’s address because the smartest investors in the worlds’ richest and most complex market place — were relieved Trump didn’t “foam” at the mouth. Robinson is allowed to say racist, and demeaning things about Trump, in a national newspaper, because Robinson is black and Trump is white. The Politically correct world of today is upside down, but the truth is, nobody got away with comparing Obama in a anational newspaper — to a mad dog with a foaming mouth – or in the national media, when he was President.
Obama got exceptional treatment from the press, and he admitted it was so. I’m white and I’ve known for a long time I lived under a double standard, but this is ridiculous, Trump is not a foaming mad dog and allowing attacks along these lines is bad for our country.
Robinson — Two-bit banana republics set a higher bar. I do give Trump credit for one laugh-out-loud funny line: “The time for small thinking is over. The time for trivial fights is behind us.” This high-minded sentiment came from a man who used his appearance at the National Prayer Breakfast to taunt Arnold Schwarzenegger about his ratings as Trump’s replacement on “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
Spain – It’s easy to cheap shot the President, they live under a microscope and they’re human. What Robinson is missing is how passionate and sincere Trump is about making things better for the average American, an effort he should be applauding, not ridiculing.
Robinson — And there was one truly genuine and unforgettable moment: the sustained ovation for Carryn Owens, the widow of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, who was killed in the Trump administration’s first counterterrorism operation, a raid in Yemen.
But what else could anyone take seriously? Certainly not the president’s basic premise that he inherited a nation in dire straits. Unemployment as of January was 4.8 percent. Violent crime is near historical lows nationwide, though a few cities, including Chicago, are tragic exceptions. What once was a flood of undocumented migrants coming across the border from Mexico has become a trickle. And through a combination of vigilance and good fortune, we have not suffered a major attack by a terrorist group on U.S. soil since 9/11.
Spain – These are liberal narrative talking points faithfully regurgitated by Robinson, all fallacious. Unemployment, the fake number Obama massaged out of his Labor Department is low, but wages didn’t grow under Obama and The Participation Rate — the real unemployment number — is dangerously high. Robinson can point to lower crime rates if he wants to as a defense of Obama and liberal policies, but this is like pointing at terrorism as an Obama victory, everybody knows better. The inner city crime rate, felony assault and murder, is so bad, the DOJ and these majority back city governments would be under Congressional investigation right now — if Obama had not been black, Holder and Lynch black – and the cities where murder is out of control in the streets – were not also mostly black and led by mostly black mayors and police departments for DECADES now.
Mr. Robinson must be blind not to see what a tragedy this is. But he need not fear, I don’t think Trump is a racist or foaming at the mouth, and will genuinely attempt to help these cities, not just give them the Obama lip service treatment.
Robinson — Much of Trump’s speech, then, was devoted to solving problems that do not exist. He wants to give huge tax cuts to corporations as a way of creating jobs. He is forming a Justice Department task force on crime. He swore for the umpteenth time to build “a great, great wall along our southern border.” And he called for the strictest possible vetting of visa applicants from countries afflicted by terrorism — which is what already takes place.
Spain – here Robinson is just spinning, no way Trump enters the White House if all he was talking about were problems, which do not exist. What may not exist anymore — if Liberals like Robinson do not wake up and address the issues the American worker DOES think are real — is the Democratic Party itself.
Robinson — If he wanted to, Trump could just declare victory now on all these fronts and then turn to other matters. But that would require setting actual policy rather than just talking and tweeting.
Spain – I can understand Robinson not liking the overhaul Trump is attempting, BUT to deny such an overhaul is underway, just makes Robinson look out of touch. A new: education, energy, terrorism, tax and infrastructure policy – ALL in the first year — is not just talking and tweeting, even if you see through Liberal glasses fogged by lies, meaning Robinson is not sincere is this criticism, it’s JUST partisan politics.
Robinson — The closest the president came to substance in the speech was in discussing health care. Unless you were listening very carefully, you probably just heard Trump’s usual it’s-gonna-be-awesome description of what will replace the Affordable Care Act: “reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time provide better health care.” This imaginary program probably washes and waxes your car, too.
But House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) surely noticed that Trump used the phrases “tax credits” and “expanded health savings accounts” — both of which are elements of the framework Ryan supports as a starting point for a replacement program. The problem for Ryan is that both Democrats and conservative Republicans reject his approach, so the kind words from the president may not matter.
Spain – This was the closest Robinson came in his critique, to a rationale point, so I’ll let it stand, he’s right, replacing the mess Obamacare has become, will require everybody to compromise.
Robinson — After reportedly suggesting in an off-the-record lunch with television anchors that he might propose a version of comprehensive immigration reform, with some sort of legal status for the millions of law-abiding undocumented immigrants, Trump did nothing of the sort. In fact, he went back to demonizing the undocumented as dangerous criminals, announcing a new victims-services office infelicitously named VOICE — Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement.
Spain – Translation, Trump is learning, changing, and evolving with the realities of governing by compromise. Not the actions of a foaming at the mouth dog, Mr, Robinson,
Robinson — And as for sounding presidential, how about this passage? “Free nations are the best vehicle for expressing the will of the people, and America respects the right of all nations to chart their own path. My job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America.” All recent presidents have focused instead on the inalienable human rights of individuals and have criticized governments whose “own path” is to trample those rights. All recent presidents have believed the United States can and must play a special role in the world as a beacon of freedom.
Trump said he wants an America “not burdened by our fears” — after spending an hour stoking those fears. Even when he uses his indoor voice, he doesn’t sound much like a president.
Spain – Funny, when I heard this section of the speech I could picture John F. Kennedy, standing right there, saying the exact same things. It’s a shame Robinson didn’t see any of that old newsreel, he would be happy to know how much alike Trump and Kennedy think.